Dr. Charles Kinder Remembered As Visionary, Pastoral Leader

Dr. Charles Kinder, President Emeritus of The Foundation for Evangelism, passed away on July 14, 2022. Dr. Kinder served as a minister in the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He accepted the appointment of President of The Foundation for Evangelism in Nashville, Tenn., from 1979-1989. Following how work with the Foundation, he returned to ministry in the Florida Annual Conference until retirement. Even then, he continued to be an advocate for the Foundation’s work, and ministered through leading Sunday School classes, publishing articles, and having conversations with those he met. He also came out of retirement to serve the congregation at Morton Memorial UMC in Monteagle, Tenn. for several years.

Dr. Kinder’s wife and ministry partner, Phyllis, supported his work throughout his ministry. Even after Dr. Kinder was hospitalized, Phyllis was completing edits on their final article together – he dictating and she transcribing. Dr. Kinder, along with Robert “Bob” Miller (Foundation for Evangelism Lifetime Trustee) spearheaded a partnership with Texas artist, Kenneth Wyatt, to develop the Offer Them Christ campaign. This campaign created awareness about the Foundation’s work and helped secure funding to launch and endow the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism. His visionary leadership ensured that all pastors ordained in The United Methodist Church would have an understanding of and training for a Wesleyan way of evangelism.

As a Methodist minister, Dr. Kinder loved the Church and its people. He shared inspiring writings and articles with the Foundation, even after his retirement, that communicated that love and commitment. He prayed for renewal within the church and celebrated its Wesleyan heritage. One recent article described a dream he had of being at the United Methodist General Conference where John Wesley delivered the message. In the dream, Wesley reminded those present of the importance of making disciples for Jesus Christ by “lift[ing] up Christ in His saving power. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.” He awoke from the dream inspired saying, “I awakened and thanked God that I am a part of ‘the people who call themselves Methodist.’ I pray that we who are spiritual descendants of John Wesley will have warm hearts, divine guidance, wisdom, resources and the determination to keep this movement of the Spirit alive as we OFFER THEM CHRIST.” Sharing Jesus Christ was at the heart of everything that Dr. Kinder did.

Dr. Kinder’s funeral arrangements are being handled by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, and a public celebration of life will be held on July 19, at 1:00 pm at Westminster Woods – Julington Creek with a reception following.

The family requests that gifts in memory of Dr. Kinder be made to the following:

The Foundation for Evangelism

United Methodist Committee on Relief

EPA honors churches, leaders for the fruit they bear

What a wonderful celebration of exceptional evangelism ministry in the Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church! Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Jeffery A. Weber (clergy), Rosalind McKelvey (laity), and Lydia Ermer (youth), the 2022 Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipients.

Story originally posted at https://www.epaumc.org.

Youth Denman Award: Lydia Ermer, a faithful youth member of Levittown: Emilie UMC, is demure but deeply caring and passionate about serving and sharing Christ, especially in cooperative ministry as an active leader in the EPA Conference Council on Youth Ministry. 

Lydia Ermer (left) receives the Youth Denman Award from Suzette James

“It is her sense of justice, fairness, treating others kindly and her love for Christ that makes Lydia standout among peers,” writes Associate Conference Youth Ministries Coordinator Jezerel Gutierrez, in nominating Lydia. “She is always willing to talk about her love for Jesus and her desire that others also experience the same love. 

“I watched her as she made a point to introduce herself and make sure new youth felt part of the group,” Gutierrez continues. “During meetings she listens very intently and loves to bring creative ideas to projects, rallies and events.  She is always willing to help in any capacity to make sure the events are successful and enjoyed by other youth.  While she may not always feel equipped to pray for others or lead activities, she is always willing to volunteer and try. 

“Her courage to try new things often inspires those around her to follow suit. As part of CCYM, she has packed food for the needy, planned youth rallies, participated in diversity retreats, and helped in Annual Conference.”  Gutierrez expresses confidence that Lydia “will be one of our future ministers, for she already is one.” 

Laity Denman Award: Rosalind McKelvey, a Christ Servant Minister, is a longtime servant, advocate, interpreter, leader and caregiver for Deaf persons. Known throughout the Eastern PA Conference and beyond, she attends to the physical, emotional, spiritual and communication needs of Deaf persons in many places with ardent compassion and grace.

Rosalind McKelvey (left) and the Rev. Jeffrey Weber (right), both Denman Awardees, flank Deb Knerr, who interpreted the ceremony in sign.

From volunteering at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to organizing the Germantown Deaf Ministries Fellowship, Inc. in Philadelphia to advocating before church and public policy leaders, she offers creative, sensitive, outspoken wisdom about the needs and concerns of the Deaf community. She also teaches American Sign Language to Deaf and hearing persons.

Roz has directed Deaf choirs and interpreted worship at Philadelphia: Grace UMC and other churches and events, offering many Deaf members a place to belong and to contribute their gifts.

Clergy Denman Award: The Rev. Jeffrey A. Weber, since being appointed to Reeders UMC in 2020, has welcomed 16 new members into the congregation, including a dozen this year. A lifelong member at Stroudsburg UMC, he served in the U.S. military and in state government, followed by a career in higher education at East Stroudsburg University. Upon retiring, he answered the call to ministry, becoming a Licensed Local Pastor in 2020.

Dr. Weber is known to be passionate, relational and effective in evangelism, and he is active beyond the local church, demonstrating a true servant’s heart. He brings his rich, diverse background into ministry among all ages, both young and old. He has adapted to a profound hearing impairment suffered during his military service, combining use of sign language with lipreading and new technology.