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General Secretary

Ivan Abrahams

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 4 grandchildren.

Previous Secretaries/General Secretaries

1951-1961Rev. Elmer T. ClarkUnited States (The Methodist Church)
Dr. E Benson PerkinsGreat Britain (The Methodist Church)
1961-1966Rev. Lee TuttleUnited States (The Methodist Church)
Rev. Max W. WoodwardGreat Britain (The Methodist Church)
1966-1976Rev. Lee TuttleUnited States (United Methodist Church)
1976-2001Rev.  Dr. Joe HaleUnited States (United Methodist Church)
2001-2011Rev. Dr. George FreemanUnited 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.