UM Men Choose Bishop King to Lead, Plan National Gathering

September 19, 2008

Written by Richard J. Peck, Communications Coordinator for UM Men

Following a year-long celebration of its centennial anniversary, the UM agency responsible for men’s ministry, elected Bishop James King as president of the 25-member board. Meeting August 21–24 in the agency’s Nashville offices, the General Commission on UM Men asked King to lead the agency for the next four years. At the same time King assumes office with UM Men, he will be moving from Kentucky to Georgia. After presiding over the Kentucky Annual Conference for the past eight years, he begins a new assignment with the South Georgia Annual Conference on Sept. 1.

After his election, King said the commission should focus its attention on nurturing boys. “We keep expecting fruit from men, but we have neglected the roots of boys,” said King. He told the commission that the most teachable time in a person’s life is four years of age and the fourth grade. “We are giving the church a gift of nurturing men, beginning with boys.”

The commission is responsible for UM relations with Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Camp Fire USA and 4-H. The agency also entered into a partnership with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to encourage men to mentor children of incarcerated adults.

During the meeting, board members also learned of plans for a July 10–11, 2009 national gathering, to be held in Nashville after a long tradition of meeting at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Held once every four years, the event will include speeches by Chicago Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung; the Rev. Kevass Harding, pastor of Dellrose UMC in Wichita, Kan.; and Dr. Patrick Morley, chairman and chief executive of Orlando-based Man in the Mirror Ministries.

Musicians will include Vince Gill, winner of 18 Country Music Association Awards; Steve Hornbeak, a Nashville recording artist who has appeared on several television talk shows; and Sheltered Reality, an Iowa based percussion group that will include youngsters from an inner city church in Nashville.