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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    2015 Denman Award recipients named

    June 16, 2015 / By

    On Friday, May 29, during the Celebration of Ministry at the 2015 Annual Conference session, the Upper New York Conference and The Foundation for Evangelism presented the 2015 Denman Evangelism Award to Virgia Phoenix, lay member at First United Methodist Church in Schenectady, and the Rev. David Martin, pastor at Hope UMC in Troy.

    Oneonta District Superintendent the Rev. Jan McClary Rowell presents Virgia Phoenix with the 2015 Denman Evangelism Award for laity.Shirley Readdean, a lay member at First UMC in Schenectady, nominated Phoenix, writing in a letter that Phoenix has been actively involved with Church and Society advocacy work nationally, jurisdictionally, and Conference-wide.

    “Virgia truly lives out the Wesleyan model of discipleship,” Readdean wrote. “She is faithful to the justice principles of Methodism, speaking out for those who are marginalized.”

    The Rev. Hannah Mudge, a clergy member of the Episcopal Church serving in North Central Troy and co-founder of Oaks of Righteousness Episcopal Ministry in Troy, was among those who nominated Rev. Martin.

    Upper New York Bishop Mark J. Webb (right) and 2014 Denman Evangelism Award recipient Mary Bradley congratulate the Rev. David Martin as this year's award recipient for clergy.“One of the things that Dave does best is to bring people together across denominational boundaries to worship together, pray for one another, and make a difference in Jesus’ name across the city, and the entire region,” she wrote in a nomination letter. “And God works mightily through his (Rev. Martin’s) prayers and the prayers of those whom he gathers together. We have seen whole neighborhoods begin to change because of this ministry, and I cannot thank God for him enough.”

    The award, sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism, “provides a way in which each conference may recognize one lay person, one youth, and one clergy person who are practicing evangelism in their daily lives and in ministry through the local church,” according to the award’s press release.

    The award is named for the late Harry Denman, a lay person with decades-long, life-transforming personal ministry of evangelism. He believed that, “the only way (to) see Christ is to seem Him wrapped in a person … We need to become a package of love, a package of faith, a package of Christ; then we will be a package of evangelism.”

    The Foundation for Evangelism provides resources for development of leaders with a passion for evangelism. Click here to learn more.

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."