World Methodist Museum Receives Wesley Artifact

September 8, 2015

Bishop-Abrahams200A piece of furniture belonging to The Most Reverend John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, has been gifted to the World Methodist Museum.  This rare one-of-a- kind gift will be unveiled at the Museum on Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m.  Everyone is invited to celebrate in this special occasion. “Scanty but choice,” is how John Wesley’s furnishings in his home were described by those maintaining The Old Rectory, Epworth, England in a letter to the former owner of the furniture. Bishop Ivan Abrahams of South Africa, the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, will lead the ceremony.  The furniture contains drawers, so Bishop Abrahams asked anyone planning to attend to be contemplating  what might have been kept there by Wesley.  Visitors will be asked to write down their conclusions to be stored in the furnishing for the future.  Some attendees’  answers will be videotaped,  as the Museum begins programming that will include much more interaction with its participants. Those attending will be welcomed by the Rev. Dr. Donald Rankin, President of the Friends Board of Directors, with the invocation given by the Rev. Dr. Jim Gilland.   A special music presentation will feature harpist Balfour Knight and vocalists Susan Gaddy and Carol Lynn Knight. The Museum will be open from 1:30 until 4:00 p.m.   Mr. Knight will continue on the harp until 3:30 p.m.  Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon by the Friends of the World Methodist Museum. “Grateful.  Amazed.  Thrilled.  These are a few of the words that have come to mind since we learned that the Museum would be bestowed this treasure,” explains Museum Director Jackie Bolden.  “While there are many wonderful, rare and unique pieces in the Museum, this joins those pieces that one can only dream of owning,” she continued.  We are so so thankful for the opportunity to have this precious item for future generations to see.  We take very seriously its care, as did the former owners, or it would not be in the wonderful condition it is today. “  John Wesley lived from 1703 until 1791.  The Museum house a number of his articles as well as those of his brother Charles, who is perhaps best known for his hymn-writing. President of the Friends the Rev. Dr. Donald Rankin invites everyone to the Museum.  “The Museum itself is a treasure,” he says, “and all branches of the Methodists and Wesleyan family are represented in the vast collection.  One of the largest John and Charles Wesley collections in the entire world is housed in the Museum,” he notes.  “We are so fortunate to have it here and to be able to offer it to causal visitors as well as scholars and researchers.” The World Methodist Museum has been at its Lake Junaluska location since 1956 when Dr. Elmer T. Clark, President of the World Methodist Council opened its doors.  It is a ministry of the Council, led by Bishop Abrahams, and includes 80 denominations in 132 countries.  Nazarene, AME, AME Zion, Wesleyan, Methodists and United Methodists are a few of the 80 member churches. For information on the Museum or the upcoming program, call (828) 456-7242 or email  You may also check out the museum at