By Jacquie Sojourner
Chair, History & Archives
West End UMC
West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Avenue, Nashville, Archives and History has been given a repository of Christian Education Fellowship and other Deacon and certifications materials from the Hipps family. The family attended West End UMC the entire time they have lived in Tennessee. There is currently a display on the first floor of a bit of the collection. Friends are welcome to stop by and see it.
Many at West End UMC saw the passing of the robe Rev. R. Harold Hipps gave to The Rev. Dr. Michael Williams just before Rev. Hipps died. And when Michael retired he presented the robe to the new West End UMC pastor, Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon, on her first Sunday. The passing of a yoke/mantle comes from Elijah passing his to Elisha and is done by a retiring pastor passing it to a new elder at Annual Conference. This is adaptation what we witnessed here on July 2nd. The service is still on our website.
We have received a great corpus of Rev. Hipps’ materials from the Hipps family that now reside in our Archives and History on the 4th floor, room 400.
So for those of you who did not know “R” I wanted to present this display on the first floor of West End UMC as a glimpse of the major work this lifelong Western North Carolinian pastor did while residing in our midst, serving on the General Board first in Leisure Ministries then birthing the Christian Educators Fellowship in 1968 (while I was majoring in Christian Education at Pfeiffer College).
He helped create Diaconal Ministry, and the permanent Deacon we now have and the Certification process for Music, Christian Education, Spiritual Formation, Camps/Retreat Ministry, Ministry with People with Disabilities, Urban Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Evangelism, Ministry with the Poor, Older Adult Ministry, UM Parish Nurse Ministry and Youth Ministry still maintained by our General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Becky Peeler and Lisa Glock are Deacons on our staff.
Least you think this rather dry, he taught folk dancing in the church in the 1950’s, knew how to make every Conference festive, multilayered and fun. Our local incarnation is the Annual Jazz Mass on Shrove Tuesday where many of us have seen “R” in his robe.
Take some time to see the display, talk to Charlotte Sewell (“R’s” secretary and seamstress), Kirk McNeill who has known him since he was a teenager, or Jacquie Sojourner another early CEFer and “R” disciple.
For more information: Rev. Jacquie Sojourner, firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-337-5033
submitted: July 2017