2020 Annual Conference Awards Recipients

August 4, 2020

By: Melissa McGill, Conference Director of Communications

Each year during Annual Conference, we recognize outstanding lay and clergy leaders with the presentations of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the Francis Asbury Award. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 awards were presented by Zoom webinar on Monday, August 4.

Through the Harry Denman Evangelism Award, Annual Conferences and the Foundation for Evangelism recognize one clergy and one lay person in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
Rev. Susan Suarez Webster is the 2020 clergy recipient. Rev. Suarez
Webster serves as the associate pastor of Guilford College United Methodist Church and is an active leader of the conference Hispanic/Latino Caucus, part of the Justice and Reconciliation team. Previously, she served at Central United Methodist in Charlotte where she was involved in enhancing the church’s Latinx ministries and establishing a bilingual preschool. Rev. Suarez Webster was featured on the Means of Grace podcast earlier this year when she also received the Mecklenburg Ministries Sydnor Thompson, Jr. award. Listen to her conversation with Director of Communications Melissa McGill here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Mr. Royce Reynolds received the 2020 laity award posthumously. Rev. David Snipes, president and CEO of the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, accepted the award on his behalf. A faithful United Methodist, Mr. Reynolds has made significant impact on clergy in our conference through Reynolds Ministry grants, leadership training and more through the United Methodist Foundation. Ken Garfield shares more about Mr. Reynolds lasting legacy here.

The Francis Asbury Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference level. It is awarded annually to one honoree per annual conference. Named for early-American Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury, this award honors his call to establish a school in the vicinity of every church. “We must,” he said, “...give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages."
The 2020 recipient of the Francis Asbury Award is Dr. Dennis Carroll. A product of a United Methodist education himself, Dr. Carroll has spent much of his career at High Point University, most recently as provost from 2005 until his recent retirement in June. He is a faithful member of Jamestown United Methodist Church in the Northern Piedmont District and continues to be involved in many United Methodist boards and committees, including the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. Read more about Dr. Carroll’s dedication to United Methodist higher education in this profile by Melissa McGill.