WE are the church, and to me finding ways to serve others is what God really calls us to do.”

United Methodist Women (UMW) is the largest denominational faith organization for women with approximately 800,000 members whose mission is fostering spiritual growth, developing leaders and advocating for justice. Members raise up to $20 million each year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the U.S. and countries around the world. Each year the UMW of First Methodist recognize and honor members who have served through our church and in the community. Congratulations to the 2017 UMW Service Award recipients: Bess Mitchell, Ann Wilson, Fran & Steve Shurtz, and Glenn Kidder! Thank you for your service and your stories. 

BY DR. GLENN KIDDER

I learned from my parents that I should go to and support my church, and help others when possible. Going to Sunday services and writing a check is fairly easy for most of us. That is the least we should do.

But WE are the church, and to me finding ways to serve others is what God really calls us to do. Most of my service has not been directly through FUMC, but our church keeps me motivated to serve in other ways. Being part of a covenant group for 20 years, attending retreats, and helping with Revive 225 (FUMC’s urban home repair ministry) keep me in touch with our wonderful congregation. Serving with several Kairos prison ministry teams really opened my heart to how the Holy Spirit can move in the most unlikely places.

Inspired by Leadership Baton Rouge, I was instrumental in the start up of The Greater BR Community Clinic which provided eight million dollars of free medical and dental care for the working uninsured in this area. As past president of Cortana Kiwanis with 35 years of perfect attendance, I’m proud of my club, whose motto is, “…improving the world one child and one community at a time.”

I am so blessed to be a dentist! Every work day I have a chance to help people in pain. God has put wonderful mentors in my path, and I know that they expect me help others. I try to help other dentists when teaching at the LSU School of Dentistry and The Pankey Institute in Florida where I serve as a lead faculty. In addition to teaching technical dentistry, the institute also teaches keeping one’s life balanced between love, worship, work, and play. This gives me a regular opportunity to inspire other dentists in excellence and ethics. I feel the spirit of God working through me in all that I do and I am humbled to receive this award.