The 2013 Alabama–West Florida Annual Conference was held June 2-5 in Mobile, AL, with the theme, “The Great Commission: Seeking Disciples.” Bishop Paul L. Leeland, presiding over his fifth annual conference session since becoming the resident bishop, welcomed clergy and lay members to Christ UMC in Mobile.
Prior to this year’s conference, Bishop Leeland urged the churches of the conference to receive a special offering for Hurricane Sandy Relief. The people of the AWF Conference responded by contributing over $46,000. The offering collected at the ordination and commissioning service for the Ministerial Education Fund collected close to $2,500. A special offering for the Oklahoma tornado survivors was collected on Wednesday. Over $6,500 was generously donated.
One deacon in full connection and seven elders in full connection were ordained and two provisional deacons and five provisional elders were commissioned on the evening of June 3 at Dauphin Way UMC. One associate member was also presented. Prior to the start of the service, the chancel choir, brass quintet and men's ensemble of Dauphin Way UMC presented worshipful music led by John Ricketts.
During his Episcopal address, Bishop Leeland acknowledged the clergy of our conference by having them stand and mentioned the sacrifices and stress often not seen by others. He expressed a moment of gratitude for starting eleven new churches within our conference and informed the congregation that the conference was starting a full-time, African American church in the coming year. As part of his address he invited Brandy Cole, wife of Rev. Dunford Cole, to lead the conference in a Service of Repentance and Reconciliation for Native Americans.
Over 500 people were the hands and hearts of Christ in the City of Mobile as a part of 2013 Mission Day. A total of over 1,500 combined volunteer hours were spent on 20 projects. This effort was led by Susan Hunt, AWF Director of Mission & Advocacy. Close to 1,500 UMCOR relief kits were assembled as part of this day and will be sent to the warehouse for immediate use.
Dr. Lawson Bryan reported on the Apportionment Task Force that met to determine the fairness of the current formula (75% is financial strength and 25% is membership). They studied the other conferences within the Southeastern Jurisdiction as a comparison.The recommendation is to continue use of the formula as a fair calculation. Dr. Wesley Wachob reported on the task force that met to determine the salaries of district superintendents. They took the average top 25 clergy salaries (excluding district superintendents and conference staff) and made that the salary of the district superintendent, which is $113, 637. The old formula took the top three salaries in each district. Dr. Robbins Sims reported a 4.28% increase in conference apportionments.
The conference established an $11.109 million budget for mission and ministry for 2014, level with 2013.
Membership stands at 145,049, down 1 % from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 65,781, up 1%. Church school attendance stands at 26,830, down 5%. Covenant discipleship groups stand at 8,553, down 8%. Two areas that showed increases were Participants in Christian Formation Groups and Number of Persons Baptized; 70,042, 7% increase and 2,154, 9% increase, respectively.
The clergy appointments for 2013-2014 may be found online here.
The 2014 session of the AWF Annual Conference will be held June 1-4, 2014, at Frazer Memorial UMC. Montgomery First United Methodist Church will host the Ordination Service. We express our sincere appreciation to the Christ United Methodist Church Leadership Team and Rev. Jeff Spiller for their hospitality during this year's annual conference.
The Mobile District is pleased to announce the QuadW Foundation’s continued and expanded support of local mission work in our area as well as providing for the expansion of the QuadW Missional Internship program. Specifically, the grant funds:
- Staff support and stipends for up to 28 college-aged interns each summer for the next five years. These interns serve God in Mobile’s inner city communities, live in Christian community, and are trained as missional leaders.
- Expansion of the QuadW Missional Internship to Kansas City, Kansas in 2013. This represents the first expansion of the internship outside of Mobile. Funding is for up to twelve interns.
- Support for a cooperative effort between the General Board of Global Missions and the Mobile District to pilot new approaches in Young Adult Missions programs. As part of this effort, the district requested and received three GBGM missionaries– Deborah Strausbaugh, and Ash and Stephanie Norton. The pilot program incorporates the components of the existing internship for college students.
- Salary for Rev. Don Woolley to serve as Director of QuadW. He is charged with expanding the QuadW Missional Internship to additional cities, while coordinating local mission work in the Mobile District and overseeing the work of local GBGM Young Adult Missionaries.
The money is specifically granted to “Open Doors – United Methodists on Mission” – a 501c3 recently established under the oversight of the Mobile District’s Board of Mission and Church Extension. The mission of Open Doors is to “fully engage United Methodists in expressing God’s love by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through holistic ministries that transform our communities.” Our district is excited about the creative ministries fostered by Open Doors both in support of existing agencies and to launch new initiatives.
Finally, we are very grateful that the QuadW Foundation granted our request to rename the internship in honor of Willie Tichenor, who died of osteosarcoma on March 15, 2006 at age 19. The QuadW Foundation itself was established to carry on Willie’s desire to make positive changes in the world around him, and the question “What Would Willie Want?” guides the Foundation’s work. We encourage you to see www.quadw.org to learn more about Willie, QuadW, and the incredible efforts they support. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to partner with them in this God-honoring, Kingdom expanding work!
EF-4 is the designation used to describe a storm whose winds reach 200 miles an hour. Yesterday, May 20, 2013, such a storm devastated Oklahoma. This will be an epic disaster, a tornado that at one point was two miles wide, scorched twenty miles in length, and continued for at least 45 minutes.
What has happened is hard to put into words. It is truly an unspeakable, horrific, tragedy. We are once again thrust into a nightmare where the natural forces of nature remind us how vulnerable we really are. The pictures themselves are a shock to our senses, creating a surreal picture of life the day after EF-4.
The exact number of deaths and those who were injured by this storm will be determined by the officials. As of Monday evening, news services report 51 deaths, at least 20 of them children. Now it becomes urgent for trained personnel to get into these areas. Families looking for family, hoping against hope.
In this storm we can see our fears – it is possible to literally lose everything. Nothing is left. Still, we live in anticipation some will be rescued.
Now is the time:
To offer prayers
Wait for the shock to wear off
Give thanks for those with special training for search, rescue, and recovery
Begin the clean-up of massive debris.
When we are in shock and grief it is difficult to hear the words of God’s Presence and Love. We must act out of Christian compassion first, remembering God is present with us no matter how horrific our circumstances. In time we pray others will see God’s compassion through our spontaneous response. A special account is available for immediate gifts. You may send to our conference office or directly to UMCOR.
Alabama-West Florida Conference
100 Interstate Park, Suite 106
Montgomery, AL 36109
(please label checks for UMCOR Oklahoma disaster)
Or, you may make a direct donation to UMCOR by using this link. 100% of your donation goes to those in need.
Now, let the Church come forward with deep compassion to manifest the deep love of the God, the God who also suffered and died that we might have life. Our feeble efforts, joined with thousands of others, will emerge as the signs of hope and new life.
One young girl, speaking to MSNBC News Service, said, “I had to hold onto a wall to keep me safe.” Let us send Oklahoma “Walls of Love” through our support.
When we are in shock and grief we cannot find the words that need to be spoken; we have no voice; we cannot pray. This week, many families will gather in our churches, sharing relationships with those who live in Oklahoma. They will look to us as their minister to express the words they need to hear. With no words, no voice, and uncertainty, we allow the Church to pray in our place. Here is my prayer:
“O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home!
Under the shadow of thy throne, still may we dwell secure; sufficient is thine arm alone, and our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame, from everlasting, thou art God, to endless years the same.
A thousand ages, in thy sight, are like an evening gone; short as the watch that ends the night, before the rising sun.
Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come; be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.” UMH 117.
Bishop Paul L. Leeland
Alabama-West Florida Conference
The United Methodist Church
By Maidstone Mulenga*
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Alabama Rural Ministry, a volunteer ministry of the Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church, was honored April 25 with 13 other groups as one of America's top volunteer organizations.
During the annual Make A Difference Day Awards luncheon at Carnegie Library in Washington, the members of Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM) were hailed for "putting their faith into action" for orchestrating the work of 72 volunteers in dozen of projects in Tuskegee, 28 miles away from its headquarters.
Make A Difference Day, created by USA Weekend, is a national day of helping others, and it is observed on the fourth Saturday of every October. The honorees each received a $10,000 donation from Newman's Own to continue their good work.
For its projects, the Opelika-based ministry rallied volunteers to make home repairs for the disabled, sanding walls for a historic church, cleaning a park, entertaining nursing home residents and helping launch a food bank. ARM was also saluted for getting 40 fraternity brothers from Auburn University's FIJI House to continue the home repairs for the disabled.
After accepting the honor, ARM founder and director Lisa Pierce said she was humbled and excited, noting that the group plans to share some of the funds with the Wesley Foundations at colleges and institutions in the conference.
“We hope to get more volunteers to help serve in the spirit of our Lord and Savior,” she said. Volunteering “was a great way to partner with communities in which we live and serve,” she added.
Pierce was accompanied by the Rev. Sheila Bates, Tuskegee University Wesley Foundation director, and Jennifer M. Chambliss, the ministry’s board chair.
Bates noted that the work of ARM was a celebration of the connectionalism of The United Methodist Church, adding that “John Wesley set up the connectionalism as a pattern to get people together to impact God’s Kingdom.”
Chambliss said most of the ministry’s volunteers were young adults and students, a clear indication that “our youth value the importance of doing work for other people and having an impact on their lives.”
Earlier, actor and best-selling author Tony Danza saluted the volunteers, telling them they were an example of how to truly work for a better America.
“The honorees give me hope … they give me hope to keep believing that in spite of our many differences, we are all in this together,” said Danza, who was the keynote speaker.
Danza noted that his experience as a teacher in a Philadelphia public school had opened his eyes to the challenges that the country was facing in providing for a better future for all of its citizens.
He said the motto of America — which he said was missing from the lives the youth and some of the adults — is crucial for the work of the volunteers. “It is E pluribus unum, it’s Latin for ‘Out of many, one’ … we don’t talk about it any more.”
But Danza said that was the message he was getting from those who were being honored for their volunteer work and for being selfless in their efforts.
“We all do better when we all do better,” he said. “If we have the ability to help other Americans who are not as fortunate as us, we should give of ourselves.”
Building awareness of poverty
Pierce and Bates echoed Danza’s words, emphasizing the need for more of God’s people to give of themselves in service to those who may feel less blessed.
Pierce said the Make A Difference Day efforts are growing each year and have become a focal point of Poverty Awareness Week. This is the week when Pierce makes her home in a streetside shanty to dramatize the living conditions of impoverished rural residents. October’s campaign raised $31,000 to apply toward the 130 homes on the organization’s waiting list.
The work of Alabama Rural Ministry (GCFA Advance #721001) was featured in USA Weekend, a Sunday insert for about 800 newspapers around the country.
The other honorees for Make A Difference Day were:
• The Sundial Men’s Club, Sun City, Ariz.
• National Assistance League, Burbank, Calif.
• Wen Marcec, Geneva, Ill.
• Lions Club – District 22-W, Thurmont, Md.
• FIRST Robotics Competition, Teams 340 and 1511, Rochester, N.Y.
• C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H.
• Nick Lowinger, Cranston, R.I.
• Shaquawana Wester, Cookeville, Tenn.
• Operation Lorax, Ellensburg, Wash.
City Award honorees were:
• Fremont, Calif.
• Albuquerque, N.M.
• Kettering, Ohio
The All-Star Award winner was Melbourne Central Catholic High, St. Joseph Catholic School, West Shore Junior/Senior High, Lake Washington Fellowship, Melbourne and Palm Bay, Fla.
* Mulenga is in charge of global and electronic affairs at the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He can be reached at email@example.com or 410-309-3425.
News media contact: Joey Butler, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Susan Hunt) - Churches frequently ask me for ideas on how to reach out into their local community. I am becoming more and more convinced that one of the best ways our churches can reach out is through the local schools. Many public schools are seeing lower test scores, inadequate staffing, decreased funding, and overall decline. Parents work two and three jobs and cannot spend the time at the school during the day like my own mother did.
The quality of education for all children affects us all, and should concern us all. While it is an urban myth that US prison planners use third-grade reading scores to predict future inmate populations, studies do show that a student who cannot read on grade level by 3rd grade is much less likely to graduate by age 19. In turn, too many high school dropouts do end up in jail or juvenile detention.* **
Isn’t being salt and light to the world part of our calling as a Church? What better place to start than in the schools! It is a great way to show a loving presence to children – to show that someone cares for them and they are not forgotten.
I saw firsthand the positive effect a church can have in a local school when I was working in Oklahoma a few years ago. My church went into partnership with a lower-income public elementary school. Volunteers were mentors and tutors, and classroom and test monitors. Other volunteers helped improve the school building itself with painting, light construction/repair work, landscaping, and more. Church members donated school supplies and equipment and some uniforms. Our volunteers went before the school board to request they address a leaky roof that had been neglected and was creating safety concerns. They found a small grant to purchase a special science experiment. Volunteers provided homeroom parties with treats on special holidays. We invited the teachers to attend a worship service at our church early in the school year in which they were prayed for. The list can go on and on.
Our volunteers didn’t hold religious services, or compel any of the children to attend church. The church was careful not to violate any of the issues related to the separation of church and state. But the volunteers were not shy about who they represented. It was clear they shared their love with the students and faculty and loved unconditionally just as Jesus did.
The volunteers were fondly known as the “church people” by the students. When the volunteers would arrive to help tutor, monitor a test, or bring cupcakes for a homeroom party, the children were always excited and happy to see the smiling and loving faces of these special “church people”. What a positive image they had of our volunteers, who were quick with a hug and a smile or an encouraging word, which in turn gave them such a positive image of Jesus Christ and the Church.
And the prayers – oh, the prayers. Each child and adult in that school was prayed for by name every day by a member of our church. The die-cut figurine with the first name of the child I was praying for still remains in my Bible, even these many years later. This may have been the most impactful part of the ministry.
In the three years our church partnered with that school, it became one of the most improved schools in the state. It showed an incredible turnaround with test scores, attendance, and many other markers. In fact, because of the great improvement in the school, it received special recognition and each teacher was awarded a substantial gift card from the state to purchase supplies for their classroom.
So instead of being frustrated at how so many of our public schools are struggling, let’s do something about it together and share the love of Jesus at the same time. Find a way for your church to partner with a local school. Ask your neighboring churches to join you. Your methods may not be all the same as my church in Oklahoma used; needs and opportunities to serve vary from school to school. A good place to start when developing new partnerships is for the church to simply ask, “How can we serve you?” I’m sure the school’s number one need is prayer!
(Montgomery, AL) - Bishop Paul L. Leeland announces that Dr. Doug Pennington has been appointed as the District Superintendent of the Mobile District of the Alabama-West Florida (AWF) Conference, effective July 1, 2013.
Currently serving as the senior pastor of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church of Lynn Haven, Florida, Pennington was ordained as an elder in the AWF Conference in 1984. Pennington’s previous appointments in the conference include pastor at Grand Bay FUMC, conference evangelist, and pastor at St. Paul UMC Midway. He was also a reserve delegate to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
“We are excited to announce Doug to our conference cabinet. He has been a fruitful and effective leader on the local church and conference levels and will be an outstanding addition to our cabinet and the Mobile District,” Leeland stated.
Pennington is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and Asbury Theological Seminary and also did post-graduate studies at the University of Florida and Carolina University of Theology. He and his wife, Sandy, have been married for 36 years and have two children, Lindsay and Nate. They are the proud grandparents to three grandchildren with one on the way.
Rev. Tonya Elmore, current Mobile District Superintendent, has faithfully served six years on the cabinet. “Tonya has been such a blessing and a devoted leader to the Mobile District and the conference cabinet. I know you will join me in thanking her for her dedication. We celebrate her ministry and acknowledge her desire to be appointed to a congregation within our conference,” said Leeland. Rev. Elmore’s appointment will be announced at a later date.
For more information about the AWF Conference, visit www.awfumc.org.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church (Montgomery) will host an AARP Driving Course on Saturday, June 22, 2013 beginning at 9am. The course will be held in room 22.
Cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-AARP members. This course is open to the public.
Call the church office 334.272.6152 to register.
The last Sunday of current appointments will be Sunday, June 23, 2013.
For more information, please contact the Episcopal Office 334.277.1787.
The third Sunday following the adjournment of Annual Conference shall be the last Sunday of pastoral responsibility for each conference year. The official moving day will be Tuesday, June 25, 2013 and may be adjusted according to the needs and concerns worked out in consultation with the clergy persons, the churches and approved by the District Superintendent.
For more information please contact Frank Dunnewind 1.888.873.3127.
International Leadership Institute (ILI) Regional Conference will be held June 27-29, 2013 at St. James United Methodist Church.
The International Leadership Institute accelerates the spread of the Gospel around the world by training and mobilizing leaders of leaders to reach their nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The training introduces eight core values (see below) foundational for effective leadership.
Eight Core Values:
The conference will begin at 9 am on June 27 and last until 5 pm each day. The conference will end 2 pm on Saturday.
The registration fee of $50 covers materials, continental breakfast, snacks, and lunch each day. Registration is not limited to clergy or restricted to denominational boundaries.
Register for this event online at www.iliteamusa.org/#/register/4551549230 , or by returning the form below. Please make checks payable to Saint James UMC, enter “ILI Registration” in the memo portion, and along with the registration form, mail to Allison Posell, 9045 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36117.
The ILI model of leadership development is an effective tool for raising up Christian leaders. We invite you to join us and grow as a leader.
If you have any questions, contact Rev. Allison Posell Allison@sjlife.com
Gulf Shores United Methodist Church (GSUMC) presents their 12th annual PATRIOTIC CONCERT on Sunday, June 30, 2013 beginning at 7 PM in the church sanctuary. The concert is free and open to the public.
GSUMC's PATRIOTIC CONCERT features The Chancel Choir under the leadership of the Director of Worship Arts, Cody Johnson, Shane Tucker an Elvis Tribute Artist, Fine Arts Camp participants, and other special guests. This year a love offering will be taken in honor of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) a nonprofit organization.
Special operations’ men and women quietly perform specialized high-risk missions and many lose their lives in doing so. Special Operations Forces is comprised of some 67,000 highly trained and well-organized Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and Rangers, Marine Corps recon forces, and Air Force special operations personnel.
For 31 years, Special Operations Warrior Foundation has supported the special operations community through college scholarships and educational counseling to the surviving children of fallen special operations personnel killed in an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. For more information visit the SOWF website: www.specialops.org.
The public is invited to all GSUMC’s concerts. Please join us June 30th to celebrate our nation’s birthday. For questions, contact the church office at 251-968-2411 or visit the church website at www.gulfshoresumc.org.
Attached below is a downloadable flyer.
Attached below is a downloadable flyer.
Join Lake Junaluska in celebrating 100 years of transforming lives June 30 - July 7. This week-long celebration will feature special concerts by the Lake Junaluska Singers, Balsam Range and the Lake Junaluska Singers Alumni. Other activities will include a family Olympics, special speakers, reunions and historical reenactments.
Click HERE for a listing of all of the Centennial Celebration events.
Virginia Beach United Methodist Church seeks qualified applicants for a full-time Church Administrator to fill a current vacancy. This is a professional level position in a large community church with approximately 1,900 members and an annual operating budget of approximately $2.2 million. This is a full-time position with primary responsibilities for managing the day-to-day administrative functions of the church including oversight of budget preparation, accounting functions, financial reporting, payroll, and cash disbursements and receipts. This position also oversees facility management, equipment maintenance and repair, information technology, human resources, communications and provides direct supervision of three other staff.
The position requires strong managerial background, strong interpersonal communication skills, and ability to work in a team oriented environment with pastors, other professional staff, and congregational volunteers. Preference will be given to candidates with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Accounting or related field and certification as Certified Church Administrator (CCA) by the National Association of Church Business Administrators.
Interested persons should send their resumes to email@example.com . Resumes will be accepted through July 19, 2013.
Christ United Methodist Church (Mobile, AL) is looking for an Elementary/Tween minister.
The Elementary/Tween minister will focus on ministry to our children between kindergarten and fifth grade.
More details about the qualifications and application process are available online at christumcmobile.com/jobs
First United Methodist Church of Dadeville ( 20 mins. north of Auburn, Al on Hwy. 280) is currently accepting applications for the position of youth minister. Applicants should be well versed in scripture, have a good understanding of United Methodist beliefs, and be of good moral character.
For more information, please contact Rev. Kevin Payne: 256/ 825-4404 or email at pastordfumc.org. This is a part-time position.
East Lake United Methodist Church, a Christ-centered congregation, worshipping 350 weekly in Palm Harbor, Florida, is looking for an energetic and creative full-time Director of Youth Ministries.
The youth ministry program of 40 active youth serves young people from sixth grade through the transition to college.
The Director of Youth Ministry will be responsible for a comprehensive ministry that includes fostering discipleship, empowering laity, and partnering with parents in the spiritual development of youth. The DYM will also exercise strong, healthy communication with staff and laity, ensure that all details of the youth program and special events are take care of, and empower adults to be involved in youth’s lives – establishing relationships and shepherding them and helping them develop their own relationship with Jesus Christ.
Successful candidates must have a college degree and three years experience as well as a strong personal faith consistent with the United Methodist tradition.
Resumes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trinity United Methodist Church (Prattville, Alabama) is receiving applications for the position of full-time student minister. Trinity is a growing congregation with a ministry to 40-60 teenagers in the growing community of Prattville, just outside of Montgomery, Alabama.
The student (youth) minister would be responsible for leading ministry to teenaged youth aged seventh through twelfth grades.
Interested persons contact Mrs. Rhonda Sibley at email@example.com.
Niceville United Methodist Church is seeking a Worship Leader. This opportunity could be part-time or full-time, depending on the persons availability and needs. We are seeking a contemporary worship leader for our 9:30 contemporary service. In a full time capacity, this worship leader would also lead our youth bands.
This person needs to have at least 4 years’ experience in being a paid Worship Leader.
Click HERE for a complete job description.
If interested, please submit a resume, references, and a link to view you leading worship to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nicholas Robert Holler, 74, of Auburn, died on Tuesday morning, June 4, at East Alabama Medical Center.
Dr. Holler loved and gave himself fully to two careers, first as a wildlife biologist and then a congregational care minister, as well as served in the United States Army. In 1973 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in the field of Zoology. He worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1970 to 1993, and served as Unit leader of the Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Auburn University from 1985 to 1998, as well as a professor of Zoology and Wildlife Sciences. Dr. Holler was consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in 1998 after completing his foundational course of study at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and later transitioned to Deacon. In 1998 he was hired by Auburn United Methodist Church to implement and develop a Congregational Care Ministry. Many in the community have felt the church's love through the ministry he pioneered. He retired from his position with the church in 2009.
Dr. Holler was born in Plymouth, Indiana and preceded in death by his mother and father Margaret (Flaig) Holler and Nicholas J. Holler, as well as his siblings, Elizabeth Bryan, Edward Holler, and Lydia Walch. He leaves behind his wife, Margaret Holler, to whom he was married for thirty years; his daughters, Jeanette Culpepper and Nicole Holler-Garzon, and two son-in laws, Tim Culpepper and Luis Garzon. He also leaves a sister, Marge Stephens, two grandchildren, Courtney and Presley Culpepper, and many family members whom he dearly loved.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Auburn United Methodist Church with a visitation at the church one hour prior to the service. A visitation will also be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions may be directed to S.I.F.A.T. (Servants in Faith and Technology), Wounded Warrior Project, The Nature Conservancy, or Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve.
The Reverend Torrence Holder Maxey died on 28 May 2013 at the age of 95.
Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am, with the Reverends Dr. Karl K. Stegall, Dr. R. Lawson Bryan and Reverend Fred Fuller officiating. Interment will take place in Holly Springs, Mississippi on Friday May 31, 2013.
Reverend Hubert McCrary, age 96 passed into life eternal in the early morning hours of Friday, May 10, 2013 in Stanley House Assisted Living. He was born January 23, 1917 in Holmes County, Florida the son of Ralph Frazier McCrary and Annie Lee Nelson Frazier. Hubert worked in many jobs as a young man, in a time very different from today’s America. Jobs were scarce, but Hubert always found work and time to court the love of his life, Ruby. Ruby had been stricken with polio as a child and was confined to a wheel chair but managed to win Hubert’s heart.
By 1944 during the height of World War II Hubert had entered the full time gospel ministry, his first charge as associate at Trinity and for the next thirty four years preached the Word of God in Methodist Churches over three conferences. In 1983, Hubert and Ruby retired to DeFuniak Springs where they immediately became members and got busy serving the Lord in First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs. One of Brother Hubert’s favorite quotes and one he never failed to tell when asked about his ministry was when he served the charge known as Pittsview, Hatchechubee, Euchee, Ossichee and Cottonton. On September 4, 2001 his beloved Ruby was called home. Those who were fortunate enough to have known Reverend Hubert Earl McCrary got an earthly glimpse of The Savior; by Hubert’s gentle caring loving quiet nature, the peace of Jesus Christ became apparent. One could easily recognize the joy of serving The Lord by the “happy heart” Hubert possessed. One of the most telling stories of Hubert’s life, and one he loved to tell was when he was asked to fill the pulpit at First United Methodist Church in DeFuniak, where as a retired minister he had his membership for a number of years. It was on Psalm Sunday and he was filling the pulpit that morning in the absence of the minister. Hubert, along with the youth of the church, carrying palm branches, were to enter the sanctuary from the rear of the church and walked down the aisle to the pulpit area. Standing in the narthex in his robe, one of the children seeing him in his robe, and remembering seeing him every Sunday sitting in the congregation looked up at Hubert and exclaimed “You are no reverend, I know you, and you are no reverend”. Brother Hubert delighted in telling that story and told it often; but the irony is, actually he was “reverend”, and he was reverend his whole life. No doubt at 12:42 A.M. Friday morning Hubert Earl McCray heard an old familiar scripture: Well done thy good and faithful servant……..enter thou into the joy of The Lord.
Hubert is survived by numerous nieces and nephews including a special niece Sue Yearwood who, since Ruby’s death, has seen to his needs. But there are numerous other survivors, those who were touched by the ministry of Hubert McCrary and who will carry the memory of this life well lived as an example.
There will be no flowers, rather memorials may be made in Hubert McCrary’s memory to First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs, or Emerald Coast Hospice or The Activity Fund at Stanley House. Visitation will be Sunday, May 12, 2013 from 1 until 2 P.M. at First United Methodist Church in DeFuniak Springs with the funeral beginning at 2P.M. with Dr. Larry Teasley officiating. Private family burial will be in Darlington Cemetery.
Lamar Spencer, 95, of Pascagoula, MS, the oldest retired minister of the United Methodist Church, Alabama-West Florida Conference, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on March 12, 2013. There he joined his parents, Rev. Samuel Ernest Spencer and Rose Wimberly Spencer; four sisters - Marjorie Hildreth, Virginia Edwards, Ruby Cook, and Pearl Waldrop; and two brothers - Sam Spencer and Rev. Lester Spencer. Also there to welcome him were Rev. Charles Hildreth, William Edwards, Ernest Cook, and Everette Waldrop.
Lamar’s ministry began in 1937. Over a period of 45 years in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, he served the following churches: Daleville Methodist Church, Elizabeth Chapel Methodist Church in Milton, Highland Gardens Methodist Church in Montgomery, Columbia Methodist Church, First Methodist Church of Prichard, East Tallassee Methodist Church, Bonifay Methodist Church, First Methodist Church of Hartford, Trinity Methodist Church of Phenix City, First Methodist Church of Greensboro, Chickasaw Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Crestview, Forest Park United Methodist Church of Panama City, and First United Methodist Church of Atmore. After retiring, he served the Dauphin Island United Methodist Church for nine years for a total of 54 years of service.
During his time in active ministry Rev. Spencer served on various boards of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. These included the Board of Education, the Board of Ministries and the Board of Retired Ministers, serving as chairman for the latter two. He also served in other capacities, such as camp counselor, workshop teacher, and leader of youth assembly groups. Being a master of finances and funding, he led in the building of many church and educational buildings, dedicating them prior to leaving the service of each church. He also inspired many present-day Methodist pastors to enter into ministry and helped guide them through the educational process.
It was while he was serving Prichard Methodist Church that Lamar met and married his beloved wife of 69 years, Betty. Upon retiring from active ministry, Lamar and Betty moved to Pascagoula, MS, to live near their son, David, and his family. There they became involved with their grandsons’ baseball, soccer, Cub Scouts, and swimming.
Lovingly remembered as “Mar” by his grandsons and great-grandchildren, Lamar rode his bicycle along the beach and picked up cans to sell as his “second mile giving fund”, contributing to local people and groups who were trying to spread the Word of God by helping others in need. He also volunteered with the American Red Cross, worked the election polls, worked for 15 years as an auxiliary volunteer at Singing River Hospital, was a faithful member of the Crusaders Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church of Pascagoula, and starred on television as the “Old Reliable” whittler in the Foster’s Air-Conditioning & Heating advertisement.
Lamar is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Krueger Spencer; his son, Dr. David L. (Mary) Spencer of Pascagoula, MS; his three grandsons, Dr. David L. (Amy) Spencer, Jr. of Ocean Springs, MS, Dr. James C. (Anke) Spencer of Madison, MS, and Edward Spencer of Auburn, AL; and his five great-grandchildren, Brannon Spencer, Taylor Spencer, Samuel Spencer, Johannes Spencer, and Luisa Spencer. Also to mourn Lamar’s death is his sister, Ernestine, and other members of the Spencer and Krueger families. He will be sadly missed.
A celebration of life service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 2710 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula, MS, on March 15, 2013, at 10:00 AM with visitation for one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Memorial Gardens in Mobile, AL, following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lamar Spencer Endowed Scholarship Fund at Huntingdon College, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL, 36106.
Rev. Roy Millard Spikes passed away Friday, March 1, 2013 in Birmingham, AL. He was 92.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Black United Methodist Church with Rev. Jordan Gervin and Rev. Robert Marley officiating. Burial will follow in Black Community Cemetery with Jimmy Bottoms of Bottoms Garden Chapel Funeral Home of Hartford directing. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Fountain of Love, in care of Fair Haven Retirement Community, 1420 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL. 35210.
Rev. Spikes was born August 8, 1920 in Black, AL to the late William Roby and Willie Mae Coates Spikes. He served as a Methodist Minister in eleven churches and charges over 39-1/2 years in the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
In addition to his parents and two sisters, he was preceded in death by his wife, Alta Edna Spikes.
He is survived by one sister, Jessie Lou Windham; one son, Rev. Jimmie Roby Spikes (retired); one daughter, Gloria Jane Adams; five grandchildren; six great grandchildren; a host of other relatives and friends.
Gary Turner Frey, 83 of Jacksonville passed away Friday, January 18, 2013.
Gary was born in Birmingham, Al on April 29, 1929 to the late Andrew and Ruth Frey.
In the 60's he was active in the Jax Jaycee's and FL politics and was a retired Methodist minister.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey; Sons, Dan and Don Frey; daughters, Lynda Reynolds, Debbie Whittier and Sonja Tanner; 12 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren.
A celebration of Gary’s Life was January 22, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church 7673 Collins Road.
In lieu of flowers contributions requested to Community Hospice-NE FL 4266 Sunbeam Rd. 32257.