Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Circle of Care honors two outstanding laity


From left, Lynn Brack presents the Heart of Ministry Award to state Rep. Harold Wright, former chairman of the board of Circle of Care, during the agency’s annual Friends of Children banquet in April at OKC-Church of the Servant. Also honored with the Heart of Ministry Award was the late Sandy Matthews; in second photo are Will and Patti Matthews, accepting the award from Circle of Care Board Chairperson Lissa Wright, right.

Photos by Tod Bryant

The United Methodist Circle of Care recently presented the 2012 Heart of Ministry Awards to Harold Wright and the late Sandy Matthews.

The honorees were announced during the annual Friends of Children fundraising banquet, on April 12 at OKC-Church of the Servant.

Weatherford Pastor Lynn Brack introduced state Rep. Wright, who is a member of that church. Rev. Brack described Wright’s extensive contributions to the agency that serves at-risk children and youths.

"He oversaw the almost complete rebuilding of the Children’s Home and the Boys Ranch," Brack said. "He was also instrumental in the development of the Holsinger Home in Enid and the development of the Child SHARE foster-care support program across the state." And he chaired the agency Board of Directors for eight years.

In 2010, OKCare honored Wright as Legislator of the Year for his concern and initiative to protect all children and youths and to strengthen families.

Wright also has given outstanding leadership at Weatherford-First, Brack said.

Circle of Care’s board chairperson, Lissa Wright, said Matthews "truly had a heart for ministry. He was an advocate for children in his work life and in many other ways. I am very proud to recognize the man and his career. We miss him." 

She continued, "Sandy worked for DHS for 30 years, working with those with developmental disabilities. He was an advocate for the Holsinger Home and provided leadership in that community through Enid-First UMC. He was active in his church’s youth program as a leader. He was active in Scouting."

Matthews served on the agency’s Board of Directors and chaired its Staff Relations Committee. He died July 15, 2010.

The Heart of Ministry Award is named for Rev. Burrel and JoAnn McNaught, longtime supporters of the Circle of Care, explained Robert Gorrell, senior pastor at Church of the Servant. Burrel is a retired Oklahoma pastor and district superintendent, and JoAnn’s service to the Church includes her work as Conference treasurer.

Previous award recipients include John Crooch, Rena Ellis, and Charles Wells.


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