Annual Conference 2012, like most of the 145 previous gatherings, was a flurry of activity. For three-plus days the members and guests of the Annual Conference gathered for inspiring, meaningful and soulful worship, fascinating and thought-provoking teachings and to conduct the business of the conference. And, as if that wasn’t enough to keep the minds, hearts and souls of the conference focused on our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, there were also myriad opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate the ministries and missions of the conference.
While many of the ministries and works that were celebrated recognized the collective works of the people of the Central Texas Conference, there were a few special awards and acknowledgments that were bestowed on individuals who were recognized for going above and beyond even the highest of high standards that is commonplace for the membership of the CTC. Those awards were…
The Harry Denman Evangelism Award – This award recognizes those members of the conference, clergy and laity alike, whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. This year’s clergy award was presented to Denise Bell-Blakely, pastor, Mt. Zion/Perry Chapel UMC, and the laity award went to Seth William Locke, youth member, DeLeon First UMC.
Before announcing Rev. Bell-Blakely [photo left with Bishop Lowry] as the clergy Denman Award winner, Rev. Gary Lindley, executive director, CTC Center for Evangelism & Church Growth, read a few of the comments that were sent in by those nominating her for the honor. “Denise has the heart of Christ, always seeking to share the Good News of Christ with all she meets,” read Gary. “As pastor of Mt. Zion/Perry Chapel, she has led the church by word and example to embrace the call to evangelism. Denise really lives the Great Commission.”
“Seth in no one to just talk about his faith, he lives it.” These were just a few of the words read by Rev. Lindley as he introduced Seth Locke [photo right after receiving the award from Bishop Lowry] as the laity recipient of the Denman Award. “Seth is a proven leader and active in his community,” Gary continued. ]Seth’s young but impressive resume includes working on the Community Rehab Team – a joint project between Comanche and DeLeon UMCs; National Honor Society treasurer; Theatre Club vice-president; letterman in football and track; and award-winning actor in UIL One-Act Play competitions.
The Morris Walker Award
– This award is given by the Conference Board of Laity to those who demonstrate "above and beyond" service to their local church, community and conference. This year’s recipient was Bliss Dodd, a member of First Fort Worth UMC,
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The Conference Merit Award
– The Merit Award is conferred on a student that is moving on to a United Methodist affiliated school. Forrest Stanley-Stevens of First Stephenville UMC was the 2012 Merit Award winner.
Forrest [photos to the right] is a graduate of Stephenville High School where he was drum major and band president. He plays the clarinet and saxophone. Forrest was a youth delegate to Annual Conference for the past two years, serves on the conference Student Leadership team and was president of the Brownwood District Youth. He has also won UIL writing awards and band honors. Forrest plans to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown this autumn.
Bishop’s Excellence in Preaching Award
– The third annual Bishop’s Excellence in Preaching Award was presented to Rev. Quinton J. Gibson, senior pastor, St. James UMC, Temple, Texas.
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Board of Ordained Ministry Scholarships – The Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) announced eight scholarship winners during Annual Conference 2012.
- Board of Ordained Ministry in Honor of Those Retiring – Clint Jones
- Board of Ordained Ministry in Honor of Gil Ferrell – Tina Schramme
- Guy E. & Ama L. Perdue Fund – Chris Reyes
- Avinelle McWhirter Ogle Fund – Cynthia Moss
- Drummond Fund (provided by FUMC Waxahachie) – Carlos Careaga
- Sowell Fund for Women – Marilyn Jones
- Arborlawn UMC – Alex Latu
- John W. Elliott, Sr. Memorial – Fred Bates, Jr.
Please join us in congratulating all those named above and thanking them for their outstanding service and dedication to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.