The Harry Denman Evangelism Award is awarded jointly by the Tennessee Annual Conference and The Foundation for Evangelism.
In memory of the lifelong ministry and witness of Dr. Harry Denman, the award honors individuals, selected by their annual conference, for their exceptional ministry of evangelism that invites people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
For two months every year, the opportunity to nominate clergy, laity and youth for this award is offered to everyone throughout the conference. This year, several clergy were nominated.
The 2021 Tennessee Annual Conference recipients of this award represent pastoral leadership within three relationships to our conference: retired elder, active elder, and local pastor.
The selection team is pleased to present to you the 2021 recipients of The Harry Denman Evangelism award for the Tennessee Annual Conference:
Reverend Delwyn Fryer has been a member of the United Methodist Church for 86 years. He has served in numerous churches and many lives, even after retirement. His commitment to ministry began as he served at five churches all while driving 52 miles as a full-time college student at Austin Peay. During his first full time appointment, St. Bethlehem was named outstanding church by the Tennessee Conference for the church’s growth in membership, building and budget as well as the church’s overall spirit and ministry. He would later serve in Ashland City for a church that was rated top 10 in the Tennessee Conference during his time. During his many years in ministry, he has moved many people with his commitment to reaching out and connecting to new members as well as comforting, encouraging and guiding all.
Reverend Travis Garner serves at Brentwood UMC and its plant church, The Village. Not long after its plant, hundreds of people were gathering in a middle school gym to worship with The Village. It soon became one of the fastest growing churches in the Nashville area with over 600 members between their two services. The Village works to connect with members of the community that feel outcast, and many have been moved to come to the church thanks to Rev. Garner’s passion for evangelism and love for sharing the gospel.
Reverend Rodney Ritchie serves at Bon Air UMC and has truly brought the church to the community. During his time serving at Bon Air, the church has begun several programs to help support the Sparta community, including initiatives to help buy school supplies, give away clothing for adults and children, hand out food boxes and offer scholarships to children at the local high school. Under Reverend Ritchie’s service, the church even saw increased attendance online that has carried over to in-person attendance. Many have been moved by his commitment to serving the Sparta community through Bon Air UMC.