Dr. Ed Robb, founding pastor of The Woodlands United Methodist Church (UMC) at The Woodlands, Texas, has been named the 2011 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church by The Foundation for Evangelism. Hailed as a leader with great vision, faith, and humility, Robb has pastored The Woodlands UMC since its beginning in 1978, starting with 30members. Since then, it has become one of the fastest-growing churches in United Methodism, with present membership exceeding 8,400 and an average worship attendance of 4,200.
After moving to a new campus in 2001, the church completed an on-site expansion called The Loft which ministers to the unchurched and those who may have had negative experiences with the church in the past. The Woodlands UMC seeks to reach people where they are to bring them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Under his leadership the congregation has a strong commitment to missions, both locally and globally. Today, the church funds 94 mission projects, 62 deployed missionaries, and over $1.5 million annually in funding. Fifty-seven people from The Woodlands UMC have gone on to serve in ministry, either as pastors or in the mission field.
Dr. Robb was educated at Asbury College and received a Master of Theology degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Asbury College. In addition to pastoring The Woodlands UMC, Robb also serves as chairman of A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE) and as a trustee of Asbury Theological Seminary.
The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award is presented annually by The Foundation for Evangelism to an individual whose personal ministry in evangelism has been recognized throughout the United Methodist denomination. Founded in 1949 by the late Dr. Harry Denman, the Foundation provides grants for Doctoral Education, Leadership Development, and Leadership Enrichment.