Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
John Wesley, sending Thomas Coke to America in 1784, said, “Offer them Christ.” People called Methodists are peacemaking evangelists. We are living in the hurting world ridden by all sorts of conflict. Religious, ideological and ethnic differences among nations in the globe have constantly caused tensions and clashes manifesting through building walls and waging wars. From Palestine in the middle east to Korea in the far east if you search peace all around the world, you can scarcely find even a hint of peace. When we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are offering the peace from God. We have been baptized and born again to the new family of God. We are the church called out of the world as God’s people of different tribes and nations reconciled as sisters and brothers. Despite we were the enemy of God and former historic enemies to each other, God in Christ reconciling us to himself and to each other committed to us the message of reconciliation.
As president of World Methodist Council I would like to call upon the Methodist churches and Wesleyan churches and Uniting and United churches to develop a commitment to catechesis for all people called Methodists through attention to the distinctive witness of our Wesleyan doctrine, discipline and spirit of self-denial. First, the Methodist great blessing is the evangelical doctrines of saving faith such as doctrines of original sin, justification by faith and entire sanctification both of heart and life. Second, doctrine without discipline cannot make altogether Christians. Honoring discipline as the rule for authentic discipleship, our zeal for the church as the body of Christ provokes members to love, holy tempers, and good works of both piety and mercy. Third, the most serious danger of evangelical Christianity is always the temptation of serving two masters. Let’s recover the spirit of self-denial through taking up our cross by the renewal of giving all we can after we gain and save all we can in the Wesleyan tradition. May the people called Methodists rediscover the power and joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Amen.
About the Council President
Rev. Dr. Jong Chun (J.C.) Park is a Korean Methodist pastor serving the Methodist Theological University in Seoul for 30 years in the position of professor and president. He graduated from Emory University and received a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. He has published five books and many articles. His most recent academic work is Systematic Theology as Church Didactics: theologia cordis dei.
J.C.’s first experience of the World Methodist Council was the 1991 Singapore conference. He has been the chair of the Theological Education committee of WMC as well as the co-chair of Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. J.C. is a prominent Christian leader working for the Methodist Churches in Asia and the Ecumenical Churches in Korea. He is committed to revitalizing churches through affirming the worldwide Methodist unity in fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples through vibrant evangelism and prophetic engagement.
Past Presidents of the Council
|1881||Rev. E.E. Jenkins||United Kingdom (British Wesleyan Church)|
|Bishop Matthew Simpson||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church|
|1891||Bishop John F. Hurst||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church)|
|1901||Rev. W. T. Davidson||United Kingdom (Wesleyan Methodist Church)|
|Bishop John F. Hurst||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church)|
|1911||Bishop E. E. Hoss||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church, South)|
|1921||Rev. John E. Wakerley||United Kingdom (Wesleyan Methodist Church)|
|Bishop J.W. Hamilton||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church)|
|1931||Rev. F. Luke Wiseman||United Kingdom (Wesleyan Methodist Church)|
|Bishop F.D. Leete||United States (Methodist Episcopal Church)|
|1947||Rev. Wilbert F. Howard||United Kingdom (Wesleyan Methodist Church)|
|Bishop Ivan Lee Holt||United States (The Methodist Church)|
|1951-1956||Bishop Ivan Lee Holt||United States (The Methodist Church)|
|1956-1961||Rev. Dr. Harold Roberts||United Kingdom (The Methodist Church)|
|1961-1966||Bishop Fred Pierce Corson||United States (The Methodist Church)|
|1966-1970||Bishop Odd Hagen||Sweden (United Methodist Church)|
|1970-1971||Dr. Charles C. Parlin||United States (United Methodist Church)|
|1971-1976||Bishop Prince A. Taylor||United States (United Methodist Church)|
|1976-1981||Rev. Dr. Kenneth Greet||United Kingdom (The Methodist Church)|
|1981-1986||Bishop William R. Cannon||United States (United Methodist Church)|
|1986-1991||Bishop Lawi Imathiu||Kenya (Methodist Church in Kenya)|
|1991-1996||Rev. Dr. Donald English||United Kingdom (The Methodist Church)|
|1996-2001||Dr. Frances Alguire||United States (United Methodist Church)|
|2001-2006||His Eminence Sunday Mbang||Nigeria (Methodist Church of Nigeria)|
|2006-2011||Rev. Dr. John C.A. Barett||United Kingdom (The Methodist Church)|
|2011-2016||Bishop Paulo de Tarso Oliveira Lockmann||The Methodist Church of Brazil|
Note: Until 1956, the Chief officer of the Ecumenical Methodist Conference/World Methodist Council was the chair of the Executive Committee of the Conference. The Western (United States) and Eastern (Great Britain) sections would nominate co-chairs in most years to lead the Executive Committee.