Camden First United Methodist Church will celebrate the third anniversary of its pastor, Rev. Ellis White Jr., Sunday at the church.
White, said church leaders, is “truly an inspiring teaching-preacher who has a passion for the work he has been called to do.” During his first year, Camden First adopted the theme: “Committing Our Faith for Kingdom Building”; with the vision of “To Live by Faith and Exhibit the Love of God in All We Do”; and the mission: “To Do the Will of God in an Excellent Way.” While the vision and mission remain the same, the theme for this year has been restated to read: Committing Our Faith for Kingdom Results: The Year of the Favor. White’s passion is obvious, said church leaders, in Bible study sessions as well as in regular Sunday services.
Since his appointment at Camden First, 81 members have been added to the roll of the church. This year, 13 youth completed confirmation class and were confirmed. The majority were males. “It is obvious he is making a difference in the life of our church and the community. He welcomes the concerns of his members and is easily approachable,” said church leaders.
The Family Group and Age-Level Group ministries continue to play a vital role in increasing communication and addressing the interests, needs and concerns of their members. Each ministry plans its own agenda. However, the overall goal is to grow spiritually as individuals, and just as important, to grow together as God’s church.
The Thomas E. McLester Scholarship Fund, which was established in honor of Thomas E. McLester, the “Father of the Church,” continues to grow. Two very deserving students received scholarships this year. The church continues to support these students through prayers and encouragement.
The 2010 summer school program and this year’s after-school program served over 160 elementary and middle school students. Currently, 80 students have signed up for the 2011 summer program.
This year, White participated in a Walk-A-Thon in the interest of teen pregnancy and sponsored by the United Methodist Women. This was a very successful effort in which more than 100 church members and community supporters participated in the 3K walk.
White continues to be actively involved in the organization of the Methodist Conference as: chairperson of the Community of Shalon Steering Committee and president of the African American Task Force, and he serves on the Commission of Equitable Compensation and the South Carolina Board of Global Ministry. In the local community he is a member of the Camden Rotary Club, the Fine Art Center of Kershaw County board, the Camden First Community Development Corporation board and the Christian Community Ministry board.
White is a native of Lynchburg and attended the public schools of Sumter County where he graduated from Maywood High School. He is an alumnus of the University of South Carolina where he earned a degree in Political Science. While at USC, he became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Erskine Theological Seminary and is an ordained elder of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
He is married to Vanetta Woolfolk White and they have two children: Creighton, a graduating senior at Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, N.C., and Carmen, a rising sixth- grader at Killian Elementary in Columbia.
“We at Camden First count it our joy to have Rev. White. For we know the best is yet to come,” said church leaders.