By Jessica Brodie
Three of South Carolina’s Certified Lay Ministers—Donald Black, Annie Crocker and Wanda Shulick—have completed a specialization course in congregational care.
They are the first three Certified Lay Ministers in the South Carolina Conference to complete specialization.
All three met the requirements for CLM specialization for congregational care ministry through The Caring Congregation. The certificates were awarded this summer by Discipleship Ministries.
Black, who serves in the Greenwood District, said his specialization came about because he has been seeking new ways to further his education and understanding of what ministry is and how to go about it differently.
“There’s a lot more to it than preaching on Sunday morning, and being new to ministry as I am, I felt like it would benefit me in learning how to counsel and get others involved in the church,” Black said. “A minister can’t do it all.”
Black said he serves a small church, and he’s also hoping the new wisdom will help him get his congregation more involved outside the walls of the church.
Crocker, who serves in the Spartanburg District, said she has been pastoring a church for four years now, and she’s eager to learn anything she can that will help.
“I’ve got an elderly congregation, a homebound congregation and a very caring congregation, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about congregational care and get more acclimated with what I needed to do,” Crocker said.
She said she learned a lot in the course, and she’s hoping she can share what she learned in her district, too.
David Salter, co-director of South Carolina Conference Lay Servant Ministries, said the achievements are worthy of recognition, as it indicates they have gone beyond the basics of their ministry.
Salter said that once a lay servant has completed all requirements to be recognized as a Certified Lay Minister, they may take courses from Discipleship Ministries to “specialize” in particular fields of service.
While Black, Crocker and Shulick specialized in congregational care, there are other specializations available to CLMs as well. These include specialization as parish nurse (must be a CLM and a nurse), for work with Hispanic/Latino ministries, as a lay missionary/church planter, in children’s faith formation and in men’s ministry.
For more information, visit https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/certified-lay-minister