FFE Awards Grant to United Theological Seminary Fresh Expressions House of Study

DAYTON, Ohio – The Foundation for Evangelism has awarded United Theological Seminary (UTS) in Dayton, Ohio, a grant of up to $24,000 for the formation of a Fresh Expressions House of Study over the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years.

This grant will equip UTS to add a certificate program for local church leadership training in the international Fresh Expressions* model. UTS has also received a Lily Endowment grant to support the Fresh Expressions training at the level of a Master’s concentration or Doctor of Ministry. Cohorts for training in a specially tailored Fresh Expressions track will be intentionally formed with students from diverse racial, ethnic, and denominational backgrounds.

According to UTS Vice President for Development, Callie Picardo, this is the only program of its kind in the United States at the seminary level.

Neil Alexander, chair of the Foundation for Evangelism’s Grant Committee stated that, “This grant continues in the spirit of the Foundation’s well-established Professors of Evangelism program to enable our Wesleyan-tradition seminaries to make a strong emphasis on evangelism in the education of future pastors and local church leaders.”

UTS Fresh Expressions House of Study will be led by Rev. Dr. Michael Beck (Director) and Rev. Jorge Acevedo (Graduate Assistant). Acevedo’s connection to The Foundation for Evangelism dates back to 2001 when he received the Harry Denman Evangelism Award from the Florida United Methodist Conference and in 2009 was named a Distinguished Evangelist.

Jane Boatwright Wood, President for The Foundation for Evangelism shared, “We have long been in dialogue and relationship with United Theological Seminary around ways to help provide quality Wesleyan training in evangelism for their students. We are so pleased that our foundation can be a catalyst to begin this new initiative that will make an impact at the local church level.”

The grant term will be for two academic years including 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 with a cohort of approximately 50 students per academic year.

The Foundation for Evangelism works globally to educate and invite people into the Christian faith.  Grants to pan-Wesleyan/Methodist leaders, churches, seminaries, and denominations impact Christian leaders in Russia, Europe, several African countries, and the United States.  To learn more about our ministry, visit www.FoundationForEvangelism.org.

* Fresh Expressions is an international, multi-denominational movement of missionary disciples cultivating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations to more effectively engage a growing post-Christian society.

Seashore District UMC Mississippi Conference Receives Grant

GULFPORT, Mississippi – The Seashore District in the Mississippi Conference is the recipient of a grant for $7,500 from The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) for a 16-month cohort to assess and develop contextually appropriate evangelism practices and discipleship systems.

Beginning in September 2021, nine congregational leadership teams (8 served by local pastors) will participate in the Evangelism for Non-Evangelists Webinar Series led by Dr. Mark Teasdale (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) and Dr. Heather Lear (FFE Research and Teaching Fellow). The teams will develop and implement an action plan using the tools from the webinars. Follow-up sessions will be offered around particular areas of growth with recognized leaders in evangelism, and  the cohort will gather regularly for check-ins and mentoring. Each congregation will submit a report to FFE of learnings, surprises, and successes during the final quarter of 2022.

Rev. Dr. Heather Lear states that, “The cohort beautifully ties together the three focus areas of The Foundation for Evangelism’s grants which include raising up gospel leaders, engaging the ministry of the laity, and equipping the local church.” The Seashore District Cohort will help address the scarcity of quality evangelism training available to local pastors and those taking a non-traditional path into ministry.

Neil Alexander, chair of the Foundation for Evangelism’s Grant Committee stated that, “I am pleased that our board of trustees recognizes the need for leadership in evangelism at various levels of the church. We hope this grant partnership can serve as a model for others in the future!”

The Foundation for Evangelism works globally to educate and invite people into the Christian faith.  Grants to pan-Wesleyan/Methodist leaders, churches, seminaries, and denominations impact Christian leaders in Russia, Europe, several African countries, and the United States.  To learn more about our ministry, visit www.FoundationForEvangelism.org.

###

CONTACT:

The Foundation for Evangelism

Barby Bowser, Communications

828-454-6800    bbowser@foundationforevangelism.org

Seashore District, Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church https://www.seashoredistrictumc.org/

Christian Artist with Ties to FFE Dies

Kenneth Wyatt at his studio in Texas

Kenneth J. Wyatt passed away on May 24, 2021, just a few weeks before his 91st birthday. The artist, best known for his Cowboy Art, also painted many religious and spiritual subjects and authored several books. In the 1980s, Dr. Wyatt was commissioned to paint “Offer Them Christ” which for many years was used as The Foundation for Evangelism’s logo and hung in The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville before coming to the Foundation’s headquarters at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Dr. Wyatt explained that his talent with brush and paint was “strictly a gift from God…. I see paintings in my soul, and I just push the paint around until it looks like what I see inside.” His nearly 9,000 paintings hang in offices, churches in over 90 countries, museums, and are part of the collections of everyone from farmers to presidents! One journalist stated that “Wyatt is the Norman Rockwell of cowboy art, and his biblical paintings may be without peer.” (Jon Mark Beilue, Amarillo Glob-News, Aug. 10, 2013 https://www.amarillo.com/article/20130810/NEWS/308109779)

Wyatt’s paintings were also an inspiration to many artists and, with their story-telling quality, inspired those who saw them as well. He was a gifted speaker, having spent 30 years as an ordained Methodist minister before feeling the call to preach in a different medium. Spiritual paintings, including his portraits of the 12 Apostles and scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, hang in many churches worldwide. Fellow artist Jack Sorenson said, “He taught me two very valuable lessons as an artist. He said, always do paintings that have a story, because people remember the story more than they remember the painting, and always give it a clever title…. He was a wonderful man. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Kenneth Wyatt was preceded in death by his wife, Veda, and is survived by his two children. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.