From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
History groups to observe Wesley 300th anniversary
Thu, 30 Jan 2003 14:40:05 -0600
Jan. 30, 2003 News media contact: Joretta Purdue7(202)
NOTE: An artist's rendering of John Wesley is available with this report.
By United Methodist News Service
The 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist
movement, will be the focus of a major convocation of church historical
groups this summer.
The Fifth Historical Convocation, "John Wesley: His Life and Legacy," will
feature major addresses by five noted scholars. The event will be held Aug.
14-17 at Drew University in Madison, N.J., and Xavier Center in nearby
Convent Station. Wesley, the creator of the practical piety movement that
became Methodism, was born June 17, 1703, in Epworth, England.
Speakers will include:
7 The Rev. Justo Gonzalez, a professor of church history at Columbia
Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., who has written extensively on church
history and Hispanic theology.
7 The Rev. Henry Rack, a British Methodist minister, who is the author
of Reasonable Enthusiast, the classic biography of John Wesley.
7 The Rev. Richard Heitzenrater, a professor of church history at Duke
Divinity School in Durham, N.C., who "broke the code" of Wesley's diary and
is editing the new multi-volume bicentennial edition of Wesley's works.
7 The Rev. Randy Maddox, professor of Wesleyan theology at Seattle
Pacific University, who has written Responsible Grace, a book on Wesley's
7 The Rev. S T Kimbrough Jr., a staff member of the United Methodist
Board of Global Ministries, a musician and scholar of the theology of both
John Wesley and his brother, Charles, who is particularly remembered for his
A panel by the five presenters and a Wesley "hymn sing" led by Kimbrough will
also be offered. Registrants will be able to tour the Archives and History
Center of the United Methodist Church and to select four workshops from a
list of 10 topics, including oral history, Methodist hymnody, fund raising
for historical societies and sites, and planning local church historic
The event will conclude with John Wesley's Covenant Service and Holy
The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History will present its 2003
Distinguished Service Award to Jean Miller Schmidt, a professor of church
history at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and it will give special
recognition to Bishop James Thomas in recognition of his work in preserving
the history of the denomination's Central Jurisdiction.
The convocation is being co-sponsored by the commission; the Historical
Society of the United Methodist Church; Drew University, the Divinity School;
the World Methodist Council; the Charles Wesley Society; the North American
Section of the World Methodist Historical Society; and the Northeastern
Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History.
Registration, including housing at the Xavier retreat center and meals, will
be $310; without housing, $230. For additional information or registration
materials, contact Arthur Swarthout, convocation coordinator at P.O. Box 268,
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745 until June 15. Inquiries after that time, along with
registration fees, should be directed to the Commission on Archives and
History, P.O. Box 127, Madison, N.J. 07940.
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United Methodist News Service
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