The semi-annual General Board meeting of The Wesleyan Church was held on November 19-20. General Superintendent Dr. Jo Anne Lyon remarked that there was a general sense of God “binding us together” throughout the meeting.
It was not the intended theme of the meeting, but it became clear that one of the themes that the Holy Spirit intended was to be bold in taking risks for the sake of the gospel.
A special moment occurred when Dr. Jim Dunn, executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship, shared very transparently and with great hope, about his journey with Mindy. Mindy, his wife, was called to heaven on November 4.
1. Growth – The General Board was encouraged by the overall statistical trends of the denomination, including recent record gains in conversions, baptisms, and attendance in North America, and remarkable church planting gains worldwide, in part driven by the success of the JESUS film new church starts.
2. Dr. Wingrove Taylor – The former General Superintendent of the Caribbean General Conference was an honored guest. The acclaimed preacher/orator brought a message for the board. He was heard saying: “Our Lord never pleads for nor promises the impossible.” Dr. Taylor recently turned 90 and the board was honored by his presence.
3. Dr. Dan Berry – The district superintendent of South Coastal District shared his grief journey with the board in a special speaking session. This was a moment to reflect on how God redeems even such intense journeys of heartache. Berry recently authored a book, No More Cloudy Days, capturing the story of the loss of his wife, Shelley.
4. Breakout sessions – In smaller groups, members shared stories of lives, churches, and communities they have seen transformed in recent years. Coming from all over North America, these were diverse and inspiring to hear.
5. Elections of college and university trustees and other business.
One quote from Dr. Lyon, heard during the meeting:
“We are not Wal-Mart and we don’t make widgets. We convert. That’s what it’s about. We baptize. We make disciples.”