‘Man of the Year’

Ralph Herron is named

‘United Methodist Man of the Year’

Ralph Herron, a member of Highlawns United Methodist Church in Rivesville, W.Va., has been honored as the 2018 “West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year.”

Herron has been an active member and leader of the Rivesville church for more than 25 years. He has served as chair of the church’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee, as a trustee on the Administrative Board, and as an Annual Conference delegate. He also has worked with the Kids for Christ Community Outreach Program.

In addition, Herron has been active in the United Methodist Church at both the district and conference levels.

Herron is well known among scouts throughout the state. He has served for 12 years as the West Virginia Methodist Conference’s Scouting Coordinator. In that role, Herron acts as the liaison between scouts and the West Virginia United Methodist Men. During their retreat at Jackson’s Mill each September, the men host scouts from across the state who camp and participate in a weekend of outdoor activities known as the Circuit Rider.

This year was the 30th Circuit Rider. Approximately 390 Scouts and their leaders attended.

Herron has been a Certified Scouting Ministry Specialist for 25 years and has served on the Boy Scouts of America’s Mountaineer Area Council’s Executive Board for 20 years.

He is the recipient of numerous United Methodist religious awards including the Cross and Flame Award, the God and Service Award, the Torch Award and the Silver Torch Award.

Don Davis, president of the West Virginia United Methodist Men, announced the “United Methodist Man of the Year” Award during the organization’s Sept. 7-9 retreat at Jackson’s Mill.

Davis said Wayne Custer, Rev. Mark Lubbock and Rev. Harold Langevin helped select Herron for the honor. Custer is president of the United Methodist Men’s North East Jurisdiction. Lubbock, the keynote speaker at this year’s retreat, is a local pastor in the Louisiana Conference and a member of the staff of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Langevin is pastor of the United Methodist Church’s Belington Circuit, composed of five churches.

Herron is a resident of Fairmont. He and his wife, Kathy, have three sons: Steve, Todd and Victor.

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Fairmont newspaper

publishes feature about Ralph Herron


The Fairmont Times West Virginian, Ralph Herron’s hometown newspaper, has published a story about Ralph being named the W.Va. United Methodist Men’s ‘Man of the Year.’ Read it at:





Gentlemen in Christ: A few years ago it was decided that we should follow the criteria for ‘Man of the Year’ as outlined below.

Nominations should be put in a letter that explains the activities of the nominee over the years at his local church, at his district, in the state conference level and, if applicable, at the national level. The letter should also cover the nominee’s community activities.  — Don Davis, June 20, 2018


‘Man of the Year’ criteria

     In 1954 the West Virginia United Methodist Men elected to honor an outstanding man by naming that person ‘Layman of the Year.’ There were some guidelines, but not one item was put in writing and  no addition was made to the by-laws to make it official.

For a short time the names that were submitted were presented to the members of the Annual Conference as a whole. The members of the conference then voted on the nominee to determine the person that would receive this honor.

     When the gathering was moved to Jackson’s Mill, the following changes were made: 1. The men attending the gathering would select the person to receive this honor and 2. The name was changed to United Methodist ‘Man of the Year.’

In keeping with some of the criteria from 1953 and other criteria mentioned in newspaper articles from 1961 and 1971, the following criteria were developed for evaluating and selecting the Man of the Year:

  1. An outstanding (United Methodist Man) in the church.
  2. Must have a lifetime (a minimum of 25 years) of continuous service to a United Methodist Church and the community through the United Methodist Men.
  3. The nominee be of a. Christian character b. have leadership in the local church, district and conference level. c. Have or shown a leadership role in community affairs and/ or service organizations. d. Faithfully fulfilled his church membership vows by prayers, present, gifts, service and witness.
  4. That any person serving as an Executive Officer in the Conference United Methodist Men is ineligible for nomination.
  5. That this honor or award can only be received once by an individual.

     In keeping with the spirit of the original plan, anyone can be nominated as an outstanding man using the following steps:

  1. Complete a letter of the nomination. There is no  special form to fill out, but the letter should include  the nominee’s name, address, phone number, e-mail, name of his church, church address, as well as  the name of the person submitting the nomination and all of that person’s contact information.
  2. The letter should be accompanied by a brief biography of the nominee explaining what makes him an outstanding man. Include a record of service through the United Methodist Men to God and neighbors, the length of service at the time of the nomination and the date of the nomination. Please include a detailed explanation of this service at the local, district, and conference levels along with any service organization’s he belongs to and his service in the community.
  3. Submit the letter to your church or to the West Virginia Conference President for United Methodist Men.

      A selection committee will be formed consisting of each district president or a person from that district to be determined by the president of the West Virginia United Methodist Men. In addition to the nine (9) district presidents, two (2) addition people will be appointed by the president of the United Methodist Men, one being a member of the clergy and the other being a lay person.

The selection committee will meet on Friday evening at the September United Methodist Men Gathering at Jackson Mill’s to review the nominees. The name of the nominee who is determined to be the ‘Man of the Year’ will be given only to the president of the West Virginia United Methodist Men, who will make the announcement at the Saturday evening business section.

The recipient of this honor  can have the award presented to him at any place or time of his choosing.