Children’s Ministry Shepherd’s Cup Winners Announced

To recognize children’s workers who have served long term in children’s ministry, a Shepherd’s Cup award is presented annually at the annual Church of God Youth and Discipleship FOCUS Kidmin Conference, which convened last week in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 1-3. The awards were presented in front of an elite group of over 260 deserving children’s ministry leaders who attended.

The Shepherd’s Cup is awarded annually to individuals who have been involved in ministry to children for at least 10 years and have made this area of ministry a priority and lifetime commitment and whose ministry has set high standards for others to follow. The recipients of this award for 2018 include a variety of individuals who minister to children.

The first recipient is James Birmingham, nominated by Pastor Deric Rea. After a long tenure as a senior pastor in three churches, Pastor James chose to serve as a children’s pastor at the Winfield Church of God, which he has done the last 14 years.

“Though he has faced and continues to face some physical and circumstantial challenges, Pastor James continues unwavering in his call to minister to kids,” stated Children’s Ministries Coordinator Tony Lane.

The second recipient is Roberta Mayes, nominated by Pastor Michael Alley. Roberta has served in children’s ministry for the last 35 years with Woodland Church of God in Kokomo, Indiana.

“In Girls Ministries, she has served over 30 years as a Bluebelles and Joybelles teacher,” Lane said. “Her work in low income homes has helped many prepare children for Pre-k.”

A team of men was also selected to receive the Shepherd’s Cup award. Serving as Royal Rangers commanders, Keith Holloway, Brian Holloway, Daniel Lloyd, and Steven Swiger, have been instrumental in teaching and discipleship of boys for 25 years at the South Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. Upon nominating them, Pastor Edwin Lipsey described the men as, “amazing and worthy of double honor for reaching and teaching boys and doing it for so many years.”

The Shepherd’s Cup award is a ministry of the Church of God Children’s Leaders Association, a fellowship of children’s pastors and children’s ministry leaders under the auspices of the Church of God Youth and Discipleship Department. At the FOCUS Conference a CLA business session was held and the CLA leadership team was elected for the 2018-2020 term. The new team includes Trent Black (Monroe, Louisiana), Thadd Peavy (Rome, Georgia), Mike White (Lenoir City, Tennessee), Holly Rogers (Fort Mill, South Carolina) and Hillary May (Cleveland, Tennessee).

For information on the Shepherd’s Cup Award or to request a brochure about the 2019 FOCUS Conference or Kidfest weekend experiences coming up in April, or CLA, contact Children’s Ministries Coordinator Tony Lane, at 423-478-7229 or visit

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