32nd Order of St. Barnabas Winners
Harry (Buddy) Bratton
Buddy is the current lay leader of Peniel UMC. He has been a full member since 1954, and an active member even as a youth member. Buddy is a thoughtful, prayerful man. He prays for the church as well as individuals in and outside the church. Buddy is a very active man both in and outside the walls of Peniel. He prepares powerpoint presentations for every service we have in the church. He also teaches the adult Sunday school class in between services on Sunday. He often is the worship leader as well. Buddy is a musician and sings in the Peniel choir, but also plays tuba in several bands, and sings at the Veterans Hospital once a month. In addition, he has been involved at the district and conference levels of our annual conference. Buddy also preaches, plans services and prepare bulletins whenever the pastor is away, which is at least four times per year.
The most valuable thing anyone has to offer is the gift of themselves. Buddy continually gives of himself, as well as his financial tithes. He never hesitates to jump in whenever needed and continually cares for the needs of the pastor during services and even checking in during the week. Buddy is a treasure. Buddy has many talents that he offers every one of them wherever he sees an opportunity to serve. Buddy exemplifies outstanding stewardship service. He is a tremendous gift to Peniel UMC and to the Peninsula Delaware Conference.
Lay Servant Carson Farmer lovingly exhibits the four measures of St. Barnabas, Target Prayer, Time, Treasure, and Talent. There are 17 worship congregations in the Smyrna area. Centennial United Methodist Church is the only church that is a host sanctuary for Code Purple. The coordinator of our Code Purple Emergency Sanctuary is Lay Servant Carson Farmer. He and Rev. Rudolph H. White, Jr. anoint and pray over the space used by the men seeking shelter from the extreme cold. Carson’s prayer is for peace, love, and comfort. He stands ready to pray with any client who desires it. He is always praying for the homeless men.
Brother Carson’s time is centered on God and our church. He has lived streamed our Noon Hour of Power. Carson always participates in all activities and ministries. Despite his own health problems, he always projects a positive and hopeful attitude. He is a trustee, member of the Music and Youth Ministry and Chair of Men’s Day. Carson lives in Wyoming but is up in Smyrna at 4:00 pm to open Centennial Church doors for our Code Purple volunteers. He schedules the volunteers, oversees meals, receives our homeless guests, organizes materials, and supervises everything. The atmosphere is one of love, comfort, and safety.
He also uses his time with the youth. He plans quarterly curriculum for youth Sunday school. His wife, Raquel Farmer, is the Youth Ministry Chair. Together they plan youth programs and workshops including the monthly Friday night Youth Worship Services.
He shares his treasures. He pays his tithes. He is not paid as a Code Purple Coordinator. Carson Farmer has actually given the shirt he was wearing to a homeless man. He has given youth neckties and vests. Carson uses his talents. He leads Praise and Worship on Sunday morning. His rich and powerful voice adds to our Sanctuary Choir. Brother Carson teaches Sunday School.
He also created and directs the Mime Ministry. It is wonderful for both boys and men to see a male who is not afraid to perform mime for the Lord. Lay Servant Carson Farmer is truly someone who demonstrates the Four Measures of St. Barnabas.
Mary Casson, Peggy Draper, Geneva Fennell, Ianus Gordy, Deveria Johnson, Eleanor Kent, Betty Kersey, Debbie Lavender, Lucille Prince, Patricia Randolph, Shirley Riley, Elaine Robinson, Diana Waters, Furman Robinson
How Uniquely God Gives (H.U.G.G.S.) Ministry
The Lillian Wharton H.U.G.G.S. Ministry of Whatcoat United Methodist Church (WUMC) in Dover was formed in January 2007, and has been serving the greater Dover community and beyond for eleven years. The purpose of this ministry is to share the love of Jesus Christ with others through the things we create with our hands with love and give away to others. This is a handcraft ministry which has created and given away more than 1,800 items. These items include: crocheted, knitted, quilted and knotted lap robes and blankets, also calico stuffed animal pillows and toys, adult bibs, hats, prayer shawls, throws, dresses, and shirts made from pillowcases, toiletry bags and all-purpose bags to attach to walkers.
Some of the recipients of our creations have been (but not limited to): adults and children who take part in the Soup Kitchen Ministry at WUMC, the Code Purple Headquarters – which distributes many of our contributions to persons in shelters in the Kent County area, to some persons who are sick, to shut-ins at the Cadia/Capital Rehabilitation Center, Hopes and Dreams facility in Dover, and to Africa, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
This ministry is committed to enhancing the quality of life through handcrafted items. They exemplify the essence of the Order of St. Barnabas.
Koinonia Fellowship Group
The Koinonia Class was founded in 1952 by Dr. Edgar Miller. Dr. Miller and his wife Elizabeth realized a lifelong dream and move to Nepal in l956 to become medical missionaries. When the organized church school classes merged into one adult class, the Koinonias continued as a monthly fellowship “for fun and funds.” Over the years they’ve held various fundraisers for the missions of the church. In March of 1994, they had their first yardsale which turned into a semi-annual event. Aside from the significant income realized, the yard sales benefit both contributors and buyers. The positive interaction between church and community makes it all worthwhile. Their monthly meeting includes a devotional time and prayer.
They realize God’s presence going before them lays the groundwork for how they serve the community. Each member and some additional volunteers spend countless hours making sure the people they serve are able to buy needed items for their families at a cost cheaper than the local thrift stores. In addition to the yard sales, the Shoppe is available weekly for purchase of items. More often than not, if someone expresses a need and they can’t pay, this group willingly provides what they need. The Koinonia continually donates funds to support the scouting program when parents can’t afford the cost of camping; they support the Richardson Park Community Action Program with time and treasure. This program provides guidance and support for the homeless and those needing help to avoid homelessness. They have supported non-church members who are struggling to make ends meet with assistance and emotional support. They truly live out their name in word and deed. Dr. and Mrs. Miller would be extremely proud of this group who continues to serve the mission field with their time, talent, treasure and prayer.
The Metropolitan-Zion Ministries has been formed from the many contributions of the United Methodist Women, the Youth Ministry, the Prayer Ministry, the Hospitality Ministry, the Trustees and those who serve just because they understand their baptism and don’t need a title. Mid-Week Prayer is held on Wednesday and the church is open from Noon to 1pm for those in the Denton area who desire to come in and pray. Most of those who come and pray are under 30 years old. They’re not on the register in the membership database of the church but they are faithfully being prayed for by one of our Lay Servants, Barbara Freeman. The Hour of Power (prayer and praise ministry) is held later that evening from 7pm – 8pm.
When visiting the nursing home it is not unusual for another Lay Servant, Lucretia Nixon (GNA Supervisor), to bring someone that she has been praying with and say something like, “Here’s my pastor, now go ahead, here’s your chance,” and another private prayer session begins. Shirley Greene reaches out to lay persons in the congregation that normally don’t participate during church services or in worship and encourages them to come into the pastor’s office early on Sunday morning and have a prayer with the pastor (they’re leading it of course). Linda Evans has a small group that meets in her home on Wednesday mornings at 8am. Barbara Prattis visits the nursing homes with a community group and has just signed up to start a visitation group with our local church. Kevin is one of the trustees who is an example and not an exception. He is not the Chair of Trustees, though he models the ethics of the Chair, Shawn Magee, who works on the Western Shore most week-days, and has other responsibilities that often tie up his time. Kevin tries to make himself available whenever Shawn is not. Additionally, Kevin is the go-to-person when it comes to planning outdoor activities. Whether the activity involves youth, children, young adults, seniors or the physically challenged, Kevin will be the key person to help organize the function and put in extra time in many ways. From playing sports with the youth, games with the children, planning, organizing or recruiting men to cook and serve breakfast, lunch or dinner for Mother’s Day, help shuttle handicap persons from the parking lot to the sanctuary, plan a men’s gathering, or lead worship, Kevin will put the time in.
Kevin is also one of our top cooks, along with Darlene, Lucretia, Beatrice, Brenda, Barbara, Shirley and Shauntey. They also serve in worship with audio/video, with Kenneth on keyboard and Emmett on Drums. While Audra, Doris and Deloris serve, others clean up, all in some way use their gifts to the glory of God. Viola, Maggie and Audra organized the drive for the Horizons Homeless Shelter. June and Lucretia serve a free lunch every 3rd Saturday. Charles Prattis, a retired principle who has been dormant for a few years has just announced publically on Men’s Day that he is going to officially start the UMM’s group.
Because of how Metropolitan-Zion works together with the limited resources that they have, they are able to accomplish so much more. We thank God our Father, for the wonderful stewardship that is practiced to supply the ministry needs of the church and community. As a beloved community, Metropolitan-Zion exemplifies the Order of St. Barnabas.
George W. Reynolds, Sr.
George has been an active member of Baldwin United Methodist Church for most of his 96 years. God has given each one of us certain talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts. George has certainly been faithful in using these gifts that the Lord has sent his way. When the bible speaks of “Preaching the Word”, George takes on this responsibility to “Feed the Flocks of God” so that the Word will sanctify others. At one point, serving as an associate locally, he felt the call to ministry and transferred to SE Pennsylvania serving as licensed local pastor for six years. While he intended to become ordained, life’s necessities and in consideration to his family, he had to give that up. He returned to Baldwin and over the next forty years served as their (certified) lay leader. He has also served and chaired numerous committees such as: Worship, Trustees, Communion, Fund Raising, Board of Directors, Evangelism and as our representative at Annual Conference.
George’s “Target Prayer” and “Time” has led his stewardship to evangelize to others in many locations and settings. He still leads a weekly Bible Study, makes visits to the elderly and those who are ill, performs visitation to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, where he ministers with healing prayers. His prayers mercy, soul saving and daily witnessing to friends and others is well known and received by many all over the greater Elkton area.
Today he meets, almost daily, with a group at McDonald's where they often turn to him as a respected follower of Christ for help, knowledge of our Lord and even some counseling. George has made a practice to be faithful in sharing his talents and treasures with Baldwin Church. He can be called upon by us, and he can be counted on, to answer the call when the needs of the church and needy occur, both in and
outside of the local church.
George has truly displayed for all of us the four T’s of the St. Barnabas requirements in his many, many years of hard work, devotion, loyalty and dedicated service to our church, church family, along with demonstrating Christianity to all he meets. His service to God’s Church (the world) and Baldwin Church are done by him only for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Back Home Ministry
The Back Home Ministry known as Mr. and Mrs. Alphonso and Joan “Angel” Collins and sister to Alphonso, Lenora Collins, were born and raised in Upper Hill, MD and have been members of St. Andrews UMC since they were children. All three of them moved to the Washington D.C. area about 20 years ago where they are employed and still reside. However, two weekends every month for the past 20 years, they travel together to the Upper Hill community (300 miles round trip per weekend) for Sunday worship, and to serve in ministries and outreach to their church and community. When they enter Upper Hill on Fridays, they are committed and eagerly begin serving in their various leadership positions, in their gifts and talents, ministries and in worship. This is how they invest their time to God and the church.
One would think that when they moved to the Washington area, they would find another church in their community but neither, gas prices, inclement weather, traffic, bridge delays or fatigue hinders their love for God and their home church and family. They are committed tithers, and lovingly encourage others to reach that level of faith to trust God and His word with their financial treasures. They have blessed others with personal financial hardships, without hesitation and without boasting. They encourage the church to be financially strong without indebtedness and especially to pay their apportionments.
They are very generous not only in the stewardship to others or where a need exists but also in giving of themselves in talent. They are active and faithful to serving as Trustees, SPRC, Administrative Council, reserve lay member to annual conference, church school teachers, worship teams, choirs, dance ministry, men’s ministry, sister to sister ministry, ushers, feeding cooked meals to the homeless at Salisbury Urban Ministries, Angel tree prison ministry, Food Bank, door-to-door evangelism in the community, lay servants who they support as worship leaders, and preaching. Each year, they have lead the church in winter clothing drive to the homeless and deliver items not to shelters but to the outdoor areas where they live… in the woods or abandoned buildings.
Their target prayer concern is the decreasing membership at St. Andrews, as in many churches, and especially in rural areas and with the youth. They actively plan and support evangelism and community outreach, fellowships and activities so that young people and the faithful few will keep their faith in God and family vital, vibrant and alive and share God’s love to others beyond the church walls. When asked how do they do it? They humbly respond, “God gives us the grace to do it… it’s a calling and a love that desires to give back to the church, family and Upper Hill community that raised us to know Jesus.”
We are so indebted in love to Alphonso, Angel, and Lennie to how they equally lead, serve and motivate the people and the church and community to grow and in the spirit and stewardship of St. Barnabas.