Order of the Long Leaf Pine Presented to Rev. Joe Ervin

May 8, 2015

Joe Ervin [This article appeared in the Lincoln Times-News on May 4, 2015.  Writer/Photographer: Phil Perry]

Pastor recognized for humanitarian work through state’s highest honor

The Order of The Long Leaf Pine Society recognizes North Carolinians who demonstrate exemplary service or make exceptional contributions to the state or their communities. It is the most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a citizen of North Carolina. Reverend Joe Lane Ervin is now a member of this distinguished roster. He was presented the award by North Carolina Rep. Jason Saine during a church service at Boger City United Methodist Church on April 26. “I was in shock, to be honest,” Ervin said. “I was at a loss for words.” The honor was kept a secret for months prior to the ceremony. “I never dreamed of such an honor,” Ervin said. “I accepted it on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who gave of their time and resources over the years for the betterment of others.” Ervin, 85, was born in Asheville and raised in a Methodist parsonage. He finished high school in Charlotte. He has spent 26 years of his life in Lincoln County and has a special bond with the community. He is married to Rosalyn Morris and he has two daughters and an adopted son — Susan Michael, Alice Lane Garaas and James Michael Pittman. “I have made some wonderful friends in Lincoln County,” Ervin said. “Those friendships have lasted a lifetime and I cherish them.” From 1967-1983 Ervin served as minister at Boger City United Methodist Church. “Those were 16 of the best years of my life,” Ervin said. “When I left, the bishop asked me about building ethnic minority churches based on the work I had already done.” Ervin took two months to confide in his closest friends and to pray about the proposal. In the end, he came to a conclusion and realized something about himself that he may not have previously known. “I determined that I was a people person,” Ervin said. “While I enjoy buildings, I have never had one wrap its arms around me and tell me they love me.”

Within North Carolina, Ervin has helped erect churches from northeast of Greensboro to Murphy, within the bounds of the church’s conference. Many of those churches were minority churches. He has also helped build churches in Tennessee and Louisiana.

Read the entire article at the Lincoln Times-News


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A Summons to Witness, Protest, and Promise

We give thanks for this Summons to Witness, Protest and Promise written by the cabinet of the North Carolina Conference.  In our ongoing collaboration, we affirm these words alongside them.  Across our state, we invite all United Methodists to be a part of building “the new world God promises as heaven in time descends to earth.” (Revelation 21)

A Summons to Witness, Protest, & Promise

We, United Methodists in The Western North Carolina Conference, join our voices with The North Carolina Conference in witness, protest and promise in these times of violence against our Black brothers and sisters.

We believe. . .

We believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed poured out upon all people.
We believe that in baptism, we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation, and commissioned to resist evil, injustice and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.
We believe that God’s intent for humanity is community, compassion, and holiness, and that justice has been marred by the history of enslavement and racism.
We believe that repentance is urgent for the historic and ongoing violence against Black girls and boys, men and women.
We believe that in the wounding of Black bodies we see Christ crucified.
We believe that those who have been steeped in white privilege, through repentance, can be transformed into humble servants of the living God.
We believe we are called to work for the day when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

We protest. . .
We protest violent murders of Black men and women, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
We protest the narratives of fear and suspicion that divide people from one another.
We protest our historic failure to ensure all our churches are places of hospitality, welcome, and belonging for our Black brothers and sisters.
We protest the historic and continuing suppression of voting and other basic rights.
We protest all incendiary public leadership in this time of crisis and turmoil.
We protest the lack of will in our communities, our state and our country to protect the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, and especially the most vulnerable, the young and the old.

We promise. . .
We promise to use our voices, resources and power to dismantle white privilege and racist systems, especially within our own United Methodist Church.
We promise to read the Scripture with ear and eye attentive to the continued call toward God’s will for all people.
We promise to exercise the right to vote and to work against voter suppression.
We promise to create around ourselves at all times hospitable space for all people.
We promise to name prejudice when we see it and to receive the correction of others who see prejudice in us.
We promise to be life-long learners, to constantly make adjustments in the way we use our power and influence, to be active participants in the building of the beloved community, and ultimately growing always in holiness toward the perfection we see in Christ.


Bishop Paul Leeland
Laura Auten
Carl Arrington
Michael Bailey
David Christy
Amy Coles
Bev Coppley
Beth Crissman
Otto Harris
David Hockett
Kim Ingram
Linda Kelly
Mark King
Melissa McGill
Samuel Moore, Jr.
Dan Pezet
Mark Ralls
David Snipes
Caroline Wood
Jane Wood

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Tim Russell
Edie Gleaves
Ray Broadwell
Gil Wise
Gray Southern
Mike Frese
Kenneth Locklear
Randy Innes
Linda Taylor
Dena White
Tara Lain
Ismael Ruiz-Millan
Jon Strother
Beth Hood
Lisa Yebuah
Greg Moore
Steve Taylor

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