Briefly for April 17, 2009


In Memoriam

The Rev. William E. “Bill” Torkell Sr., 71, pastor of Macon United Methodist Church in the McKendree District and Chaplain for the Methodist Hospital Systems of Memphis, died unexpectedly Saturday, March 28, 2009 at his residence. Services were at 2pm Wednesday, April 1, at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland with interment in Fayette County Memorial Park.
A graduate of Lambuth University and lifelong resident of the Memphis area, Rev. Torkell had served as a United Methodist Minister for 30 years.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Jennette Torkell, his children: Pamela Dawn Emerson (George) of Memphis, William Earl Torkell Jr. (Lisa) of Memphis and six grandchildren.
Memorials are requested to the Methodist Foundation for Chapel Construction at Methodist Fayette in Somerville, Fayette or Shelby County Chapters of the American Heart Association, or the Macon United Methodist Church.
Correspondence may be sent to Earl Torkell, 6910 Arbor Lake Cove, Memphis, TN 38141.
In Memoriam
James Hyter, 87, a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Memphis, died Thursday, April 2, 2009 at Methodist University Hospital. Mr. Hyter was renowned for his bass-baritone rendition of “Ol’ Man River” at Sunset Symphony concerts during the annual Memphis in May Celebration. He performed his signature song for 21 years.
Mr. Hyter began singing in church choirs as a child and, as a adult, sang with choirs at Centenary United Methodist Church and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. He sang for years with the Memphis Symphony Chorus.
His daughter, Beverly Hyter, said her father was honored with a James A. Hyter Vocal Music Scholarship Fund set up in 1993 through Morgan Keegan & Co. for Mid-South high school graduates or college students who need financial help.
The family requests that memorials be sent to the fund (901-728-4600) or to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 480 S. Highland Ave., Memphis 38111-4302.
Visitation was at St. Luke’s and in Wilson Chapel at Christ UMC. The funeral service was at 10:30am, April 9, in the sanctuary of Christ UMC. Two special anthems were sung by the combined choirs of St. Luke’s UMC, Centenary UMC, and the Memphis Symphony Chorus.
Officiating was Dr. R. Mark Matheny, Rev. Stephen M. Dodson, the Rev. Joel Nichols, and the Rev. Dennis Neenan.
After the service, the special funeral motorcade drove by Riverside Park, the scene of Mr. Hyter’s appearances with the Sunset Symphony, on the way to burial at the West Tennessee Veterans’ Cemetery on Forest Hill Irene.
In Memoriam
Nancy Atkins, wife of the Rev. Steve Atkins, associate pastor at Germantown United Methodist Church, died Friday, April 10, 2009 at Methodist North Hospital in Memphis. She died peacefully surrounded by family and friends.
Visitation was Monday, April 13, 5:00-8:00pm, at Millington Chapel Munford Funeral Home.
The funeral was Tuesday, April 14, at 10:30am at Germantown United Methodist Church. Officiating was the Rev. Rick Kirchoff, Germantown senior pastor. 
Burial was in the Poplar Grove Cemetery in Drummonds, TN. Poplar Grove UMC is Nancy’s home church.
Surviving are her husband Steve Atkins, daughter Anna (a freshman at Lambuth University), son Andrew (a senior in high school), and one brother, Sammie McCoy (a member of Huntingdon First UMC).
Memphis Conference leader honored by Nashville Area UMM
NASHVILLE––David R. Reed has held nearly every office in the Martin (Tenn.) First UMC and is a certified lay speaker. He leads the Communications Action Team of the Memphis Annual Conference and served on the Advisory Task Force for the Office of Congregational Development and Transformation. He helped to develop a new ecumenical Christian ministry called Godstory and Flight Quest men’s retreats which the General Board of Discipleship is working to adopt. David is also on the Board of Trustees for Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly, the camping ministry of the Memphis Conference and serves as Lakeshore’s Director of Development.
On the national level, Reed serves on the board of directors of the United Methodist Men Foundation, the worldwide Foundation for Evangelism, and the board of directors of the Society of St. Andrew based in Big Island, Va. He is one of four members who served on the independent Evaluation and Review Team for the Connectional Table with the responsibility of evaluating   United Methodist Communications for General Conference.
However, it was his leadership and sponsorship of men’s ministry programs within the UM Men organization that led to his induction into the John Wesley Society during a March 5-8 meeting of the National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men.
Ingram Howard, president of Tennessee Conference UMM, led the fund-raising effort and inducted him into the society. The John Wesley Society was formed in 1982 by the United Methodist Men Foundation (UMMF) to recognize people who exemplify the characteristics of the founder of Methodism. The United Methodist Men of the Memphis Conference and the Tennessee Conference are pleased to make a $1,000 donation to the UMMF in David’s honor. Money raised for this recognition helps fund scouting ministries, the Upper Room Prayer Line, and United Methodist Men ministries.
April 21 UMM Fish Fry
Come to Frog Jump on Tuesday, April 21, for catfish and country ham! The men of Archer’s Chapel United Methodist Church will be frying catfish and preparing all the trimmings. The ladies of the church will load the tables with wonderful homemade desserts. The all-you-can-eat menu is only $12 per person. The line opens at 5 pm.
The featured speaker is Larry Malone, Director of Men’s Ministry at the General Commission on United Methodist Men. The Fincher Family Singers of Archer’s Chapel will sing. To make your reservation, contact Rev. James Roper at 12767 Hwy. 88 East, Halls, TN, 38040 or by phone at 731-656-2237 by April 17.
Town Hall for Hope at Huntingdon First UMC
Tired of hearing the fear, doom and gloom that’s filling the airwaves? Join Dave Ramsey on April 23 for a nationwide town hall meeting and discover what’s happening with the economy, how we got here, and where we’re going. Plus, Dave will answer your questions live.
Plan to be at Huntingdon First UMC for Town Hall for Hope.
The free event, hosted by Huntingdon First, will begin at 7:00pm. It will be preceded at 6:30pm with a preview of Financial Peace University, a 13-week course that will begin May 5.
Both the preview and Town Hall for Hope are open to the community. However, space is limited to 200. Please make reservations for groups of 10 or more. Call 731-986-2251.
For more information, go to