RICHMOND, Texas––Ken Tielke, past president of the South Central Jurisdiction of UM Men and a member of the General Commission on United Methodist Men Board of Directors, died Oct. 16 following a more-than-five year battle with cancer.
In a September 2017 resignation letter to officers of UM Men (UMM), Ken wrote, “The battle is just about over. At this stage, I can no longer travel or be effective in any way that is required of the position of president. It has been an honor to represent the South Central Jurisdiction and the Texas Conference for the past 15-plus years.”
Even while under hospice care, Ken continued serving as treasurer of the National Association of Conference Presidents. He assured other officers that Dan Ramsey, former NACP president “has signature and full access rights to the NACP accounts, so we are covered."
Ken also said he would continue working with Dan to restart the UMM organization in the Texas Conference.
“I am still very active in my local church UMM and plan to continue as long as God needs me to serve,” wrote Ken. “I will continue taking part in our Wesleyan Building Brothers Zoom conferences on Thursday evenings. And, finally, I do plan to continue serving my conference as a men's ministry specialist as best I can, wherever I am called.”
Ken did not know the meaning of quit.
Gil Hanke, top staff director of the General Commission on UMM, said, “Ken loved this church and loved to see men who were actively growing in their walk with Christ. He was a good friend who was an important part of team that worked with me when I served as the Texas Conference UMM president, and was there for each president who followed. In spite of pain and discomfort, Ken gracefully chaired a meeting of the UMM during the Texas Annual Conference 2017 session to select an interim president to re-start the conference UMM. In the last few months, he has carefully handed off each responsibility he held, so that the work of the jurisdiction, the conference, the commission, and his local church would continue after his death.”
A memorial service is scheduled for Oct 28 at the First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg at 11 a.m.