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Retired teacher, veteran is responsible for high OGHS giving

A retired teacher and army veteran is the voice and force behind both the United Churches in University Place and the Conference being among the top three in per capita giving to the national One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering.

Clint Cannont
Clint Cannon

Clint Cannon believes talking is more powerful than shooting. “I’m not ashamed to talk about money.  Money makes the world go around.  It’s a way I can help,” he said.

After 33 years in the Army from World War II through the Korean and Vietnam wars, he was last stationed at Fort Lewis.  When he retired as a lieutenant colonel, he was in charge of logistics for the West Coast.  He decided to stay in Tacoma, where he earned a master’s degree in business.  He then taught international business at the University of Puget Sound from 1976 to 1991.

His global experience, however, began well before his being stationed in Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Germany and France.

“I grew up with missionaries—mostly from India and China—on itineration staying in our house because my grandfather was a Methodist Episcopal minister,” he said.  “I figured everyone did that.”

In 1993, he began serving on the former United Church Board for World Ministries (BWM), and in 1994 became coordinator of the Western Region, planning OGHS promotion.  He his term with the UCBWM ended in 1999, when the board became Wider Church Ministries, but he continued two more years as regional coordinator.

“Our church has been first, second or third in per capita giving since I served as regional coordinator,” Cannon said.  “I have promoted OGHS at meetings of western regional conferences.”

He promotes global mission and One Great Hour of Sharing year round in his church, giving skits and talks—using some examples from outreach with military chapels.  In January, February and March, he presents every Sunday.

Once he dramatized helping build a water pipeline in Taiwan to give a village running water.  He helped provide knitting machines there.

He also tells of holding Christmas parties for children in resettlement camps in Germany after the war.  In 1953, on the North-South Korea border, he entertained families, and helped fill and stack sandbags to prevent flood damage.

“What I have done with global ministries has been some the finest things I have done in my life,” Cannon said.  “Partnerships are important because when someone is talking they can’t shoot.  We need to keep communication open.”

Cannon has served as president of the 100-member United Churches several times, chair of its External Ministries Committee, chair of the local Hunger Walk and on the board of Associated Ministries.


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © June 2010


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