Rev. Dr. Thomas Glenn Jackson III Selected to Lead The Foundation for Evangelism as Next President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 23, 2024
Contact: Barby Bowser, Communications
+1 (828) 454-6800 bbowser@foundationforevangelism.org

Lake Junaluska, N.C. — The Foundation for Evangelism’s board of trustees is pleased to announce that Rev. Dr. Thomas Glenn “Jack” Jackson III, will be the next president of the Wesleyan-tradition grantmaking organization. Jackson will succeed Jane Boatwright Wood, who has served as president since 2012 and will be retiring.

Dr. Jackson brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the Foundation’s mission and vision. He served as the Foundation-supported E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Claremont School School of Theology from 2011-2022, and was the second Foundation for Evangelism Harry Denman Fellow.

The Foundation’s board chair, Gaye Nell Heck, shared that, “Dr. Jackson is a shining example of the Foundation’s decades-long efforts to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, as evidenced by his faith journey and his many academic and practical contributions to Wesleyan-tradition evangelism. His leadership in collaboration with the Foundation team will undoubtedly strengthen our ongoing efforts to advance the mission and values of the Foundation and lead our organization into its next chapter.”

Dr. Jackson is an ordained elder in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church where he served as a pastor for 15 years. From 2011-2022 he served as Professor of Evangelism, Mission, and World Methodism at Claremont School of Theology. Currently he is the Visiting Professor of Evangelism and World Methodism at United Theological Seminary. He has also taught courses at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Durban, South Africa; Candler School of Theology’s Course of Study in Florida, as well as the Costa Rican Methodist Church Pastor’s School. Jackson has also led regional and national evangelism seminars in numerous countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

Current president, Jane Boatwright Wood, noted that, “The Foundation has, over its three-quarters of a century history, built strong connections and relationships, reminding the Wesleyan/Methodist Church family of its evangelistic calling to share a zeal for the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am pleased to welcome Jack Jackson as the incoming president and I’m excited for the new energy and innovation he will bring to the organization!”

Echoing that excitement following his acceptance of the position, Dr. Jackson said, “I look forward to providing leadership to The Foundation for Evangelism in the role of president. For years, I have been impressed with the Foundation’s commitment to equip laity for their evangelistic ministry, educate future clergy in the centrality of evangelism, and provide resources for congregations to share the Good News of Jesus Christ more effectively with their communities. I am honored to help lead this foundation which has supported me in my own teaching ministry of evangelism and has equipped countless others in Wesleyan-tradition leadership roles.”

Dr. Jackson will join The Foundation for Evangelism’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration throughout 2024 which will build on the mission, vision, values, and grant focus areas developed and implemented under Mrs. Wood’s leadership. To learn more about Dr. Thomas Glenn “Jack” Jackson visit https://foundationforevangelism.org/about-jack-jackson/ or the Foundation’s 75th anniversary celebration visit FoundationForEvangelism.org/75years.

Avoiding Burnout – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) share how they avoid burnout as pastors and receive care from their congregations.

Measuring Transformation – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) discuss how they are measuring impact from their churches’ Equipping the Local Church Grant projects.

Embracing the Marginalized – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) discuss the ways in which their congregations have been open to those on the margins in their community.

Community Transformation – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) discuss how they have seen transformation and new connections with their community through their churches’ Equipping the Local Church Grant projects

Laity Engagement – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) discuss how they engage the laity in their congregation for their churches’ Equipping the Local Church Grant projects.

Challenges & Surprises – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) share what have been their challenges and what has surprised them throughout their churches’ Equipping the Local Church Grant projects.

Listening to Community – 2023 Local Church Grant Panel

Pastors Jerry Lee Christian (Russell Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), Mary Beth Eberle (Grace United Methodist Church) and Jeremy Reese (Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene) discuss how they went about listening to the needs of their community before applying for an Equipping the Local Church Grant.

New Evangelism Training Cohorts Take Shape

The Foundation for Evangelism’s Grants Committee recently met to approve the creation of two new training cohorts. The Southwestern Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and World Methodist Evangelism are the groups leading these cohorts, supported by the Foundation. Both of these cohorts address the need for spiritual training in evangelism across the Wesleyan tradition family.

The Southwestern Episcopal District of the AMEZ church’s cohort will offer evangelism training for Directors of Evangelism, both in the AMEZ church, and other folks in the Wesleyan tradition. This six-session cohort will address biblical definitions of discipleship, spiritual preparation, practical approaches, training trainers, and will conclude with a commission for students to take what they have learned and use within their own ministries and communities. Following these training sessions, cohort participants will engage in quarterly follow-up sessions for two years.

World Methodist Evangelism’s cohort, FLAME 2.0 will cultivate strong pastoral leaders who are spiritually well-formed, equipped to empower others to make disciples, and committed to reaching their communities for Jesus Christ. The cohort will review proven processes focused on spiritual formation, mission action planning, and shared leadership for core learning. The program will also adapt content as themes emerge through cohort member input, as a form of contextual learning. FLAME fellows cohorts will experience a 10-month, in-depth program which includes coaching in a supportive small group context, relational accountability, the opportunity for collaborations work, and experiential learning through guest leaders as well as site visits in the US and abroad.

The Foundation for Evangelism’s support of these cohorts will promote evangelism training across the Wesleyan tradition, using proven processes that are structured by John Wesley’s teachings. Objectives learned will encourage practical application outside of the classroom, in church ministries and communities.

Support from our donors allows for the Foundation’s continued support of programs like the ones noted above. To read more about The Foundation for Evangelism’s Grant Focus Area’s, please visit: https://foundationforevangelism.org/

Wallace Chappell Lecture Draws Crowd in Nashville

On an overcast drizzly day in February 750 students, faculty, pastors, deans, superintendents and people from a variety of ministry settings crowded into the Boone Convocation Center at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. An energy could be felt among those present, eager to hear well-known author, professor, and speaker, Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger, deliver the 2024 Wallace Chappell Lecture.

But if the crowd thought they were just there to hear about Bolsinger’s latest book, they got a whole lot more. His message was a challenge to go beyond comfort zones and not to default to what you already know, which can hold us back from sharing God with others. 

Foundation president, Jane Boatwright Wood, was among the crowd. “As I sat among the many attendees, I could sense their eagerness. Tod’s practical ideas and encouragement for fear-free Christian leadership captured their attention from the very beginning and held their interest throughout the 4-hour event.”

The themes in Dr. Bolsinger’s message also reinforced The Foundation for Evangelism’s approach to the Equipping the Local Church grant cycle which encourages experiments that share and embody the Gospel while meeting people where they are. Dr. Heather Lear, Vice President for Grant Administration, facilitated part of the lecture and made the connection – “Instead of facing change with fear and anxiety, we encourage grant applicants to step out in faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

She went on to say, “In our evolving church landscape where best practices and tactical solutions no longer work, Dr. Bolsinger challenged us to be explorers, seeking to learn and experiment.”

The lecture drew a diverse group of individuals, including students, pastors, faculty, deans, superintendents, and leaders from Trevecca, the midsouth district of the Church of the Nazarene, the Trevecca Alumni Association, and an estimated 40 laity from regional congregations. An estimated 750 people participated in the Wallace Chappell Lecture series, of which 678 were documented student attendees.

The Wallace Chappell Lectures are sponsored annually by the Foundation at a seminary or university. The lectures were established in 2002 through an endowment to honor the evangelistic legacy of Dr. Wallace D. Chappell, a United Methodist pastor who served churches in the Nashville, Western North Carolina and North Texas areas for over 50 years. These annual lectures make it possible for seminarians, ministry students, leaders and pastors to learn from recognized leaders in the area of Wesleyan-tradition evangelism.

“The Foundation equips evangelistic Christian leaders at every level, from laity to pastors, and the Wallace Chappell Lectures serve as a key tool for this mission,” shared Jane Boatwright Wood, President of the Foundation. “I left this year’s lecture feeling inspired, having witnessed an awakening of innovation and an imbuing of skills among these remarkable leaders.”