Awards Highlight Congregational Successes

Date Posted: 6/12/2014

The awards banquet provided a time of celebration for increased professions of faith and worship attendance, as well as special recognition for apportionment support. Find out what some of the winners have learned about growing vital congregations.
Assessments, progress reports and charts have their place in the world, but in ministry it is more fulfilling to measure what matters for eternity. According to TAC Radical Hospitality committee member Rev. Scott Stewart, “The 2014 award winners are exceptional churches who have exhibited profound growth in professions of faith, worship attendance, and missional activity.”
It has been said that what matters gets measured and what gets rewarded gets repeated.

Committee chair Rev. Jack Womack agrees, saying, “For some churches, receiving recognition for their work validates their work in ministry.  Many times they are so busy doing God's work that they do not realize how much they have accomplished.  Contacting the pastors of the churches that will receive the Copeland award is always fun for me, and frequently comes as a complete surprise to the pastor. Our connection becomes reality when we gather to celebrate the work of diverse churches of all sizes at our annual event.“ 

  • On behalf of Faith UMC, Richmond, Rev. Benjamin Trammell accepted the Eric Anderson Award. He shares his thoughts and gives the credit for this honor to his very welcoming and intentional congregation in this video.



  • Small Membership Church of the Year:

Bonita UMC, Nacogdoches,
Rev. Richard Anderson, Pastor

Rev. Jack Womack distributed the following Copeland Awards (recognizing professions of faith):   
  • Under 100 Members - Rev. Eloy Tamez

Reid Casa de Albanza, Houston with 17 Professions
“We believe in evangelism,” shares Rev. Eloy Tamez. “With the help of my assistant pastor Ray Arguello and our 70 members, we create ways to invite others to church. By doing dramas and having fiestas through our apartment ministry, we encourage the kids to bring their parents and then we invite them all to church. We keep following up with them and even go visit their homes to help reach the lost with the love and message of Jesus.” “One of the secrets to their church vitality,” he adds, “is that almost everyone is involved in some kind of ministry work.”
  • 101-200 Members-Rev. Keith Bell

Galilee UMC, Texas City with 22 Professions
Upon handing this award to Rev. Bell, Rev. Jack Womack noted, “He’s won this before, so this church is doing some good in their community!”
  • 201-300 Members-Rev. Stephen Rhoads

Lakeside UMC, Houston
with 37 Professions
“With our new church start, we have been teaching our members from the beginning to invite their neighbors,” says Rev. Rhoads. “We have an average of four new families each week, and when I see that dip down for awhile, I know it is time to preach again on the importance of sharing your faith story.”
  • 301-500 Members-Rev. J. Clayton Whitaker

Friendship UMC, Porter
with 20 Professions
  • 501-1000 Members-Rev. Dr. Jeffrey McDowell

The Harvest UMC, Missouri City
with 60 Professions
  • 1001-2000 Members-Rev. Bill Haygood 

Good Shepherd UMC, Cypress
with 73 Professions (Rev. Robyn Bishop accepted award)
  • Over 2000 Members-Rev. Dr. Edmund W. Robb III 
The Woodlands UMC with 276 Professions (Rev. David Dorn accepted award)
Accepting the award was staff member and ordination candidate Rev. David Dorn. “The Woodlands UMC offers a lot of different options for expressions of worship, so we seem to have something that resonates with most everyone. The growth in population in North Houston has helped us maintain a growing membership base, which is further aided by being the only church visibly near the interstate.”
Kudos to the West District
  • Rev. Joe Fort, District Superintendent of the West District accepted the award for Apportionments at 100% for the entire district last year, joined by an active leader in the district, Don House who has served on several committees, including Past Finance Chair, Lay Leader, and Delegate.  According to TAC Accounting Manager Peggy Miller the West District has a longstanding track record of supporting the conference in this way. Notes Peggy, “When I started in 2000, I began compiling statistical information on the districts and their apportionment payments.  At that time, the West District was known as the Bryan District.  The Bryan District paid 100% from 2000 -2005.” She adds, “In 2006, the districts were realigned and the West District has paid 100% from 2006 thru 2013 and we appreciate the faithfulness and commitment of these churches.”