2020 Annual Report
Inspiring New Ways of Reaching New People
In this annual report we share how grants from The Foundation for Evangelism are inspiring and equipping leaders at all levels of the church to reach new people in new and innovative ways, inviting all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
State of the Foundation
Jane Boatwright Wood
Rev. Allen Black
Together, we have just experienced one of the most challenging times many of us have known.
Our routines changed at a moment’s notice. Even those things we took for granted – our local church family and worship – were impacted. Yet, those whose lives are transformed by Jesus Christ never had to question that God is Good and continues to compel us to invite others to know Jesus.
The Foundation for Evangelism staff and trustees prayed for our grantees, ministry partners, donors, and churches throughout 2020. We were blessed to celebrate with many of those same folks as God made everything possible, even in this difficult season. What follows tells the story.
We like to imagine the Foundation’s impact as a catalyst being like three interwoven trees growing together in a forest. Through grant-making and providing resources across a broader spectrum of leaders, each tree represents an area of grantmaking focus:
Raising Up Gospel Leaders
Through grants made to institutions
of higher learning, we partner with global experts in Wesleyan evangelism to train, resource, and mentor the next generation of local church leaders.
Equipping the Local Church
We provide grants to support leaders of small to medium attendance churches to become evangelistic congregations. Their passion for Jesus compels them to invite, welcome, and equip all people for life-transforming relationships with Jesus Christ.
Empower the Ministry of the Laity
It takes laity and pastors working together to create this culture of evangelism in a congregation, so one of our grant focus areas lifts up lay leadership. The Apostle Peter and our Wesleyan tradition tell us
that we are members of the priesthood of all believers.
Your role as donors, ambassadors, and volunteers is the living water that sustains all these good works. Without you, we could not be the stewards of the old, old story while acting as a catalyst for new forms and new ways to share that story. Thank you for helping make all this possible.
Evangelism Professors Inspire, Encourage Gospel Leaders
If the idea of a “Professor of Evangelism” evokes academic, ivory tower notions, you only need to look at your local church and community to see how down-to-earth their impact is.
Pastor Cristin Cooper, a licensed local pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church, was recently recognized for the innovative ministry she and her husband began through the desire to connect with their neighbors. The idea came about for “Soup Church” while she was attending an evangelism class at Wesley Theology Seminary in Washington, D.C., taught by Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe. Dr. Powe helped Cooper find an expanded definition of evangelism which helped her live in relationship and embody Christ. She describes her ministry as “divergent,” yet reaching new people that would not otherwise attend a more traditional expression of church.
Evangelism Training Grant Inspires Church to "Pay it Forward"
When Pekin First United Methodist Church received a grant to attend an online course in evangelism last year, they didn’t know that they would be part of equipping nine other churches to develop their own evangelism ministry. Even before the course began, the church’s senior pastor, Rev. Jim McClarey was impressed with the program and his church made a donation to the Foundation to “pay it forward.” A year later, that donation will be put to use in a new round of grants that will benefit nine churches in the Seashore District, Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.