2020 Annual Conference Awards Recipients


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.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
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