The National Association of Conference Presidents of the
United Methodist Men awarded Christ of the Hills United Methodist Men the honor
of Top UMM Unit in the Nation on Tuesday, June 16 at the Arkansas Annual
Conference of the United Methodist Church which was held in Hot Springs.
Dan Ramsey, president of the National Association of
Conference Presidents of UM Men, announced the winner at a March 5-8 meeting of
conference presidents and prayer advocates in Nashville, TN. Fred Gore, 2015 president
of UM Men and Dr. Walter L. Smith, Senior Pastor, had planned to attend to receive the award, but they were forced to cancel
plans because of poor weather. Instead, Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the
General Commission on UM Men, presented the wall plaque and trophy to Gore and Smith
during the Annual Conference. Over 30 members from Christ of the Hills were
also present to show their appreciation to the Methodist Men..
A committee of conference and jurisdictional UM Men
officers selected the top five local church units, the top district unit, the
top annual conference unit and the top national unit.
“Our focus is to support our church mission to “Bring In,
Build Up and Reach Out”, said Bubba Smith, Sr. Pastor at Christ of the Hills.
Men of Christ of the Hills UMC conduct an annual retreat,
sponsor a sweetheart breakfast for wives, and annually raise $14,000 for
various mission efforts. Funds are raised by an annual golf tournament, a
church barbeque, recycling aluminum cans and printer cartridges and assisting
the United Methodist Women with their super-sized garage sale. The men provide food baskets and deliver
gifts to 40 families including 100 children at Christmas. They also deliver food baskets provided by
other groups in their church at Easter and Thanksgiving and volunteer every
month at two local food banks.
This energetic group annually works with the Oaklawn Race
Track Chapel to provide support to the approximately one thousand “backside”
race track workers and their families. A
barbeque meal is served to 400 plus workers and meals; gifts and warm clothing
are provided at Christmas for the families.
They also support the collective ministry of several churches to serve
Sunday lunches to the homeless and people in need.
Thirty-five members of the group
have attended the “Walk to Emmaus” and in 2014, Christ of the Hills UMC UM Men
contributed over 6,000 volunteer hours.
“We truly want to make a difference”, concluded Smith.