Rev. Curly Stumb - 2018 Moss Award Honoree


Rev. Clarence "Curly" Stumb, Master of Divinity 1972, received the Robert V. Moss Award at Alumni/ae Day on May 4, 2018.

The annual award is bestowed upon Lancaster Seminary graduates of any denomination who are nominated by clergy, peers, churches, and organizations, for distinguished service in specialized ministry. Our Alumni/ae Council's Faithfulness in Ministry Comittee reviews the nominations and selects the honoree.

Dr. Greg Carey, Professor of New Testament and a member of the Faithfulness in Ministry Committee in 2017-18, outlined Rev. Stumb's noteworthy achievements as provided by his nominators:

It is my distinct honor to present the 2018 Robert V. Moss Award to the Rev. Clarence “Curly” Stumb. A a graduate of Catawba College and of Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1972, Curly has just retired after 31 years of outdoor ministry at Johns River Valley Camp, the outdoor ministry site of the United Church of Christ’s Southern Conference.

We all should know that in the United Church of Christ and other mainline churches, outdoor ministry has proven a primary site of church vitality, producing lay and pastoral leaders by the thousands. When Curly came to John’s River, it was a modest seasonal ministry. John’s River is now a year-round conference and retreat center. Curly cultivated a strategic planning committee and camp board, who with his guidance produced this defining growth.

Without the kind of direction Curly has provided, other camping ministries have failed. John’s River thrives.

Who can count the thousands of lives touched by the ministry of Curly Stumb? Writing in support of Curly’s nomination, Shuford Abernathy reports that his four grown children “often speak of the direct role that Curly played in their Church Camp experience and the indelible mark that he left on their spiritual journey.”

Curly interprets his own work at a holy endeavor. At the Southern Conference Day of Celebration in his honor, he said, “To trust a process carved out by values embedded on a higher plane can make for an adventure driven trek.” Adventuresome, indeed.