General Secretary

Bishop Ivan Abrahams

Ivan Abrahams,          General Secretary

Greetings from the General Secretary

The World Methodist Council website is the lens through which many in the public domain will be informed, challenged and (I trust) moved to action as they learn more about the Methodist, Wesleyan, United and Uniting Church family and affiliate bodies.

Electronic communications has opened a new chapter in the way we share information, do business and learn from each other. This site was launched after the Council did a major review of its constitution and activities.

We are thankful to all the members of the Steering Committee, Roma Wyatt, Personal Assistant to the General Secretary, John Thomas III, Coordinator of Youth and Young Adults and Barbara Bowser, Website Consultant, for their contribution to the website. We owe them all sincere appreciation and profound regard.

It is my hope and prayer that in connecting to this website and browsing through these web pages, you will be invited to discover a deeper spirituality, participate in theological discourse, learn more about the Wesleyan/Methodist heritage, witness and mission and be challenged to bend the moral arc of the universe towards healing, transformation and justice.

Yours in Christian love and service,

Ivan M. Abrahams
General Secretary

About the General Secretary

Bishop Ivan M. Abrahams is the fourth person and first South African to serve as General Secretary of the World Methodist Council.  He began his tenure in 2012 after a period of transition commencing at the close of the World Methodist Conference in Durban, South Africa.  From 2003-2012, Bishop Abrahams  served as Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa–one of the largest Christian denominations in Southern Africa.  During his tenure he provided prophetic leadership and direction.  His capstone achievement was the formation and successful completion of the multimillion rand legacy project, the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary.

Bishop Abrahams is well-versed in casting vision, providing spiritual and strategic leadership, developing policies and procedures in line with values, goals and the mission of the church to achieve its vision.  A renowned ecumenist and advocate for social justice, Bishop Abrahams is active in various fora including the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.  He is married to Esme F. Abrahams, General Hospital Manager (i.e. CEO) of Netcare Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg.  Together they have 3  children and 3 grandchildren.

Previous Secretaries/General Secretaries

Year Name Nationality/Church
1951-1961 Rev. Elmer T. Clark United States (The Methodist Church)
Dr. E Benson Perkins Great Britain (The Methodist Church)
1961-1966 Rev. Lee Tuttle United States (The Methodist Church)
Rev. Max W. Woodward Great Britain (The Methodist Church)
1966-1976 Rev. Lee Tuttle United States (United Methodist Church)
1976-1991 Rev.  Dr. Joe Hale United States (United Methodist Church)
1991-2011 Rev. Dr. George Freeman United States (United Methodist Church)

Note: From 1951-1961, the World Methodist Council functioned with two part-time Secretaries.  From 1961-1966, two full-time Secretaries were employed.  In 1966, the full-time Secretary located in the United States became the General Secretary.  The Secretary located in Europe became the Geneva Secretary.