Nominees sought for 2023 Annual Conference awards

It’s time to nominate outstanding clergy and laity in the conference for awards to be presented at the 2023 South Carolina Annual Conference.

Awards to be given are the Bishop’s Five Star Award, the Denman Evangelism Award, the Barbara Boultinghouse Bridge Builder award, the Michael C. Watson Volunteer in Mission Award and the Joseph Benjamin Bethea Distinguished Service Award. The deadline is April 3.

Bishop’s Five Star Award

The purpose of the Bishop’s Five Star Award is to provide an incentive for churches to embrace new ministries each year geared toward growth and outreach. The award enables small and large churches to receive recognition. Criteria include:

1) An increase in Sunday school attendance and/or enhancement of Christian Education ministry;

2) A “new work” that impacts growth;

3) Members received by profession of faith or rededication, one for every 100 members;

4) Emphasis on youth ministries that demonstrate growth; and

5) All apportionments paid in full for 2022, or a 25 percent increase in apportionment payments compared to 2021. Recognition will be given to the pastor and one layperson at a breakfast during Annual Conference. The award is sponsored by the Board of Evangelism.

Denman Evangelism Award

The Denman Evangelism Award, established in 1980 by The Foundation for Evangelism, honors pastors and laypersons for responsible evangelism in the local church.

In 1981, the national award was introduced to annual conferences to choose a clergy person, a layperson and youth each year. The Denman Evangelism Award honors people who are effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ. This can involve speaking, personal witnessing, inspiring the church to be involved in evangelism, etc. This person may or may not have the best statistical record and may be from any size church. Nominees’ lifestyles bring honor to Christ, the church and works in ways that are in keeping with the United Methodist history and traditions. The award is sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism.

Barbara Boultinghouse Bridge Builder Award

The Barbara Boultinghouse Bridge Builder Award, named after a UMC deaconess, is given to a person or organization in the South Carolina Conference who has built bridges of understanding by promoting equity and inclusiveness without regard to race, gender, age, handicap or economic condition. The award is sponsored by the Commission on Religion and Race.

Michael C. Watson Volunteer in Mission Award

The Michael C. Watson Volunteer in Mission Award recognizes clergy and laypersons who exemplify extraordinary volunteer mission service within the South Carolina Conference. The award is sponsored by the Board of Global Ministries.

Joseph Benjamin Bethea Distinguished Service Award

The Joseph Benjamin Bethea Distinguished Service Award is presented to a person who has performed outstanding service in working for racial justice. Laity or clergy of the S.C. conference are eligible if she or he has shown a strong commitment to Christian social justice for at least five years (unless the individual is a youth). Specific efforts toward elimination of racism and/or building inclusiveness and/or empowerment of persons considered a minority (racially or ethnically) is a criterion, as is Christian character and servanthood. The award is sponsored by the Commission on Religion and Race.

All nominations must be submitted by email. Forms for nominations can be downloaded at

Nominations for any of the above awards must be emailed to [email protected] by April 3.

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