‘Man of the Year’


Danny Murphy is named ‘United Methodist Man of the Year’

Danny Murphy, a member of the First United Methodist Church in South Charleston, W.Va., has been honored as the 2019 “West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year.”

Murphy has been active with the United Methodist Men on both the local and state levels for more than 25 years. He is a past president and a past treasurer of First Church’s United Methodist Men. He and his wife, Jeanne, have helped pack Christmas baskets for needy residents and have been on the church’s visitation team, visiting shut-ins. He has been a Sunday Worship Service usher for many years. In past years he was on the church’s grass-cutting team and helped with the church’s Wednesday after-school program for children.

Murphy also has been active in the community. Danny and Jeanne have rung Christmas bells to raise funds for Heart+Hand, a South Charleston mission of the United Methodist Church. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Danny until recently served as an honor guard at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery at Dunbar, W.Va.

At the state level, Murphy has served as treasurer several terms. During the past few years he also has served as the unofficial register for the United Methodist Men’s retreat at WVU Jackson’s Mill.

George Hohmann, president of the West Virginia United Methodist Men, announced the “United Methodist Man of the Year” Award during the organization’s Sept. 13-15 Annual Gathering at WVU Jackson’s Mill.

Hohmann said Wayne Custer, Rev. Dr. Barry Steiner Ball and Ralph Herron helped select Murphy for the honor. Custer is president of the United Methodist Men’s North East Jurisdiction and interim president of the West Virginia Northern District. Rev. Dr. Ball was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Annual Gathering. Herron is the conference scout coordinator and was named “Man of the Year” in 2018.


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.