Denman Awards Recognize Evangelism Efforts



The Foundation for Evangelism each year works with annual conferences around the country to celebrate personal evangelism ministries of United Methodist clergy, lay persons, and youth by sponsoring the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. The award is named after the founder of the Foundation who was recognized by Dr. Billy Graham for his love of Christ and his desire to see others come to know Him.

Rev. Al Kimmel, registrar for the Denman Awards in Western PA, recognized the contributions of two individuals and one couple during Annual Conference this year.

  • Michael Gionti of First UMC in Titusville received the Youth Award. Gionti participates in the puppet team at his church and plays drums in the Praise Band. He has also served on mission teams to Mexico and Ecuador. Gionti plans to pursue a career in ministry and is registered for the ministry track at Geneva College in the fall. Though Michael was not able to be present at Annual Conference, his brother Jim accepted the award on his behalf.
  • John Zimmerman,  General Evangelist for the Conference, was presented with the Clergy Award. An elder and pastor for more than 25 years, Zimmerman and his wife Christine created About Face Outreach Consultants to partner with churches to implement outreach opportunities that will create Disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. They travel around the Conference, living in a RV, to work with churches so that outreach becomes a part of everything it does.
  • Steve and Wendy McPherson were recognized with the Laity Award for their many years of work with youth. The McPhersons helped create the Scarlet Cord Teen Center in Brookville, PA and, for over 22 years, have led the ministry and operating board there. They have also served as youth group leaders and in ministry support roles at Brookville Evangelical UMC. Each has been involved in various other ministries. Steve served as a youth director for Lay Witness Missions across Pennsylvania and Wendy has been active with Brookville’s Community Vacation Bible School program.