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AC2013 honors dozens with significant conference awards

By Allison Trussell

FLORENCE — The S.C. Conference celebrated its 2013 award winners with a special breakfast ceremony on Tuesday at Annual Conference.

  The winners were honored for their missional, evangelical and connectional service.

  The Commission on Archives and History presented awards to those churches who had centennial or bicentennial celebrations in 2013.

  The centennial churches are Oak Grove UMC, Swansea; Wilkes Chapel UMC, Cheraw; Dunean UMC, Greenville; and Cayce UMC, Cayce.

  Bicentennial churches honored were Nazareth UMC, Saluda; Jerusalem UMC, Elloree; Zion UMC, Prosperity; Mount Elon UMC, Jefferson; and Center UMC, Mullins.

  The commission also offers Herbert Hucks Awards for Historic Preservation and Intepretation. Local churches receiving this award were: Tabernacle UMC, Lancaster; Shandon UMC, Columbia; Pisgah UMC, Aynor; Mountain View UMC, Taylors; Asbury Memorial UMC, Columbia; and Little River UMC, Little River.

  The Individual Hucks Award was given to the Rev. Franklin Buie, a 12-year member of the commission, 6-year chairperson and former president of the Conference Historical Society. Buie is a retired member of the S.C. Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

  The 2013 Publication Award recipient was the Advocate and Michael Wolfe for the book In the World, Not of the World: 175 years of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate. 

  The Bishop s Five-Star Award of Excellence is given to churches who have increased membership, attendance and ministry and who have paid their apportionments in full or by a 25 percent increase over the previous year.

  This year s honorees were: Aaron Temple UMC, Bennettsville; Advent UMC, Simpsonville; Asbury UMC, Lynchburg; Bethel UMC, Columbia; Bethel UMC, St. Stephens; Boone Hill UMC, Summerville; Broad Street UMC, Clinton; Chapin UMC, Chapin; Cherokee Springs UMC, Spartanburg; Clemson UMC, Clemson; Damascus UMC, Kershaw; First UMC, Clover; First UMC, Laurens; Greater St. Paul UMC, Cross; Hemingway First UMC, Hemingway; John Wesley UMC, Charleston; Lake Point UMC, Lake City; Lawrence Chapel UMC, Central; Lebanon UMC, Eastover; Liberty Chapel UMC, Spartanburg; Little River UMC, Little River; Mauldin UMC, Mauldin; Mays UMC, Ninety Six; Mount Carmel UMC, Ninety Six; Mount Zion UMC, Bishopville; New Life UMC, Walterboro; St. James UMC, Myrtle Beach; Shandon UMC, Columbia; St. John UMC, Lynchburg; St. John UMC, Sumter; St. Luke UMC, Walhalla; Surfside UMC, Surfside Beach; Tabernacle UMC, Lancaster; Trenton UMC, Greenwood; Trinity UMC, Greenwood; Trinity Conway UMC, Conway; Wesley UMC, Hartsville; Wesley UMC, Pinopolis; and Wightman UMC, Prosperity.

  The 2013 Francis Asbury Award, given by the Division of Higher Education of The United Methodist Church, was presented to the Rev. Lane Glaze, director of Clemson Wesley and Campus Minister of Clemson UMC.

  Under Glaze s leadership, Clemson Wesley has soared from 20 participants to more than 200 and is in contact with 750 to 800 students each year. Additionally, 50-60 students regularly attend Clemson UMC Sunday services. Fourteen former students have gone on to seminary, with two being ordained elders and one commissioned during this annual conference. Under his direction, the ministry is heavily led by students who frequently participate in national and international mission opportunities; have renovated the Clemson Wesley building; and have benefitted in the ways of servant leadership.

  The Bishop s Award of Excellence was established to recognize congregations and units who extend their ministry to children and youth through scouting.

  The following congregations were honored this year: Stallsville UMC, Summerville, Girl Scout Troop 53, Cub Scout Pack 750 and Boy Scout Troop 750; Red Bank UMC, Red Bank, Girl Scout Troop 2323, Girl Scout Troop 1030, Cub Scout Pack 518 and Boy Scout Troop 518; Shiloh Charge (Asbury and St. John UMCs), Lynchburg, Girl Scout Troop 517; and Trinity UMC, Orangeburg, Cub Scout Pack 190 and Boy Scout Troop 190.

  The Denman Evangelism Award is a national award given annually to one clergyperson and one layperson for responsible evangelism in the local church.  This year, an award was also given to an outstanding youth.

  Davis Crews, a member of Advent UMC, returned from a national youth convocation inspired and convicted to feed the hungry. He became the voice and face of Stop Hunger Now, convincing the district connectional ministries to adopt it as its Great Day of Service. During the Stop Hunger Now event at Annual Conference, he reached his goal of packing 1 million meals.

  Kit Adkins, a member of Main Street UMC, Greenwood, actively seeks to help all persons experience the transforming love through Jesus Christ,  wrote Marilyn Murphy in her nomination of Adkins. She works with ministries involved in a woman s prison, a crisis center, community garden, food pantry, Bible club for children and outreach for the disabled. She is a natural leader with Main Street s prayer ministry and has participated in international and national mission trips.

  Dr. Robert J. Howell Jr., Bethany UMC, Summerville, is the clergy recipient of the Denman Awar
d. He s been in ministry for 35 years, with the last 15 at Bethany, and he endeavors to bring as many as possible to a closer relationship with Christ. However, his work doesn t stop with the laity. His leadership in The Wesley Fellowship, a group of committed, faithful pastors, has helped the group reclaim and renew the Church for its future.

  The T. Dennie Smith Scholarship was created to assist any young man or woman ¦ who intend(ed) to devote their lives to the ministry in the Methodist Church.  Three of these scholarships were awarded this year: Brian Edward Preveaux, a student at Hood Theological Seminary; Timothy Soucy, also a student at Hood Theological Seminary; and Sheri Yvette White, a student at Hood Theological Seminary.

  The S.C. Conference Seminary Students Scholarship was established in 1991 to assist students from South Carolina. This year s recipients are: William Wallace Culp, a member of Lee Road UMC, Taylors, and a student at Wesley Theological Seminary; Elizabeth Adams Murray, a member of Whaley Street UMC, Columbia, and a student at Duke Divinity School; and James Derrick Cattenhead, a student at Gammon Theological Seminary and pastor of Mount Zion UMC, Timmonsville.

  The Bessie Bellamy Parker Memorial Scholarship was created in honor of Rev. Parker, the first woman to be ordained in the former 1785 S.C. Conference. This year the award went to Rhonda Penelope Jones, a student at Gammon Theological Seminary and member of Buckhead UMC, Ruffin.

  Students in Mission encourages young people to learn about the mission of the church by working as summer missionaries at various sites across South Carolina.

  This year s SIM workers going to Rural Mission Inc. are Alice Griffeth, member of Aldersgate UMC, Greenville; Erica Lowery, member of Grayson UMC, Grayson, Ga.; and Antonio Martin, member of Winthrop Wesley. Those going to Camp Providence are Javon Etheredge, Francis Burns UMC, Columbia; Keifer Whitt, New Hope UMC, Anderson; Jennifer Hall, Cayce UMC, Cayce; and Sean Thrasher, New Hope UMC, Anderson. Octavio Goio, a student from the Methodist Student Network at the University of South Carolina, will serve at Epworth Children s Home and the Washington Street Soup Cellar, both in Columbia.

  The 2013 recipient of the Joseph B. Bethea Award is Willie McLaughlin. Affectionately known as Mr. Mac, he is a member of Trinity UMC, Greenwood, where he serves as superintendent of Sunday school and is the lay member and delegate to the Annual Conference. He is known through his city and community for his dedication and service.

  Despite poor eyesight, Sonya Floyd has been the unofficial missions committee at New Beginnings UMC, Boiling Springs, for the past three years years. She is the winner of the 2013 Michael C. Watson United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Award. She has coordinated major food drives, worked to make Imagine No Malaria, Divine Holistic Ministries and the Heifer Project successful Lenten projects, coordinated Christmases for 97 children and food for their families, and many other outreach efforts. She believes her heart for missions comes from the support and encouragement she has received from her church families.

  The Barbara Boultinghouse Bridgebuilders Award is given to the one person or organization who has built bridges of understanding by promoting the equity and inclusiveness of all persons, without regard to race, gender, age, handicap or economic condition. 

This year s recipient is Henry Brunson, a member of Latta UMC, Latta. From a bulletin board posting asking for financial help, a mission was born. Cooks for Christ has cooked many a chicken bog to raise money, first for paper mill employees and then at various churches and now regularly at the West Florence Fire Department. Cooks for Christ holds seven events each year, is set up to accommodate as many as 6,500-plus plates and has raised as much as $51,000 in one benefit.

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