LAKE JUNALUSKA, NC: Jorge Acevedo is a transformational United Methodist pastor who tries to live his life "confirming his love for Jesus Christ." On October 31, the Rev. Acevedo will receive the 2009 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church award during the 60th Anniversary Celebration for The Foundation for Evangelism, which sponsors this national recognition.
This prestigious award is given annually to a United Methodist leader whose life and ministry reflects a personal commitment to helping persons experience God's transforming love through Jesus Christ. These clergy and lay leaders are devoted in both mind and heart to Wesleyan evangelism that incorporates both the personal and the social aspects of his/her Christian faith.
Acevedo is the lead pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site, United Methodist congregation centered in Cape Coral, Florida. Under his leadership, the church has grown from one to three campus locations and now has more than 2,600 persons who attend weekly worship. Grace Church also is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective ministries for persons recovering from addiction in America, with more than 800 persons involved.
In his nomination of Acevedo, Phillip Connolly states that through Acevedo's leadership, Grace Church has "incorporated Wesley's understanding of piety and social witness in a way that's unique in United Methodism today."
The Foundation for Evangelism is an affiliate of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Founded in 1949 by the late Dr. Harry Denman, the Foundation provides grants for Doctoral Education, Leadership Development, Leadership Enrichment, and Venture Capital. Since 2004, The Foundation has provided almost $25 million in grants to develop leaders with a passion for evangelism who will have a multiplying impact on The United Methodist Church. The flagship grant program is the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism, located at 13 United Methodist-related seminaries in the United States and internationally.