Derwin Gray to keynote in-person UMMen retreat in February

By Jessica Brodie

LEXINGTON—After two years of gathering online, United Methodist Men are ready for a return to an in-person spiritual retreat.

Set for Saturday, Feb. 25, at Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, their focus this year will be on “The Good Life”—that is, what Jesus teaches about finding true happiness.

“We look forward to an event somewhat like three years ago, with fellowship, music, Bible teaching and workshops,” said Marvin Horton, president of South Carolina Conference United Methodist Men. “Our goal is always to help men know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with Jesus.”

Dr. Derwin L. Gray will be the keynote speaker. Gray is the co-founder and pastor, along with his wife, Vicki, of Transformation Church, a multiethnic, multigenerational, mission-shaped community church in Indian Land. He is also a former NFL football player with a with a Master of Divinity degree and a concentration in apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary.

In 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and in 2018, he received his Doctor of Ministry in the New Testament in Context at Northern Seminary under Dr. Scot McNight. Gray teaches at conferences nationwide. 

He is the author of “Hero: Unleashing God’s Power in a Man’s Heart” (2010), “Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future” (2013), “Crazy Grace for Crazy Times Bible Study” (2015), “The Good Life: What Jesus Teaches About Finding True Happiness” (2020), “Building a Multiethnic Church” (2021), “God, Do You Hear Me?” (2021) and “How to Heal the Racial Divide” (2022).

Two fellowship opportunities are part of the weekend, starting with a golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 24, at The Spur at Northwoods in Columbia (a new venue), then an oyster roast at Mount Horeb at 6 p.m.

Horton said they are hoping sponsor churches will again participate.

“This will be the fifth year that our sponsor churches have made it possible for Men N Ministry to have an event in February, and to be able to fund the ministry to men all year long in South Carolina,” he said.   

More information and registration should be available in early November at

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