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Catalyst Update

and 2021 Annual Report

Over the past 18 months, The Foundation for Evangelism launched a new grant cycle and evaluated its longest-running grant program raising up Gospel leaders. We celebrate these forward movements, while continuing to be a foundation that promotes, encourages and provides resources for Wesleyan Evangelism, inviting all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Jane Boatwright Wood

There is Power in Words

Words have power. They can change the way we work, the way we live, and the world around us. The word Catalyst is one of those power filled words. By its very nature, the presence of a catalyst makes the situation more than it would otherwise be – transformational. That is why The Foundation for Evangelism’s vision is to “be a catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.” I use this phrase to invite churches, leaders, donors, Christians from around to world, and you to be part of the Foundation’s movement. A movement that is growing in impact and size.

In the last year, we expanded to reach four Wesleyan-tradition denominations, added central America to our international outreach areas, and connected directly with local churches from California to New York, working across theological, geographical, and cultural settings to provide resources, grants, and expertise to equip evangelistic leaders and churches.

Thank you for being an integral part of the movement!

Rev. Allen Black
Board Chair

Take the Next Step

Next month, I retire from active ministry and begin the next phase of my journey, introducing disciples to the Holy Land and other cherished Christian sites worldwide. It’s a transition, an exciting next step in ministry for Marjorie and me.

One thing won’t change — my passion for The Foundation for Evangelism.

Like you, I understand that Christ’s Church needs the Foundation’s strong voice. For almost 75 years, we’ve had the role of encouraging a Wesleyan way of evangelism, living and actively sharing the Gospel story. The Foundation lives out its role as a catalyst, equipping and providing the resources required to help pastors, laity, and the local church to invite people to follow Jesus. We need that consistency.

In this and all times of transition, we need this clear focus and consistent presence to guide our next steps. I invite you to take the “Next Step” and join The Foundation for Evangelism in our work to Raise up Gospel Leaders, Engage the Ministry of the Laity, and Equip the Local Church. Together, we can be the catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Grant Impact

Local Church Grant Will Help Rebuild and Restore

The story of Magnolia Avenue Church in Knoxville, Tenn., is a comeback story. With a dwindling congregation and condemned building, the church doors were closed indefinitely when COVID arrived. But the Holston United Methodist Conference leadership called upon a veteran church-planter to, in his words, “resurrect the Titanic from the bottom of the Atlantic with a hand-crank!” Pastor Tim Jackson was appointed to the church in 2021 and set about rebuilding the church in a community desperate to hear God’s message of acceptance and hope. “The stories, they’re messy, but they’re beautiful stories. Everyone is welcome,” he shared. His goal is to help people to really KNOW Jesus – to hear God’s word, study it, challenge them to apply it, and then share it. “We aren’t a ‘membership church.’ We are a covenant community”.

Magnolia Avenue Church received a Foundation for Evangelism Equipping the Local Church Grant. That, along with support from the conference and local donors, is helping to rebuild and restore this vital faith community. 

photo credit : Mike DuBose, UM News
Brittany Wooten (left) with fellow U.S. soldiers. Photo courtesy Brittany Wooten.

Army Chaplain Credits E. Stanley Jones Professor with
Shaping Her Understanding of Evangelism

Brittany Wooten is a 2014 graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She remembers taking evangelism courses taught by E. Stanley Jones Professor of  Evangelism, Dr. Joon Sik Park.

“A good portion of my understanding [of evangelism] came from those courses because I have always heard evangelism addressed through a very conservative, evangelical background…. He made evangelism, not something that was mandatory to be a Christian but, something that was joyously taught as a person. So, he humanized evangelism in a way that wasn’t … a moral mandate, and he changed it into a human joy.”

An Impact Story 12 Years in the Making

In 2009, Pastor Jorge Acevedo was presented the Distinguished Evangelist award from The Foundation for Evangelism. He spoke about his vision for the impact that a church can have when pastors and laity work together as a team to create a culture of invitation, disciple-making, and transformation through social holiness. Since then, he has shared his expertise with the Foundation and the Church. Recently, the Foundation’s connection with Jorge led to a Raising Up Gospel Leaders grant partnership with United Theological Seminary led by Jorge’s fellow professor/theologian, Michael Beck, for the certificate and laity track of the Fresh Expressions House of Studies. Finally, at this year’s Florida UMC Annual Conference, the Florida Conference Fresh Expressions Team, which include Jorge and Michael among its innovators, was recognized by the Foundation for their evangelistic ministry.

Rev. Jorge Acevedo receives the Distinguished Evangelist Award in 2009 from then FFE Executive Director, Dr. Jack Ewing.

Bishop Darryl Starnes to Join FFE Board in the Fall 2022

Bishop Darryl Starnes, Presiding Bishop of the Piedmont District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, will join the Foundation’s board in the Fall. 

2021-22 Board of Trustees

Neil Alexander – Nashville, TN

Guy Ames III – Tulsa, OK

Ross Barrett – Bossier City, LA

Allen Black – Columbia, TN

Eston Brinkley – Wilmington, NC

Mark Brinkley – Olathe, KS

Katherine Cosner – Bremerton, WA

L. Wesley de Souza** – Atlanta, GA

Brian Hammons – Stockton, MO

Gaye Nell Heck – Atlanta, GA

Dan Henry – Bolingbrook, IL

William Hutchinson – Reno, NV

Phil Jamieson** – Jackson, TN

Harry Lyness – West Harrison, IN

Robert Miller* – Fort Smith, AR

Barbi Moore – Oklahoma City, OK

Debi Nixon – Leawood, KS

Michael Yang – Englewood Cliffs, NJ