The Foundation for Evangelism is seeking nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award.   With this honor, the Foundation creates a platform from which exceptional, innovative leaders who are in ministry in a United Methodist setting can serve as role models and inspiration for others seeking new, impactful ways to approach evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley. Nomination deadline – 9/15/2016

Each year The Foundation for Evangelism recognizes one person as the Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church. The purpose of this grant is to

Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings.  Evangelism impacts and engages all generations and requires relationship among a variety of persons.  All are called to be evangelists – not just those who are also called to be clergy.  It is the purpose of this award to celebrate, inspire, encourage and equip ALL who are called to bring others into life-transforming relationships with Jesus Christ.

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church:

  1. Is an innovator.
  2. Practices evangelism in the Methodist or Wesleyan context in a United Methodist setting.
  3. Is known for the tangible ways in which their ministry transforms the lives of those they lead, mentor, and shepherd.
  4. Nurtures, mentors, and develops “Timothy” leaders who seek to be in ministry in similar ways.
  5. States clearly “Why Jesus.”
  6. Embodies FFE’s vision of growing generations of Christ Followers – clergy and laity – who have a passion for evangelism.

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church will be invited to:

  1. Participate in media efforts to promote FFE and this award.
  2. Speak at the Lake Junaluska Summer Sermon Series the summer following being named.
  3. Deliver a featured lecture as the Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church on a national stage.
  4. Participate in FFE’s Speakers Bureau.
  5. Share with FFE links to websites, blogs and other social media with which they are affiliated.
  6. Provide articles and videos (or access to existing) for use on the FFE website.

The Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church is announced each fall.


Download Nomination Form

Return by September 15, 2016

Send Nominations to:

The Foundation for Evangelism
P. O. Box 985
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) announces a new pilot grant program designed to impact ministry on college campuses in the United States.

“Making Disciples on the College Campus…a ministry impacting young people” will provide grants of up to $50,000 in each of three years to an innovative campus-focused ministry with a mission to engage, form and grow disciples of Jesus Christ.

Guidelines | Application | Questions

“With the Making Disciples of the College Campus pilot, we hope to challenge those in ministry in a university setting to push beyond traditional interpretations of campus ministry to evangelize, nurture, support and create disciples of Jesus Christ. Notice we aren’t just saying ministry with students, but making disciples on the college campus,” said Jane Boatwright Wood, FFE President.

The FFE seeks applications for innovative ministries that address the formation of new Christ followers, help young people renew and recommit to their Christian faith, and develop life-long discipleship practices. Applicants are encouraged to explore the possibilities of incorporating the entire university population into a faith community or disciple formation opportunity.

The grant will support pilot programs addressing the adaptive challenges faced in evangelism in the tradition of John Wesley in the United States. Innovative programs that have demonstrated successful outcomes in a pilot situation, and that are supported by a strong plan for replicating these results on a larger scale, will be considered.

Grant recipients will be evaluated on the extent to which their innovative ministries:

  • Form new Christ followers;
  • Help young people renew or recommit to their Christian faith;
  • Develop mature discipleship practices to support Wesleyan living and evangelism;
  • Develop a campus-wide faith community.

The FFE has designated $50,000 per year for 2016, 2017, and 2018 for this pilot grant program. Grant awards will not exceed $50,000 annually or be less than $10,000. The term of each grant awarded shall be for one to three years in duration. Applications are being accepted through August 1, 2016. Visit the website for more information about the Making Disciples on the College Campus grant or to apply.

Headquartered in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, FFE is an international foundation with the vision to grow generations of Christ followers – clergy and laity – who have a passion for Wesleyan evangelism. To accomplish this vision, FFE promotes, encourages and provides resources to grow Wesleyan evangelism bringing all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Of particular interest to this process are ministries impacting young people.

What pictures come to mind when you hear the word evangelism?

Evangelism is on the move. Evangelism is relational. Evangelism is joy-filled.

And a passion for evangelism, the overwhelming desire to introduce others to the Jesus Christ you  love, and who loves you, is what we are called to do.

The Foundation for Evangelism partners with innovative, exceptional leaders from around the globe who are committed to practicing evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley and to equipping others to do the same.  The FFE team – trustees, professors, distinguished evangelists, and ministry partners – are here to tell the story of the remarkable, contextual evangelism that is bringing people into life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

FFE has a tradition of recognizing excellence in local church evangelism that focuses on impacting younger generations and encourages those who seek to grow the United Methodist Church. through the Culture of the Call Church Award. Originally designed “To recognize one local congregation of The United Methodist Church each year that has a history of having young people 35 or younger experience God’s call to full time Christian service as a result of their being active in the life of that church,” the award has come to represent a level of excellence desired for all churches as they seek to identify, support, mentor, and encourage young people who are called to Christian service.

The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) funds innovative ministries  and next generation leaders that prepare and equip Christ followers to share the gospel using the guiding principles of John Wesley. The only foundation focused exclusively on evangelism and The United Methodist Church, FFE makes grants and recognizes innovative ministries that are bringing people into life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why) and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year Annual Conferences from across the connection join the Foundation for Evangelism to recognize one youth, one clergy, and one lay person in each conference.

Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings; impacts and engages all generations; and requires relationship among a variety of persons. What distinguishes a Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipient is the commitment to consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ in all ministry settings. Their ministry is exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit encounters with this person as critical in helping to start or reignite their faith journey.

Download a nomination form today! And remember… for your nominee to be considered ALL completed nomination forms must go to your Annual Conference.

In this edition of FORWARD we celebrate ministry, share exciting news, remember dear friends and launch plans for new grant programs.

Perhaps the most exciting news is our updated mission and vision (see the story below to learn more). As you know, this is a major event in the life of an organization because these statements define the essence of who we are, why we exist, and what we hope to see as a result of our efforts.

Let me be very clear, there is no change in our commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ or our commitment to encourage the practice of evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley. These actions have been taken to better describe to the world whose we are, what we are called to do, and to set for ourselves a mission to guide our efforts.

Also in this issue you will read about the involvement of our E. Stanley Jones Professors on not only the seminary campus, but on the international stage. You will be introduced to our 2015 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church, Mr. Harry Lyness, and read his moving keynote address given at the Foundation’s annual banquet. And you will learn about the most recent Wallace Chappell Lecture series held at Wesley Theological Seminary.

As we look forward to 2016, I am excited to announce that The Foundation for Evangelism will begin a new grant program called Making Disciples on the College Campus … a Ministry Impacting Young People Grant. You will see fresh new looks, a variety of new resources and updated goals for all our grant initiatives as the new mission, vision, and values are incorporated into all we do, and we will keep you updated as we prepare to be present at the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church.

This is an exciting time for The Foundation for Evangelism, but before rushing forward to implement these wonderful plans … we pause.

We pause to say thank you to all the wonderful folks who partner with us in ministry through their prayers, their gifts and their service. We pause to join you for Advent as we join Christians around the world with breathless anticipation for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

The Foundation for Evangelism wishes you a blessed Advent, a joy-filled Christmas, and peace in the new year.

The Foundation for Evangelism announces the selection of Mr. Harry J. Lyness, a member of Dearborn Hills United Methodist Church near Lawrenceburg, Ind., as the 2015 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church. Mr. Lyness will received the award and serve as featured speaker during the Foundation’s annual banquet on November 6, 2015.

In nominating Mr. Lyness, Pastor Warren Kirk writes, “Harry believes that evangelism is a lifestyle and agrees with the theory that ‘people don’t care about what you believe, until they believe you care.’ Once people know that you care about them as individuals they are more open and receptive in allowing you to share the Good News about Jesus with them. Harry’s wish is to see all United Methodist Congregations learn how to get outside the walls of the church building, stop just going to church and start being the church so they may share the Gospel of Christ with all their neighbors. “

A 40 year veteran in the mission field, Mr. Lyness has led mission teams in 14 states and 6 countries. “The Foundation for Evangelism was founded by Dr. Harry Denman, a passionate lay evangelist, who once proclaimed ‘I want the Methodist Church to become a great evangelistic movement because of its social passion concerning the welfare of every individual. The Methodist Church has a philosophy, a program, and a passion. Today we dedicate ourselves to reach the new America for Christ until this new America becomes, not the American way of life, but the Christian way of life…’ In Harry Lyness you see a lay evangelist who is living into Denman’s vision,” stated Jane Boatwright Wood, President.

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award is presented annually by The Foundation for Evangelism to create a platform where exceptional, innovative United Methodist leaders can serve as role models and inspiration for others sharing new, impactful ways to approach evangelism in the spirit of John Wesley so that people enter into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Press Release PDF

Reutlingen School of Theology announces that Achim Hartner, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism, was selected to represent the United Methodist Church in the German-speaking part of Europe at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge’s first-ever international gathering.

Strengthening Inter-Faith Cooperation – For a Better World

Reutlingen School of Theology Press Release (English translation),

Washington, Sept. 2015: Four years ago President Barack Obama launched an initiative entitled “The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge“. As the name indicates, the President challenged the Institutions of Higher Education of his country to sound out new opportunities for inter-faith dialogue and to initiate multi-faith projects for the welfare of society. So far more than 500 universities and colleges with over three million students have followed this initiative. Some of these projects are impressive examples of inter-faith cooperation, working for instance with schools in underprivileged areas or with refugees. For this year´s conference in Washington, for the first time 50 international guests from across six continents joined the 450 delegates from American universities and colleges. Altogether, 30 different nations and as many different religious backgrounds were represented. At the invitation of Dr. Kenneth Bedell from the U.S. Department of Education, Achim Härtner, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Reutlingen School of Theology (Germany), participated, representing the United Methodist Church in the German-speaking part of Europe. At the receptions in the White House and in the Turkish Embassy, as well as in lectures and panel discussions at Howard University and George Washington University, the urgent need for cooperation across religious borders in community service was strongly emphasized. Above all, the migration crisis caused by people fleeing from war and terror are creating increasing challenges world-wide. This calls out for refugees to be supported in their distress and for new perspectives to be offered in countries far from home. During the committed discussions, there was widespread realization that a reinforced inter-faith effort for better living conditions for as many people as possible cannot be achieved without continuous intentional efforts. This includes the willingness to leave one’s comfort zone and to practice, in current Methodist terms, “radical hospitality” in respectful dialogue and concerted action. Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, reminded the conference of Barack Obama’s fundamental conviction: “Instead of driving us apart, religion should bring us together, for the welfare of all.“ The President himself addressed the delegates in a video message and concluded: “It’s going to take all of as, Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim, believer and non-believer, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. With your help, I know we will!”

For more information:

Achim Härtner, 

E.-Stanley-Jones Professor of Evangelism & Christian Education
Theologische Hochschule Reutlingen / Reutlingen School of Theology, Germany | |

Press Release PDF