Top Ten Stories from 2022 in the Wesleyan World
December 29, 2022
2022 has been an eventful year for the Pan-Wesleyan Movement. There have been many stories in 2022: Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Will Smith’s slap, Elon Musk buying Twitter, and answered prayer of the Dobbs decision to name a few. I have put together a list of the top ten stories of the year connected to the broader Pan-Wesleyan movement.
10. Wesley House of Studies - Baylor
An R1 university in the Baptist tradition adds a new emphasis for training students in the Wesleyan tradition. Jason Vickers is appointed as the Billy Abraham Chair for this program.
9. Asbury Theological Seminary Celebrates 100 Years
8. Growth of Smaller Methodist Denominations
7. Denominations Grapple with Woke-ism
For example, see this podcast.
6. African Bishops Align with Liberal UMC
5. The Growth of WBS
As many historic seminaries have struggled with financial challenges and have had to liquidate assets, Wesley Biblical Seminary has set records while retaining its commitment to the inerrancy of scripture and an emphasis on the doctrine of entire sanctification. See President Matt Ayars’ CT editorial here.
4. The Global Methodist Church is Born, May 1, 2022
May 1, 2022 marked the birth of what will likely become the largest Wesleyan Denomination. See Keith Boyette’s article here.
3. 2200 Congregations Exit the UMC
See this series of tweets from Mark Tooley
2. The Next Methodism Summit
60 Wesleyan scholars came together in January to produce a document called The Faith Once For All Delivered: A Wesleyan Witness.
#1. Our Great Redeemer’s Praise Hymnal
The reason I see this publication as number one is because it has the potential to unite the pan-Wesleyan movement through a shared worship resource. When many Wesleyan institutions are struggling, this resource shares important theological emphases and distinctives from many Wesleyan denominations. The publication will likely have a wider and deeper impact than any of the above stories because it will physically and spiritually mark Wesleyan mission, theology, and worship for decades. Check out this conversation with Jonathan Powers for more. Get a copy here.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of my friends online. I'm so glad that you are here. Welcome to the more to the story podcast I am recording this as a live podcast on December 22nd and the idea with that is that I thought it would be fun to engage some people. With this in a live way and at the same time, then publish it. Closer to the new year. So the theme which you might have seen with this podcast is the top ten stories from 2022 in the Pan Wesleyan movement. Now, some people might not know what I'm talking about. The Pan Wesleyan Movement and that sort of thing. Nevertheless, the idea is like the group of denominations and. The movement that's connected to the evangelical revival of the 18th century moving kind of like. The 19th century the Holiness. Movement and the dozens and parachurch organizations, and. Things that are connected to that movement. So I've I've had a lot of conversations actually recently about that, and that's a lot of who makes up my audience, so that's part of what makes this like a unique thing for me to share. So as people come on, I hope you're able to come on live. I'd be glad to have some instant feedback that I can share with people. Along the way, if it doesn't come, then it'll come just through the on the regular podcast as this gets published the Thursday. After Christmas. I'm so thankful to the sponsors of my podcast, Keith Keith Waters from Wpo Development and his team that you know, do capital campaigns, feasibility studies, mission planning studies all over the country. You can find out more about them at WPO development Bill Roberts and find his as a financial planner. He's been somebody who supported this ministry, just had a nice long conversation with him about. The type of things we're planning to do in this coming year. You can find out more about him at William H Roberts dot. Com and of. Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches. Now before I get to the top ten list, which is coming very soon, I want to give some other folks a chance to get online here as soon as they can. And and maybe we can have some feedback and maybe you disagree with my top ten list as we're working through it. Still, there's a couple of new initiatives are coming out. Maybe if you're on my e-mail list you have already received a survey from me. Now I say that it hasn't come out come out the a day or two after. Christmas where we're trying. To figure out who the audience is. What you might be interested in, what type of? Not just podcast or other type of like studies and things we might be able to produce from more to the story ministries that might be interesting to you, so I encourage you to do that survey and there will be a prize. We're giving away some. Books as a result of like anybody who fills out that survey, will get entered into a contest to be able to win a whole stack of books that have been given to us for the podcast. Throughout the year. So on top of that, we'll look at the possibility if there be people interested in being a part of more to the story member, and what would come with that. Is every month there would be some exclusive. Content just for those Members, people who might be interested in supporting this podcast that helps us do. Some more in the. Coming year, it's been something that's been fun for me to cultivate this audience and. With you all to learn what you might be interested in, and I want to encourage people too. If you're seeing this before the new year, the Contender study is available at 50% off, so you can go to my website. Andymillerthethird.com that's Andy Miller i.com, and you can find the contender study and you can enter the code 2020. See to be able access that 50% off discount for that. And you can sign up for my e-mail list there as well. OK, what you're all here for? I'm going to bring, so I decided that there's been a fair amount of activity and this came up as I was. Working through my conversation with Jonathan Powers, just thinking about this broader movement of. The kind of general evangelical Wesleyan world now you might suggest, like some would say, well, that kind of just sounds like a a even a narrow list in itself, and it is. So I'm I'm thinking of kind of the broader evangelical movement within wesleyanism. Of course there are Wesleyans who wouldn't agree with my list, or. Might not. I think we wouldn't want the title evangelical wouldn't theologically align in that same movement. There would be some in my own denomination, the Salvation Army that don't feel that way, so I I recognize that. So I'm saying up front. That's what I'm thinking. About alright, so here it is. 10 lists, there's some good ones here there's. I think there's some really great activity. I think they're all good, and they're all good signs of things are happening. Actually, one or two things. But I think it's important for us to highlight just like you know, when time does their person of the year. Occasionally they have a a story on there that's not so positive because it's just like a significant event. That's happened so #10. Then I'm going to say, is the advent of the Wesley House of Studies program that is happening at Baylor University. I think this is really significant, you know? Obviously, Baylor is a Baptist university. Are one school a large school? Obviously it has Division One athletic programs, which is kind of interesting and you know teams that make it to the NCAA Finals and are ranked in college football. But beyond that, I think it's significant that a school like this. Is taking time to highlight that and and to create a program in their seminary. Truett Seminary for a Wesley Wesley study program, and I think what what they probably have in mind is helping to train the United Methodist, probably particularly those who come from the Texas area, and probably those who are in the new denominations. Within, in Methodism, not just United Methodist and my friend Jason Vickers, who have had on the podcast.
Passed has recently been announced to be the first chair of the Billy Abraham Chair of that program, so that's significant.
I mean, Jason, somebody who has served in a variety of institutions, he went to Tribeca Perkins. I think he went to Nazarene Theological Seminary. He taught at Asbury Seminary. Taught at Uh, you United seminary, Todd. Adjunct at Wesley Biblical Seminary, he's been the editor of the Wesley Theological Journal and addition to his own scholarship. I have a few his books back here on my show. This is somebody who is a significant influencer within the Wesleyan movement, and so it's great that he's he's going to be in this position. So you can find a link to all of these things, by the way, on on my website and there be an article that comes out with this. OK, so that's number. Time is that Asbury Theological Seminary is celebrating its 100th year, it's 100th year. This is significant and Wesleyan theology that this institution. That was started as Henry Clay Morrison, Tim Tenant says like cross the street, even though there wasn't, he didn't actually cross the street at that point. In Wilmore there are two institutions Asbury University and Asbury. Seminary and kind of the. Idea is there's. A road in between them and crossing the street. I crossed the street when I went to. From Asbury University to Asbury Seminary. But nevertheless, like this idea of like the whole Bible being for the whole world. This past year, I've really been impressed. I would say like influenced by Henry Clay Morrison's writing more myself. I had on Luther O'Connor. You can check out that podcast a few months ago talking about Henry Clay Morrison's movement. I think I'm going to have like longer. On in the New Year as well, he did a dissertation on Henry Clay Morrison. This person, who came into. Henry Kay Morrison established. I almost said Wesley Biblical Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary, as a way to combat liberalism in 1923, and they have been holding strong for 100 years now. So I think it's significant to highlight that #8 now, this one might catch some people off guard and a lot of these are connected together, and if anybody gets on here and would like to make a few comments. I'm glad to read those out loud. The growth #8 is the growth smaller Methodist denominations. The growth of smaller Methodist denominations. Now some of my friends, particularly in Salvation Army or United method. We all get in our own denominational world and we stay very connected to that world. But I'll suggest. You know there there's a couple denominations. Some people haven't even heard of, like the Congregational Methodist Church. This church and I have a link to this in the blog entry for those when this comes out, just before the new year, the Congregational Methodist Church has appointed an affiliate initiative. There's a link to this. And what's happened is many rural churches throughout. Not just the South, but throughout the country as they're moving away from United Methodism. More than 100 have come and have inquired about joining the Congregational Methodist Church.
I think they've only actually approved 12 at this moment, but I think what you're going. To see is. Further movement in this direction. Some of these smaller denominations. And believe me, the Congregational Methodist Church, one of their kind of like they're historians and scholar and residents, so to speak, is Doctor Chris Forsthoffer, who works in our staff here. He's a part of our faculty. He's a a scholar of John West. And it's amazing the type of. Things that are happening that I think many rural churches would identify with the Congregational Methodist Church and you might find something interesting from their history. If you look into it and so I have a link that will be included in the blog version of this post of of this podcast where you can find out more about them, but they're evangelical. They're congregational, and they came about in part because of wanting to have a. They even do some interesting things with the way that they collect money from each of their churches, and a similar thing happens with the growth of the association. Methodist, this is another group that's congregationally focused and they don't call us the denomination, they're an association. But this is a smaller denomination that is growing and in part growing as churches are leaving the United Methodist Church, and I think that this story I I don't know if anybody else is going to report on this. I think this is significant. And in the kind of broader Pan Wesleyan movement. Even say like a larger Wesleyan denomination, the Free Methodist Church has also opened its arms. You can't see me open arms come doing this in the portrait view, opened its arms to. There you go. Denominations are looking for. A new home. So for instance, even Fraser. Memorial United Methodist Church after this affiliated. Affiliating with the Free Methodist Church, so you're going to see like this is a big move. It's up, I don't know if other denominations are. Being that aggressive with this. But those 3 denominations seem to be growing, and you might tell that's not good growth. You know, the good growth is like when we're really winning people of Jesus and we're growing that way. Just so you know, the Congregational Methodist Church surprisingly has a denomination in the Atlanta area more than has a church with more than 7000 members. So I just say like this, this is a time for. A realignment, so to speak, all right, that is #7 #6. There was a. That came out, I think in the early summer about several African bishops in the United Methodist Church who came out with this. Aligning themselves with liberalism in the United Methodist Church now, this was a shock because the voting bloc from in the United Methodist Church from what's called the Central Conference, which is broadly generally represented by the African churches. Conservative, but there seems to be some this disconnect between the people and pastors of the African Methodist churches and the bishops. And so this came very clear, became very clear, as this statement was issued and there was some controversy around that statement. And I think this is something that is again going to be emerging more over the next couple of years. But that story came out and I think this is something there's like this disconnect that's going to be fleshed out more, so I have a link to. A few of those stories that you'll see. In this blog post. #5 and you might say this is just Andy being a bit of a Homer, but I it is really true and I think it's significant for The West Wing movement and that is. #5 The growth of Wesley Biblical Seminary. When you think about what's happening in the life of the evangelical wrestling movement. The fact that Wesley Biblical Seminary, amongst all seminaries, has been on most categories, one of the top five growing seminaries. I think that is significant. Not only that, it is according to the Association of Theological Schools and most racially balanced seminaries. Out of 200 plus seminaries, and you know diversity and gender, diversity and obviously and I've made this point a few times, not something that we have done as.
A result of us. Creating an initiative for that. It's more or less serving the denominations. We're connected to and being active people in our community, so the growth of the WBS is #5 on this list, and there's still time, probably. When you see this podcast to get on an audited class, or take a class we had more than 400 students. When you count auditor auditing students last semester, 280 masters level students who are studying. Our ministry is we're developing trusted leaders for faithful churches. So #4, now some people might argue with me that this should be higher. The list nevertheless, I gave it #4 and I'll we can argue with me on Twitter later, and that is the birth on May 1st of the global.
This is a.
Historic year in the life of Methodism. My hunch, my guess is that the global method church will be the largest Wesleyan Church denomination here very soon. I think this is coming quickly. Many, many people have seen this that they're still kind of like. Getting their ground game, so to speak. I had multiple podcasts with. Rob Renfro my #1 Accounts with if Keith Boyette has more than 10,000 downloads and views altogether with Rob Renfro, I think it's approaching 8. Jeff Greenway and Mike Lowery. And then I had my friend out, Brian Jones, as well as we talked about. How why he's staying? Still, the advent and the promise of the Globe Methodist Church, which has some things to work out. I mean, this is it's. Not going to be. Just oh, everything's going to turn on. It's gonna be perfect as they're they're moving this direction. Like for instance. Like you know, I'm thinking about as in my seat. What does it mean that they are not requiring it in Dev? I think that's a little bit of a challenge that they're going to have to work through. I think they have a reason for that. They still are highlighting theological education. There's some exciting things I think that they're going to be able to do in planting new churches, particularly in areas where there haven't. There has not been an evangelical Wesleyan witness. I'm excited about that so and you can see that when you see the podcast I've done. With the people I mentioned earlier, there are links to that and the article that goes with this podcast, so check that out. The GMC being born on May 1st. I think that is the #4 story. OK #3 connected to that but not exclusively and even to some of the other points I've made is that at this point when I'm recording this on December 22nd, 22.
100 denomination not 2200 congregations have left. The United Methodist Church. I think that is incredibly significant. I think that number is going up probably every day. Actually, I heard another Church of Mississippi had just still disaffiliated, and you might think. I think I might skip the point. Yeah I did. So I'll go back through that in just. A second but so. Sticking with the 2200 congregations that are exiting the United Methodist Church, you might say this is. A shame and. In a sense, it is a shame. It's a shame that this is how. Happen, but I think it's a promising moment as people are realizing what is coming and what is at stake and I think in essentially it is the gospel. I think the nature of how God has revealed himself in space and time through the scripture of the old New Testament, the doctrine of creation, and the essence of what the gospel is.
Of turning from our sin. And accepting the grace of Jesus Christ to help make us into a new creature means we move away from our sin and we while we'll do all that we can to be a welcoming congregation to people who are not agreeing with us. Nevertheless, like we're not going to accommodate sinful behavior and sinful living and no doubt. In the global method, not in the United Methodist Church as it remains, is a move away from Orthodox theology.
Now you might disagree with me on that, and I've had those disagreements with people publicly already, but that is something coming and I think the fact that 2200 did not. I keep on saying that. 2200 congregations Have voted to leave. Is a major move within the Pan Wesleyan movement OK? I skipped something. Go back through my list as we're coming down to the top two here. #10 the Wesley House of Studies at Baylor, #9 Asbury Seminaries 100 years #8 the growth is smaller. Nominations and I skipped #7, which is the nominations grappling with. I'm just generically saying woke ISM, and I think that's been expressed in my denomination. I think there's been some good movement in the last couple of months. A lot of times as people are working through these challenges and I've had I had somebody reach out to me just this morning, asked me to address and. For instance. The Australian salvation. Army has appointed somebody to serve as an LGBTQ ministry coordinator and plenty of things have been released that show that this person does not share the same convictions that are part of the Savage Arms articles of faith, and I think that's a challenge, is the nomination to have to deal with. That, but it does seem. Like the the general, the Salvation Army's other denominational leaders have come out with very clear statements in the last year, and there have been moves that are like like and people being moved who are in positions. Who seem to be moved to other? Positions and that seems to be as a result of their disobedience. Now that's me reading between the lines and I can say some of that because I'm not paid by the Salvation Army. Still like, I think, like many denominations are learning to deal with this, and I have a link in the blog version of my. This top ten Pam Westlane stories from 2022. That talks about this, and so I kind of like link a few other places where I've talked about this subject through the years, but this is something for people to know, like like. And when you think back to 2022 denominations, we're working through what this means and and it's expressed itself in what is the 9 Methodist Church? For instance, there was a a ministerial candidate from southern Illinois that is also a drag. I don't know does drag. I don't know drag queen, I don't. Know if that's. The right terminology nevertheless goes around, and does ministry presentations. As Miss penny. Cost and those articles, I think, display very clearly what's coming and denominations are not just dealing with the sexual revolution, but they're also dealing with a host of questions related to what's generally understood under the rubric of woke ideology. Now, I know some people would say oh, what is woke anyways? Well, if you don't know what I mean then I I. I probably don't have 1/2 an hour here to explain it, but I nevertheless like I'm glad to keep on addressing that through various podcasts through the years. OK, so then. African bishops #6 the growth of webs. The Global Methodist Church #4 #322 hundred congregations, leaving the United Methodist Church #2 The next Methodism Summit summit that happened in. In Washington, DC, this was when 20 scholars came together and there was a variety of subject area specialties and people came together for two days, maybe 3 days. You know three days we had a worship service as well and produced a document. Ryan Danker helped lead this process. It was funded and by the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Several other people were a part of this. And this event that happened, I was honored to be there. And Wesley, biblical seminary. Have a role to play in bringing this about as we work with Institute on Religion, Democracy, Ryan Daker happened to be available to come in and now he's working in many ways. On other other topics in a similar line. I think. Who knows if they'll even be a future. We looked at this. Similar to the Council of Dork for what that meant for the reformed world, and thinking about 60 scholars coming together to define a document of the essence of Wesleyan theology for the next century or the next couple couple cents. And it's a great time to be there. You'll find a link for this in the blog post as well. Of that document I worked on the soteriology group with Ken Collins and that was a real honor. I met a lot of great people there too, as we were working that process even if I was involved, I would still think that that event is one of the most significant events. In the Pan Wesleyan movement, as well as also a very encouraging time, but I think it's something that we'll. Be able to point back to. Historically, of a time when the line was drawn, and this of course comes as Methodism is changing as a whole, but I think it's changing for. The better, like. We're moving away from those who. The faith once for all delivered, and I know it's a bold statement for me to say that, and I don't say that I say that cautiously. Nevertheless, like this is an exciting moment, and the faith once for once for all the. Document represents that in a beautiful way, all right. Finally, I get to #1 the number one Pan Westland story for 2022. Is this. The publication of our great redeemer's praise the knew him know now those of you who follow my podcast. I've had two podcasts where. I've talked about this, but. It is a great moment. Like now the, there's the the the Wesleyan summit that happened, that the document that was a great one. What's happening in the GMC and its emergence. There's a lot of great things there. With the smaller denominations what's happening there and new programs, new seminary programs I love all of that. But the thing most likely that will retain significance from day-to-day. Decade to date. Is this new handle this new handle, which almost in itself defines the community I'm seeking to serve through this podcast? And you can hear me talk about that in my interview with Jonathan Powers this this hymnal brings together some of the best hymns that are kind of exclusively maybe in this savage army tradition or in the AME tradition and brings them together.
Have one kind of worship resource. This is a key. Movement, I just think in in the and the idea that it was able to be printed, that is something we're. Valuing this can. In of worshipping traditions, of of theological traditions that's coming about, so I think that this will have the biggest impact and have the longest impact. More of an impact than any other stories from 2022. And I'm so glad that I got to be able have a little part in that. So you might see that some of my list is a little bit self-serving, but I'm just excited to be a part of this. I'm excited to be a Western Christian in 2022 going into 20. 23 I'm thankful that we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death. Made an atonement for the whole world that whosoever will may be saved. Thankful that we live in a time where the fact that it's the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, that their whole spirit, soul, and body can be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I also think it's a great time because I think that those who are uniting behind authorities. And it's. Power for our world and like as we say at Wesley Biblical Seminary, the inerrancy of Scripture, this gives us a powerful platform from which to speak as we go into 2023. So I want to. Say to all my listeners. Thank you for checking out more of the story podcast throughout this year. It's a blessing to have you. This is an exciting time for us and I encourage you make sure you're getting into a Bible reading. Plan as you head into 2023. Make sure you set yourself some goals and make sure that you're connected to this faith once for all delivered to the Saints. These that this has been the top 10. Pan Wesleyan stories. From 2022 on, the Mortis Story podcast. God bless you.