'United Methodist of the Year' to speak in OKC
On Feb. 28, megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton of Kansas will present the 2013 Martha Jean Lemon Special Lectures, free to the public, at two locations in Oklahoma City.
He will speak at both Oklahoma City University and Church of the Servant. The Lemon Lectures are presented annually by OCU.
Rev. Hamilton’s visit is co-sponsored by Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU and Church of the Servant.
The UM Reporter recently honored Hamilton as the 2012 United Methodist of the Year.
Age 48, he is the founding pastor of UM Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, a Kansas City suburb. The church has grown from four people in 1990 to more than 16,000 adult members in 2011, with an average weekly worship attendance above 8,600.
Hamilton has written 13 books and several small-group studies. The best-selling author has seen his work published in 18 languages. In 2012, his total book sales topped 1 million.
Also in 2012, he played a key role in the lead-up to the General Conference. He served as a delegate and primetime speaker there. He’s been a speaker at 26 annual conferences in the last five years.
"Through sermons, addresses, books, videos, and blog posts, the bespectacled pastor may reach more United Methodists than anyone else in the denomination," wrote Sam Hodges, managing editor of the Reporter.
Hamilton grew up in the Kansas City area. He earned degrees from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, and Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
"I have felt, really since my freshman year in college, a call to renewal of The United Methodist Church," Hamilton said. "I have such a strong sense that this church really matters to God and that our approach to the Gospel may be the best hope of reaching a generation of millennials who may be the most un-churched generation."
The rapid growth and innovative methods of the Kansas church he pastors draw considerable attention both in and outside the denomination.
To spread his ideas about church leadership and UMC renewal, Hamilton has created and/or participated in venues such as the Young Pastors’ Network, the Leading Edge gathering of large-church pastors, the Large Church Initiative, and the Leadership Institute.
"If we do all of the right things now, I think 20 years from now we will see the church in a healthy place and having a significant impact for the Kingdom," he said. "I dream and hope and pray that our best days are ahead of us. I’d like to be part of that."
(Portions of this story are reprinted, with permission, from the United Methodist Reporter.)