Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

New specialist expands church's outreach


Ministries with civic youth groups:

Who to contact
in your district:

Scouting/Other Youth Agencies Committee of the Oklahoma Conference

This group supports Scouting Ministries in Oklahoma United Methodist churches: Boy and Girl Scouts, Camp Fire USA, 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters. The committee includes a coordinator in each district, who reports to the district superintendent and serves on the district’s ministries programming entity. Each of the five civic agencies also are represented in the membership.

 Civic representatives:

Boy Scouts: Chip Armishaw, Edmond-New Covenant

Girl Scouts: Jamie Siegal, OKC-Putnam City UMC

Camp Fire USA: Susan Williams, OKC-Quail Springs

Big Brothers Big Sisters: Lynn Connell, OKC-St. Luke’s

4-H: Charles Cox, Stillwater-Eagle Heights Baptist

District coordinators:

Ardmore District: David Walters, Ada-Asbury UMC

Bartlesville District: Tracy Patton, Claremore-First

Clinton District: Jeffrey Short, Weatherford UMC

Enid District: Larry Miller, Enid-First

Lawton District: Charles Watson, Verden UMC

McAlester District: Jim Talbot, McAlester-First

Muskogee District: Chris Ball, Pryor UMC

North OKC District: Susan Williams, Quail Springs UMC

South OKC District: Ron Harshaw, Asbury UMC

Stillwater District: John Phillips, Stillwater-Highland Park

Tulsa District: Robert Newman, Tulsa-First

Woodward District: Don Whitman, Vici and Lenora UMCs


First UMC in Moore has chartered a Boy Scout troop for 70 years, but few people knew much about the troop. And few people were aware the church also sponsors Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and a Venturing Crew.

That changed when Marvin White was named the first Oklahoma Conference Scouting Ministry Specialist.

White provides news for every issue of the church newsletter. "A Note from your Scouting Ministry Specialist" features the accomplishments of the young people active in civic youth-serving groups sponsored through the church.

One recent issue named the Girl Scouts who have advanced, and it applauded the youths who completed their Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (formerly God and Country) studies. Some 25 young people were engaged in one of four programs, and 17 completed at least one study unit.

Moore-First also has a Scouting Ministry display case that includes photographs, awards, ribbons, memorabilia, charter certificates—and a Scout bugle used in 1920. Plaques name the boys who have achieved Eagle Rank since 1965. White hopes to add the names of boys who became Eagle Scouts between 1940 and 1965.

White also is working to secure a Shepherd Church Charter and to help the church and scouting units qualify for the Bishop’s Award of Excellence.

In addition, he is developing prayer partnerships between the Scouts and other groups in the church. This effort began with prayers for Scouts on a 27-mile canoe trip.

He recruits Boy and Girl Scouts to participate in the church’s annual Scout Sunday services.

Moving beyond his own church, White plans to provide information and encouragement to every chartered organization representative from every church in the Oklahoma Conference.

White first became involved in Scouting as a young Cub Scout in a pack chartered by the United Methodist church at Choctaw. He said he’d like to tell people that he walked 10 miles in the snow to an after-school den meeting, but the church actually was only a few blocks from his school, and his home was across the street from the school.

White did not advance beyond the Bobcat badge, but he re-entered Scouting with his son.

Now in his 11th year as an adult Scout leader, he has held many posts, including as an executive officer for a pack, troop quartermaster, and chairman for the Sooner District’s Training and Membership Committee.

Along with his new specialist designation, White serves as the American Society of Safety Engineers representative for the Boy Scout Last Frontier Council’s Risk Management Committee. He continues as charter organization representative for the Scouting groups at Moore-First: Cub Scout Pack 291, Boy Scout Troop 291, and Venturing Crew 291.

White also chairs the new Cub Scout Pack 220 at Cross Timbers UMC, also in Moore, and is district unit commissioner for three other packs.

"Scouting represents the best method of helping the youth of today develop into the leaders of tomorrow," said White. "Scouting Ministry is a great tool to make youth feel a part of something that will help shape them for the rest of their lives."

For information about Scouting Ministry Specialists, contact LaNisha Sayles, lsayles@gcumm.org,  615-620-7260. She is coordinator of Volunteers, General Commission on United Methodist Men.


For their support of children and youths, adults can be honored with United Methodist awards on three levels—church, conference, and nationally—coordinated through the General Commission on United Methodist Men. The Silver Torch Award, a national honor, was given to Judy Benson and Joe Harris at the 2010 Oklahoma Annual Conference. From left, photographed with Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. are Richard Grosshans, Scouting Ministries coordinator; Lay Leader Benson; and Harris, former general secretary of UMMen. Grosshans and Chip Armishaw, right, of Edmond-New Covenant UMC received the Torch Award for their efforts at the Conference level. Armishaw helped establish the Church Relations Committee in the Boy Scouts’ Last Frontier Council.


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