4 excel in evangelism
Four people received the Harry Denman Evangelism Award at the 2017 Oklahoma Annual Conference.
A program of The Foundation for Evangelism, this award honors United Methodists in each annual conference.
Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings, impacts and engages all generations, and requires relationship among a variety of people. What distinguishes a Denman award recipient is commitment to consistently introduce others to the good news of Jesus Christ in all ministry settings.
• Youth winner: Kailee McCrary, Abiding Harvest UMC, Broken Arrow
Kailee, a senior at Broken Arrow High School, has been described by those who know and love her as one who has a "missionary mindset and an evangelistic heart."
As a direct result of her witness, 11 students now take part regularly in the church’s youth group and half of her high school golf team has attended that group.
Kailee invites friends to church and camp every year, knowing that the benefit of it all is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
She is a true friend to those beyond her immediate circle of peers as well as within that circle, and she always keeps the door open to invite in new friends. She also welcomes and visits with youth group newcomers in spreading the good news of the Gospel.
• Laity winners: Don and Nancy Whittaker, Madill-First UMC
Don and Nancy have been actively living out an attitude of evangelism in Madill for 47 years. Their uncommon nomination for this award as a couple is based on ministry so entwined that it’s impossible to distinguish where each one’s ministry begins or ends.
Their evangelism encompasses facilitating worship at Bridgeview Resort’s campgrounds for neighbors and visitors who otherwise would not have that opportunity. They practice an inclusive attitude in their outreach of caring for nursing home residents and hosting a monthly service/visitation at one such facility in Madill.
They open their home and often Don’s workshop as a gathering place for United Methodist Men to do service projects. They support community outreach with their involvement in "Dad-n-Me Reading Night" and are active in the Emmaus community.
These everyday evangelists participate in smaller-scale missions and are peacemakers within the community as they seek to carry Christ to those in need.
• Clergy winner: Rev. Tiffany Nagel Monroe
Tiffany was nominated by those who love her "evangelical enthusiasm" and willingness to serve others. As the Holy Spirit guided her recent leadership of Calumet and Red Rock United Methodist Churches, through innovation, visitation, and evangelism they have grown in attendance and professions of faith.
Her efforts were crucial as they launched Cal’s Service Station and Youthiversity, two after-school programs that grew quickly and met community needs. During the recent school year, attendance was 88 youngsters at Cal’s on Wednesday afternoons, and Youthiversity served 45 youths.
In 2016, the Calumet congregation grew by 37 people, with five professions of faith. Red Rock has grown also, to 180 in average attendance and six professions of faith in 2016, compared to an average of 58 the previous year. This is evidence of gospel hospitality and evangelism that has created an attractive place for people to grow spiritually.
Submit a nomination: www.okumc.org/DenmanAward.
The lay people who received Denman Awards are Nancy and Don Whittaker, left, and Kailee McCrary, accepting thanks from Bishop Jimmy Nunn. Not shown is clergy recipient Tiffany Nagel Monroe.