the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Since the UMC did not have an organized charismatic group, the GBOD deputized Whetstone to organize and lead The United Methodist portion of this historic event. By now, Ross had left his position at the GBOD to teach as a professor of Evangelism at Scarritt College in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ross invited four other United Methodists to join him in providing leadership for the United Methodist section of the Conference.
Dr. Robert G. Tuttle, Jr., who was a professor at Oral Roberts University;
Dr. Robert Stamps who was serving as chaplain at Oral Roberts University;
Rev. Tommy Tyson (deceased 2003) who was a General Evangelist from North Carolina; and
Dr. William P. Wilson, who was a professor of psychiatry at the Duke Medical School.
These five men of God would later become the “founding fathers” of the United Methodist Renewal Services Fellowship, Inc. (Aldersgate Renewal Ministries).
It was estimated that about 800 Methodists attended the conference. During a question and answer period during the UM sessions, several concerns were discussed. One was whether United Methodists should form a national organization for charismatics and conduct their own Holy Spirit Conference. The issue of whether the United Methodists should form a national fellowship group within the denomination was discussed at length and strongly encouraged by the attendees, who felt alone, isolated, and disenfranchised from the general church. Even though all five of the leaders were opposed to such an idea, the United Methodists gathered in Kansas City pressed the issue until the leadership agreed to take the matter to prayer for six weeks and report back by mail. 6
Interestingly, my wife Sally and I, were part of the UM contingent that attended the CCRCC in Kansas City in 1977. At that time, we were part of the lay leadership of the 1st UMC of Bedford, Texas. I was also employed by Texas Utilities Company in Fort Worth administering their management training programs. A couple in the church felt that the Holy Spirit was leading them to send us to Kansas City and to pay all of our expenses as an investment into God’s ministry through us. One of the things that God spoke to us in Kansas City was “you will experience a soon release into full time service to build up the body of Christ.”
Upon returning home, the word was confirmed by several other people, including Pastor Scott. The following June, I left Texas Utilities (after 13 years) to join the staff at the church where our family had been members since 1972.
Upon his return to Nashville, Whetstone consulted with Bishop Earl Hunt, then resident Bishop of the Nashville area, about the formation of such a renewal group. Bishop Hunt answered without hesitation, “You must do it!” The next week, Whetstone met with Bishop James S. Thomas who also encouraged him to start the renewal group. With the reassurance gained from the encouragement of two bishops, the five leaders from the Kansas City conference met later in 1977 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to launch the UMRSF.
As these leaders sought the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in their deliberations, there were several things that seemed clear to them:
Aldersgate Renewal Ministries: History and Impact - Page 5
Copyright © 2005, Gary L. Moore and Aldersgate Renewal Ministries. All rights reserved.