July 01, 2015

Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy

For more than thirty years, The Foundation for Evangelism has been privileged to work with annual conferences to celebrate outstanding personal evangelism ministry of United Methodist Clergy, Laity and Youth by sponsoring the prestigious Harry Denman Evangelism Award. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award is named for the founder of The Foundation for Evangelism.

This year’s Denman award for clergy went to Rev. Barry Winders of First UMC in Dexter.

Barry Winders arrived at his new ministry setting (Dexter FUMC) in June 2013, and since that time the church has experienced a truly strong turnaround. Attendance in the 18 month period from June 2013 – December 2014 increased from 127 to 165. During that period the church saw 26 new professions of faith, added five new small groups, welcomed eight new families with children, added children/ youth ministry staff and hired a new music director for their contemporary worship experience.

Barry instituted monthly leadership development classes and hosts an annual Vision Night to celebrate ministry success, offer goals for the coming year, and hold the church accountable for movement forward toward the mission.

Financial strength also has returned, with apportionment giving moving from 10 percent (2012), to 25 percent (2013) to 100 percent (2014).

“Winders has consistently provided strong, mission-focused, Christ-centered leadership for this church,” said Southeast District Superintendent Fred Leist.

Denman Evangelism Award for Laity

The Denman Laity Award was given to Adam Newman and Linda Tenkhoff of Benton UMC this year. Campus Pastor J.T. Thomason nominated the two. He referred to Tenkhoff as his right hand.

“She loves the church and is constantly finding ways to be a part of the community,” he stated. “She helps lead the greeting team, clothing team and women’s small groups. She is stepping in and doing what the Great Commission calls her to do.

Thomason stated that the Newman also works hard at connecting with the community, and has been vital in men’s groups.

“To have men coming on Monday night to make their marriage, fatherhood and lives better is a tough task, but Adam makes it happen,” he stated. “He is making disciples who will make other disciples.”