Men N Ministry

United Methodist Men (UMM) meet regularly on the first Tuesday of each month excluding the months of July and August. Average attendance for each meeting is 25-40 men. We meet to enjoy fellowship, encourage spiritual growth, and to stay connected with God and do his work.
Our meeting offers a combination of fun and business. We follow an agenda which begins with dinner prepared by volunteers from our group. The dinner is followed by a short devotion. We also invite guest speakers who provide insight about local issues affecting our community.  We conduct the business portion of our meeting after our speaker has finished.
We are blessed with having a lot of talented men who help in providing many special services to our community and the world beyond. Our men have recently been doing some much needed work at the local children’s home. They have also provided funds and equipment to support a medical aid trip to Nicaragua, and they refurbished two closets at the McCormick Senior Center (see reprint from the McCormick Messenger below). Also through our fund raisers such as providing a pancake breakfast during the town’s Gold Rush Festival, we are able to make financial contributions to support many needy groups and individuals. These have included Feed the Hunger, McCormick Chapel, St. Andrew and local residents who need a helping hand. These actions of reaching out to others in need help to support our church’s mission of “Reaching Up, Reaching Out”.
God has blessed our men with talent and dedication. They do reach out and spread God’s love to the community. We are always open to ideas and input from our members. This is our calling, and with God’s help we will serve.
MISSION: United Methodist men shall be a creative, supportive fellowship of men who seek to know Jesus Christ, to grow spiritually and to seek daily his will.
PURPOSE: Our primary purpose is to declare the centrality of Christ in the lives of men and in all their relationships.
President Robert Rennie
Vice President Bruce Motsinger
Secretary Byron Thompson
Treasurer Gordon Waine
For additional information about United Methodist Men please visit the General Commission on United Methodist Men website at


This was a Methodist Men in Ministry sponsored event that reached out to the community. We wanted to show our support for our local high school and encourage them to consider attending church with us. Both the varsity girls and boys teams participated in the pizza and Subway dinner. Also included were potato chips and water for each athlete, coaches and one administrator. Administrative staff were included. All the groups enjoyed the meal.
The boys game that evening was well attended, AND the varsity boys won the game 35-27.

Previous Meetings

The March Men N Ministry meeting was held on Tuesday, March 3. Twenty-Five men attended. Larry Ream and Gordie Waine prepared a delicious meal of lasagna, salad and dessert. Rob Rennie gave the devotion.
Tim Keown was the guest speaker. John de la Howe has been restructured into a state funded residential high school that will be focused on agricultural education. He was selected as the new president in December 2019. This new program will be the first statewide program of its kind in the nation. It will provide opportunities to get hands on training in both agriculture and agribusiness.
Tim is a native of SC and has a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees from Clemson. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from Clemson. He has taught at the high school level and served as the Associate State Director of Agricultural Education at Clemson University for five years.
He provided an overview of the history of the school from its founding in 1797 in the will of Dr. John De La Howe a French physician who had immigrated to Charleston in 1764. He obtained a large amount of land in what was then Abbeville. He left all of his estate 1300 acres to the establishment of an agricultural seminary. At one time the school housed 400 students. The new Agriculture school will start in August 2020 with about 80 students.
The current treasury balance is $2735. Bob Struck reported that the Nehemiah work team has a balance of $1008. In 2019 the Men’s group was able to donate $1055 to various charities. Other discussion items included St. Andrew, summer baseball game outing and future speakers.
The next dinner meeting is scheduled for April 7 at 6pm. No need to sign up, hope to see you there! The speaker will be a representative of the new Savannah Lakes Family Medicine facility..
The monthly meeting of the men N ministry was held on Tuesday February 4. Don Tummons and Bob Struck prepared the meal. Gordie Wayne gave the devotional.
The keynote speaker was Linda Shell, partnership specialist for the Upstate, U.S. Census Bureau. She stressed the importance of the census in determining how the Federal government distributes over 675 billion to municipalities across the country. Therefore, it’s important “not to be invisible”. Notifications (invitations) will be sent out starting on March 12. Residents will be able to complete forms using their laptop, smart phone or iPad. On March 23 the Census Bureau portal will be open to complete forms. There will be no long forms. There will be 9 questions for the head of household and 7 questions for each member. There will be several follow-up correspondences. It’s important to complete the forms electronically because if a census taker comes to the house it costs about $100. She stressed that two groups of people are the most undercounted: Children and senior citizens. There are temporary jobs available for census takers and supervisors.
Charles Jennings Chairman of the County Council and Jackie Brown Chairman of the McCormick Census Committee also attended the presentation.
During the business meeting the group celebrated 3 up and coming birthdays: Ray Crace 85, Arvid Perez 85, and Lyn Bourne 84. Byron Thompson was confirmed as secretary. The men have a balance of $2812 in the treasury. The Nehemiah work team has a balance of $1008. They expect some new projects soon. The men approved a donation of $150 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Don Tummons and Pastor Nels will attend the state UMMen retreat in Lexington on February 29. The men will pay the daily fee.
Tim Keown, President,  of the John de la Howe School of Agriculture will be the March speaker and Robbie Rennie will give the devotional.

The January meeting was held on Tuesday, January 7. Don Tummons and John Yerdon prepared a meal of salad and chicken pot pies. Joe Larate gave the devotional. Pastor Ledwell gave the main presentation. He provided a detailed summary of the current status of the future plans for the Methodist Church. He started with the previous 5 plans from the 2019 special general conference. He spent the major portion of the discussion discussing the option developed late last year by a combined group of United Methodist Leaders. This plan and quite probably others must be voted on at the church’s worldwide general conference in May to develop a final plan. What happens locally will depend on the South Carolina conference that will meet after the General Conference.

During the business portion of the meeting, the men voted to donate $250 to St Andrews and $250 to the Epworth Children’s home. The men have paid their general dues to be recertified for the next year. The originally planned Men N Ministry congregational breakfast will be postponed. Don Tummons stated that on March 22 and 29 the church will host lay servant ministry training with about 75 attendees. The men will host a meal one Sunday and the UMW will host the second. There will be no Bells and Whistles this year so ideas for fund raising are being discussed. There will be statewide Men N Ministry one-day retreat on Saturday, February 29 at Mt. Horbe Methodist Church in Lexington.

The final meeting of the year was held on Tuesday December 3. In addition to the regular agenda, there was a special send off for Bruce Motsinger, thanking him for his tireless support to the men’s group and the church. There was a special cake by John Yerdon.
Bob Weiss and John Yerdon prepared the meal. Lynn Bourne delivered the devotion. The program was given by Marion Starkey a native of Plum Branch. He owns and operates Heritage Press. He researches, writes, publishes, and distributes technical books dealing with military history, aviation history, and regional history. During his professional career he was a Marine pilot, a commercial pilot (oil and gas industry), corporate security manager and law enforcement. He researches, writes, and publishes technical books about military history, aviation history, and South Carolina history. He has written over 12 books. His talk covered the five greatest speeches.
During the business portion of the meeting a summary of the Rise Against Hunger program was given: raised more than $35,000 donation money and packaged 137,000 meals. This year’s meals went to Madagascar. A profit of $381 was announced from the Brat sales during the Bazaar. Byron Thompson will be assuming the duties of Secretary. Don Tummons is planning to have a congregational breakfast between services during January as a fund raiser for the Men. Looking ahead there will be a one day state-wide UMen retreat at the Mount Horeb Methodist Church in Lexington on Saturday February 29.
Annual Men’s & Women’s Fall Dinner
There were 55 in attendance at the Annual Men’s & Women’s dinner on Thursday, October 17. Welcoming greetings were given by Bob Rennie, UMM President and Jeanne Thornburg, UMW President. The theme was “Lost in the Fifties”, and Lindy Stahlman gave a very thought-provoking and inspirational devotion that stirred the minds of those in attendance to remember years prior to the 1950’s, and conversation was encouraged about memories of the dates from the 50’s posted at each table. A delicious meal prepared by Chefs Don Tummons (and Carol) and John (and Sue) Yerdon was served cafeteria style. A wonderful program of Christian beach music was then presented by Larry Freeland. Following the presentation, Larry and his wife Linda handed out free CD’s to all present. We were glad that Larry’s mother, Hazel Freeland, could join us. Larry shared with the audience that he had prostate cancer surgery in August and that this was his first performance since that time, giving all of the Glory to God for his recovery and ability to be with us. He not only did this through his testimony, but with his powerful music as well. Larry and Linda sent this electronic message back to McCormick UMC at 10 o’clock that evening: “Thank you all for allowing us to join your Women’s and Men’s Ministry Dinner tonight. We had a wonderful night of fellowship, food, and music. The people at McCormick UMC are so welcoming and encouraging, and we enjoyed every minute. It was so much fun to be “Lost in the 50’s”. We certainly appreciate all the prayers of your people. May God bless you all.” – Linda and Larry Freeland
To see more photos from the event go to UMW and MNM 2019 Annual Meeting
Men N Ministry held their October meeting on Tuesday, October 1. Dale Tarrant, John Yerdon and Don Tummons prepared the meal. Bob Rennie gave the devotion prepared by Don Tummons.
The guest speaker was Terry Wilson who discussed his latest book: Cursed by Bias Diplomacy. He has published 15 books. This is his second historical fiction book on the significant events and conditions of the 1770s leading up to the American Revolution. The discussion provided some fascinating insights about the period including some of the actual people who participated in the actual events.
The next meeting will be December 3 with Bob Weiss preparing the meal. Marion Sturkey of Plum Branch, who owns and operates Heritage Press. Will be the speaker. He researches, writes, publishes, and distributes technical books dealing with military history, aviation history, and regional history (including Plum Branch and other SC areas).
September 10, 2019 Meeting
Men N Ministry returned from the summer break with a dinner meeting on September 10th. John Yerdon and Don Tummons prepared the meal. Joe Larate led the devotional.
The guest speaker for the Evening was SLV resident, James Brady. He was the Director of Acquisitions for thirteen years for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. His talk focused on the holocaust itself, including the differences between genocide and the holocaust, the history leading up to the era, the groups persecuted and myths surrounding the era. He also provided an insightful question and answer period.
During the business portion of the meeting the successful Green Jackets baseball game night was summarized (thanks to Lyn Bourne) and donations were made to the Jeremy Hutton Mission trip to Nicaragua ($200) and the Rise Against Hunger church program ($250).
The men will again be selling Brats, chips and drinks at the October 5th MUMC Craft Show and Cookie Factory from 11:00 on.
Next dinner meeting will be held on October 1 at 6pm. All men are welcome to attend.. No need to sign up, just show up!
There will be a joint UMM-UMW meeting on Thursday October 25th. Due to this meeting there will be no Men N Ministry meeting in November.
April 2, 2019 Meeting
Twenty-three men were in attendance at our April 2019 Men N Ministry meeting. The Meal was prepared by Larry Ream with help from Ray Crace and Bob Weiss. Gordie Waine did devotions, “Love is” and then recited all the Books of the Bible, by memory. Our speaker for the evening was Al Gaer, who shared with us situations and issues from his 28 years with the LA Fire Dept. Al shared with us that being a Fire Fighter is a job in which one sees every type of tragedy possible. We all left with a deeper respect for the job fire fighters do. Our meeting closed withe the “Circle of Prayer”. We remind all men, that you are invited to attend and bring a guest. Our next meeting will be May 7.
February 5, 2019 Meeting
Men N Ministry held their second meeting of the year on Tuesday, February 5. Bob Weiss and Ron Garling prepared a delicious meal of elk casserole and salad. Bryon Thompson gave the devotion.
Pastor Nels was the speaker. He provided an update about the details and current status of the “way forward” proposals to be considered by the upcoming Church Council.
There will be a McCormick wide downtown garage sale on May 4. The men will support the event by having a breakfast from 8:00 to 11:00AM.
January 8, 2019 Meeting
The guest speaker was Darlene Saxon of Piedmont Technical Institute. She is an admissions counselor and associated with coordinating non-traditional education. She provided an interesting overview of the 80 some academic programs and the bridge or transfer opportunities to over 40 college and universities in SC.
December 2018 Meeting
The Men in Ministry held their December meeting on Tuesday Dec 5 in Fellowship Hall. Everyone enjoyed some good conversation and a meal of Pizza and salad with ice cream and brownies for dessert. Bruce Motsinger and Bob Struck prepared the meal.   Bruce gave a short devotional on the symbolism of Advent.
Reverend Jerry Clinkscales of Martha’s Chapel Methodist Church on McCracken Street in McCormick was the keynote speaker. He gave a fascinating discussion of the history of that Church with emphasis of the cemetery and the site of the former school, which is located off Holiday Road near the Southwind section of SLV. Years ago members of our church helped in the work on their current church and had some joint functions. The churches have had minimal interactions in recent years. Plans were discussed to renew activities between the two churches with a joint project to clean up the cemetery early next year.
Following the program a short business meeting was held including the election of officers.
No need to sign up for January dinner meeting, just show up at 6pm on January 8 and bring a friend!
October 2018 Meeting
At the October 2018 meeting Al Gaer demonstrated how to use the automated external defibrillator (AED).
September 2018 Meeting
The Men N Ministry met on Sept 11 due to the Labor Day Holiday. The Meal was cooked by Don Tummons and John Yerdon. Gordie Waine gave the invocation. The speaker was Becky Powell-Moon Executive Director of the McCormick County Senior Center. She provided an overview of the many services and benefits available through the McCormick Area Transit and the Talmadge Fitness and Wellness Complex. Final plans for the pancake breakfast and Lasagna Dinner were discussed. The next meeting will be on October 2 with Al Gaer demonstrating the principles and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).