NASHVILLE, Tenn.--In the same year that the ministry of United Methodist Men is celebrating its 100th anniversary, annual conference presidents of United Methodist Men learned of new methods to reach men in the next 100 years.

Meeting Feb. 28-March 2, the National Association of Conference Presidents (NACP) of United Methodist Men, also elected new officers and set plans for their 2009 national gathering to be held in Nashville after a long tradition of meeting at Purdue University.

"I'm more excited than I've ever been before about men's ministry," said David Adams, top staff executive of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. While noting the long history of ministry through chartered groups of United Methodist Men, he said, "We need to be invitational and provide many entry points for men."

Men's ministry specialists

To help churches launch new efforts in men's ministry, the commission has established a process whereby men can become "Men's Ministry Specialists." These specialists will be certified by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry following the recommendation and mentoring by their pastors, training experiences in men's ministry, a course in United Methodist history and polity, and experience in leading a local or regional event. There also will be an opportunity for people who have completed courses in Lay Speaking Ministries to receive additional training to become Men's Ministry Specialists.

Tenth national gathering

The 10th national gathering will be held July 10-11, 2009, at Belmont University in Nashville. The two-day event will include speeches by Chicago Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and Kevass Harding, pastor of Dellrose United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. A planning team is negotiating with other nationally known speakers and singers. An informal worship service will be held on Sunday, July 12 for those remaining in the Nashville area.

New officers

  • John Dowell, president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of United Methodist Men, was elected NACP president.

  • Dean Holloman, president of Oregon-Idaho Conference, was elected president of the Western Jurisdiction.

  • Dan Ramsey, vice president of the South Central Jurisdiction, was elected president.

  • L.W. Smith, chair of the Strength for Service Committee, was elected president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction.

  • Lee Donley, president of the Detroit Conference, was elected president of the North Central Jurisdiction.

  • Wayne Custer, president of the Northeastern Jurisdiction was reelected to that post.

  • Carl Young, an attorney in Edmond, Okla., was elected president of the United Methodist Men Foundation. Robert Powell, Dotham, Ala., continues as executive manager