2018 Annual Conference Award Recipients


  • Robert Carlson, Centenary United Methodist Church

Sponsored by the Commission on Archives to recognize the best overall church history from United Methodists of Greater New Jersey.

The Commission on Archives and History is proud to present The 2018 Robert B. Steelman Methodist History Award to Centenary United Methodist Church of Metuchen, New Jersey. We congratulate Centenary UMC’s Church Historian, Robert Carlson, for submitting a detailed history of the Christian witness by the disciples of the Metuchen congregation from its inception in 1866 to its 150th anniversary, which the church celebrated in 2016.

Mr. Carlson’s thorough research of church documents and local history impressed the judges of the contest. The addition of many pictures and historical anecdotes made this a comprehensive a history as strong as any we have judged in recent years. A local church history is a narrative of the faith of a congregation. In future years, this history will supply the foundation for telling Centenary’s ongoing story of engaging in vital, transformative ministry.

Bob Carlson is a 52 year member of Centenary UMC, where he has served on a variety of committees, chairing many. Recently he chaired the 150th Anniversary Committee, as well as writing the history. He taught the Adult Sunday Class for twenty-five years and is an active participant in Centenary’s Summer Vacation Bible School. Prior to his retirement, he was Manager of Employee Communications and Community Relations for Novartis. He has two adult children and four grandchildren.

Church history entries were judged by commission members Morgan Glossbrenner, Nikolay Petrov and Donald DeGroat. Submissions for the 2019 Church History Contest are due by mid- January of next year.


  • Rosa Williams, Conference Lay Leader

Sponsored by the General Commission on Status and Role of Women as the outstanding woman for leadership and influence in the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rosa Williams is a die hard, sold-out saint for Christ. She serves faithfully at the Galilee UMC and as a lay leader for the Greater New Jersey Conference. Whenever asked, Rosa has answered to the call and to go beyond her duties as a servant in the church. Her determination to see others connected to God and be in right relationship is phenomenal. She exemplifies a Woman of God and has served as a past president of the United Methodist Women at Galilee UMC.

A member in the United Methodist Women hall of fame, Rosa continues to support the cause of women locally and globally especially in the area of missions. She not only supports women but also any young people. Rosa is always willing and ready with resources that she has acquired to share with whomever is in need of them. Because of her consistencies in her demonstrating love and determination in her service at Galilee, many parishioners are growing spiritually.

She is the epitome of dedicated service, diligence and leadership and always well prepared to go the extra mile. A talented visionary, Rosa supports and promotes the various ministries inside and outside of the church.

For many years she has been the president of National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club in – Teaneck Englewood. They promote the interest of business and professional women, provide programs and award scholarships to recognize youth and uplifts the community. Rosa is a dynamic woman who genuinely gives her all to transforming lives.



  • Rev. Frances Preston, Christ UMC in Piscataway

Sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) board members of Greater New Jersey.

Rev. Frances Preston is the senior pastor at Christ Church in Piscataway. Several years
ago, under her leadership, Christ UMC, began to work with seminary students to develop a campus ministry at Rutgers where they were able to make a connection with the International Students Community. The church works with the Rutgers International Friendship Program to host events and make connections. They have connected students with host families in the church for holiday meals at Thanksgiving, hosted an international food party and sponsored other events for the international student community. Most recently, they have been working with the Rutgers Student Food Pantry. Christ UMC’s own food pantry (Shepherds Shelves) has been helping to support the student food pantry at Rutgers with tangible donations and gift cards. Many of the international students use this resource.

Rev. Preston currently serves as registrar for the Raritan Valley DCOM. She has mentored numerous seminary students and graduates seeking ordination or certification in ministry in the UMC. And, she currently serves on the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry.”



  • Timothy Myunghoon Ahn, Arcola Korean UMC

Sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism to recognize a clergy member, lay person or a youth pastor who has an outstanding personal evangelism ministry.

Timothy Myunghoon Ahn has been in full-time ministry for over thirty years. During that time, he has pastored churches in Boston and New Jersey. Both churches grew from about thirty to one hundred fifty people. He is currently senior pastor of the Arcola Korean United Methodist Church (KUMC), where he has been leading for twenty years. He led a smooth transition as the second senior pastor of the church and led the $4.5 million construction of the education wing of the church building.

Rev. Ahn is passionate about mission and outreach. He leads and participates in various local initiatives to further the gospel. Arcola KUMC is involved
in an annual lunch outreach to homeless people in New York. During one of these lunches, Rev. Ahn spoke briefly on Psalm 121 which was of great encouragement to the homeless gathered. Arcola also raises support and gives annual donations for the Center for United Methodist Aid to the Community (CUMAC) in Paterson, NJ.

Arcola KUMC is also heavily involved in global missions. The church supports Rev. Ahn as he leads training for local pastors two to three times annually in nations such as; Mexico, Bolivia, Laos, Bangkok, Cambodia and Mongolia. This past year, more than thirty people were baptized at Arcola’s mission center in Bolivia during a revival conference led by Rev. Ahn.

At home, Rev. Ahn’s ministry reaches people young and old. His paradigm for preaching is “why Jesus”. He visits church members’ homes frequently in ministry of presence, sharing Scriptures and prayers with the people. He conducts several funerals a year in which he always emphasizes the heavenly hope that is found in Christ Jesus. Arcola confirms around ten middle school students yearly and Rev. Ahn does Q&A sessions with the confirmation students to encourage them as they make the gospel faith their own. Arcola runs a two-semester per year discipleship program called Wesley Discipleship School, during which he and other pastors teach various faith building classes.

The church sees the impact of Rev. Ahn’s ministry in the stability and steady growth of the church and his continuing evangelism and outreach inspires others to do the same for Jesus Christ.