Denman Awards Recognize Evangelism in Clergy, Laity and Youth


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.

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


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.