Denman Awards Recognize Evangelism in Clergy, Laity and Youth
June 23, 2019
The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
WNCC Denman Recipient: Youth
Torey Haynes has participated in transforming evangelism since 2016, but his most recent efforts have been particularly impactful. Haynes is active in campus ministry at Shaw University, a President’s Chapel Program Representative, and a White House initiative on Historical Black Colleges Scholar. As a member of Rock Hill UMC, Haynes received a Fresh Expressions grant to gather young men and women in his community for a summer series that built relationships and started conversations about faith by exploring their natural and divine gifts. In addition, he helped plan three children and youth revivals. The campus ministry that Haynes serves as president saw 50 students start a journey with Jesus this year. Haynes has a natural ability to build trust with others. This trust allows him to introduce others to Christ’s love.
WNCC Denman Recipient: Clergy
Rev. Lynda Ferguson reaches across all boundaries to reach people for Christ. Everyone who walks through the doors of First UMC, Asheboro feels welcomed and included. She is an advocate for those on the margins, working with those who are homeless, often meeting them on the street. In this work, she has built friendships across the socioeconomic divide. Ferguson has helped create an environment at FUMC Asheboro that exemplifies love and acceptance. Under her leadership, First UMC has started a fourth weekly worship service on Monday nights, geared specifically to neighbors who are unhoused that includes a meal and worship. Pastor Ferguson not only exemplifies innovative evangelism, but has inspired her congregation to join her.
WNCC Denman Recipient: Laity
Laurie Little began in youth ministry at Matthews UMC in 1992 as a volunteer. When she retired from youth ministry 27 years later, she was leading seven full time staff, 75 volunteers and 300 youth gathered every Sunday night. With her husband Tommy, Little extended evangelistic hospitality over the years, by hosting 1500 meals in their home involving 25,000 people. Today Little leads Rainbow Express Ministries, a community offering children with and without disabilities the opportunity to share their gifts, build friendships and serve others. When people experience Laurie Little, they experience the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Lynda Ferguson
photos by Rev. Earl Bradshaw