Denman Award Winners -Debra Egloff & Peter Matthews
Evangelism extends God’s love in a variety of contexts and settings; it impacts and engages all generations; and evangelism is built upon relationship – both with God and with those around us. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
Rev. Debra Egloff and Rev. Peter Matthews are both pastors at McKinley United Methodist Church in Dayton (Miami Valley District). Since his arrival at McKinley UMC in 2016, Rev. Matthews’ ministry has truly reflected the admonition of Jesus to serve the least of these. He has implemented feeding programs for children and senior citizens living in food insecure neighborhoods; served the spiritual, educational, and health needs of children in underserved communities; provided a space for the immigrant community to receive educational services; offered free COVID-19 testing for thousands of people in the Dayton area, and provided space for immigrants from the African diaspora to access health care.
Rev. Egloff is devoted to bringing the Gospel to children and is creative in designing resources that support their educational and spiritual development. When Rev. Matthews envisioned a new approach to discipling children, Rev. Egloff eagerly accepted the challenge of leading this program. Her warm and engaging manner helped to ensure that the children felt welcomed as members of the McKinley family.
“We are indeed fortunate to have an associate pastor who is solidly committed to carrying out the vision of our senior pastor,” remarks Kathleen Taylor, SPRC Chair. “Her energetic and creative leadership has been an invaluable asset to our church.”
In March of 2020, all in-person activities at McKinley were discontinued due to pandemic restrictions. Community outreach activities were quickly reconfigured in order to continue providing services. Children and families received weekly food boxes, as well as “to go” activity kits. During Corona Camp, the church’s "Superhero Challenge" activities focused on campers’ intrinsic value to themselves, their families, and to God. As the year progressed, school supplies as well as winter coats were given to those in need.
“Pastor Egloff has truly demonstrated the best tenets of evangelism. She is leading by doing,” Kathleen says. “Pastor Matthews has continued to work tirelessly to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. His words and actions are a demonstration of loving kindness, particularly for the least of these.”
Thank you, Rev. Egloff and Rev. Matthews, for your exceptional leadership in helping to build God’s kingdom!