Amy and Hannah Castro; Jay Hogewood Honored with Harry Denman Evangelism Awards

June 15, 2023
The 2023 Annual Conference of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church handed out the prestigious Harry Denman Evangelism Awards to two exceptional clergy members. The awards, which honor individuals who have demonstrated exemplary ministry of evangelism, were given to Rev. Amy Castro and Rev. Jay Hogewood during a special ceremony.

Also, this year, a youth was chosen as a recipient, and that recipient just happened to be Hannah Castro, the daughter of Rev. Amy Castro.

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program recognizes United Methodists in each annual conference who have made a significant impact on people's lives by leading them into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ. Recipients of this esteemed award are distinguished by their unwavering commitment to sharing the Good News through their words, actions, and unwavering dedication to spreading the Gospel.

The recipients of this year's Harry Denman Evangelism Awards in the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church were both clergy members who have exemplified the spirit of evangelism in their respective ministries. Rev. Amy Castro, the pastor of Westlake United Methodist Church in Westlake, and Rev. Jay Hogewood, the senior pastor of Rayne United Methodist Church in New Orleans, were honored for their outstanding contributions to spreading the message of Jesus Christ.

Also honored was Rev. Castro's daughter, Hannah, who exemplified excellence in youth ministry. Hannah plays an instrumental role in helping her Mom set up 'Playground Church', an outreach started by Westlake United Methodist Church where moms are able to enjoy church. While the kids are busy playing on the playground, church is held for the busy moms in the grassy area next to the swing set. Hannah, the helper, has consistently helped her Mom with everything from set-up to breakdown.   

Evangelism is not confined to a single context or setting, and it engages individuals across all generations. It requires the development of meaningful relationships and reaching out to people from diverse backgrounds. The award winners were recognized for their exceptional ability to connect with others and guide them on their faith journey, with many new Christ followers attributing their spiritual growth to encounters with these two remarkable individuals.

The Foundation for Evangelism, a grant-making organization rooted in the Wesleyan tradition and located in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, oversees the Harry Denman Evangelism Awards. The foundation was established in 1949 by Dr. Harry Denman, the General Secretary of the Board of Evangelism of the Methodist Church at the time, along with a group of visionary laymen. Its mission is to spread the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

As the recipients of this year's awards, Castro and Hogewood embody the spirit of evangelism, and their exemplary ministries will undoubtedly continue to touch lives and bring people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church congratulates Rev. Amy Castro and Rev. Jay Hogewood on their well-deserved recognition and expresses gratitude for their tireless efforts in spreading the Good News.
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