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United Methodist Men’s ministry gets new home

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Photo courtesy of the Commission on United Methodist Men

The Commission on United Methodist Men will occupy the former Nashville, Tenn., office of the church's finance agency in mid-February.

Jan. 26, 2005

By Rich Peck*

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist agency responsible for men’s ministries will soon have a home of its own for the first time since its creation in 1996.

The Commission on United Methodist Men will move to Music Row, an area populated by the country music industry. Until now, the nine-member staff has occupied crowded rooms in the Kern Building, a structure owned by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The commission bought a building formerly owned by the Nashville office of the General Council on Finance and Administration. The 4,200-foot structure became available when the finance agency moved to a larger space nearby, where it consolidated its Nashville operations and its main office from Evanston, Ill.

The men’s commission received permission to buy the $750,000 building from its 24-member board of directors, GCFA, and the denomination’s Connectional Table.

Following the purchase, the commission renovated the bathrooms to make them handicapped accessible and established a large conference room with a movable divider so commission meetings can be held in the one-story building.

The agency also changed the entry door, bought new carpets and made other repairs totaling about $100,000. The agency borrowed $600,000 from the United Methodist Men Foundation, an endowment fund that receives funds for scouting and men’s ministries from United Methodist groups and individuals. The balance was paid by commission reserve funds.

The commission expects to move into the building in mid-February.

The agency is also in the process of selecting a new top staff executive. The Rev. Joseph Harris, general secretary since the birth of the agency, resigned last June to become the assistant to the bishop of the Oklahoma Area and director of communications for the Oklahoma Annual (regional) Conference. A search committee, led by Bishop James King of the Louisville (Ky.) Area, expects to nominate a new top executive in the next few months. Bishop William W. Morris, retired, is serving as interim general secretary.

*Peck is communications coordinator for the churchwide Commission on United Methodist Men.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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