|Three Texas conferences ‘net’ support for ‘Nets’|
Bishop Janice Riggle Huie (right) holds up a T-shirt at the conclusion of a four-day "Nothing But Sweat" bike ride that ended April 23. The riders raised $156,144 for Nothing But Nets. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey.
By Joan LaBarr
April 23, 2008
The Nothing But Nets campaign to eradicate malaria is receiving a major boost, thanks to three annual conferences in Texas.
The Texas Conference “Nothing But Sweat” cyclists raised $156,144 with a four-day, 238-mile bike ride from Montgomery to Fort Worth, Texas. Houston Area Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, president of the Council of Bishops, and Bishop Benjamin Boni of Côte d’Ivoire, which will receive insecticide-treated bed nets purchased with the donations, were on hand to greet the riders April 23 at General Worth Square Park across from the Fort Worth Convention Center, site of the 2008 General Conference.
The Rev. Morris Matthis, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, Sugarland, Texas, led the bike ride, with the goal of raising both money and awareness of the malaria crisis.
As the cyclists gathered in General Worth Square, Bishop Huie voiced her pride that the group would “step out, take a risk, and be blessed by people and churches along the way.”
She explained that the money raised, which far exceeded the original goal of $100,000, will be used to save lives of children and expectant mothers in Côte d’Ivoire. A team from the Texas Conference will deliver the nets later this year.
The Central and North Texas conferences have raised more than $300,000 for Nothing But Nets, including contributions netted through a series of three-on-three basketball tournaments.
For the past six months, both conferences have sponsored tournaments to raise money for the bed nets and to select the winning teams to vie against each other in the “Methodist Madness” championship Saturday, April 26, in the gymnasium of First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, 800 W. Fifth St.
Riders near the end of the 238-mile "Nothing But Sweat" bike ride. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey.
The pre-playoff briefing will begin in the gymnasium at 2 p.m. Bishops Ben Chamness, Central Texas; Alfred L. Norris, North Texas; Thomas Bickerton, Western Pennsylvania; Daniel Wandabula, East Africa; and David Yemba, Central Congo, will participate. The Hope for Africa Children’s Choir from Uganda will represent the young lives at risk from malaria.
Tournament chairpersons are the Rev. Howard Martin, Central Texas, and Darian Pace, North Texas. Teams for the final matchup are Whaley United Methodist Church, Gainesville, vs. First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Men’s Division, and Hamilton Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, vs. Alvarado United Methodist Church, Alvarado, Boys’ Division.
The playoff will follow the news briefing, and all are welcome to stay to see which teams prevail and win trophies for their conferences.
Bishop Janice Riggle Huie on uses of the money raised
The Rev. Bill Webb on the importance of Nothing But Nets
The Rev. Vincent Harris on the problem of malaria in Africa
General Conference headlines
Nothing But Nets