World Methodist Evangelism Board Member, Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon receives the World Methodist Council Peace Award
World Methodist Evangelism is pleased to announce that Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon was the recipient of the World Methodist Council Peace Award given at the recent World Methodist Conference in Houston, Texas in September.
As the founder and former CEO (1996-2008) of World Hope International, Alexandria, Virginia, Dr. Lyon began that ministry in her home and, in twelve years, grew the organization to a $17 million global Christian relief and development agency serving in 30 countries and dedicated to alleviating suffering and injustice. In her time with World Hope International, she traveled extensively, often to dangerous and remote areas. Her creative approach and problem-solving with local leadership led to programs which brought both clean water and spiritual nourishment to these communities. She has helped to initiate numerous projects including digging wells, holistic healing programs for post-war amputees, and brought national awareness to human-trafficking. She followed her time at World Hope International by serving for eight years as General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.
Dr. Lyon states, “In this time, we care about needy and suffering people, about immigrants, about racial reconciliation, about refugees, about human trafficking, and about the equality of God’s image in women. The prophet Amos said, ‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’ (5:24). Seeking justice alone can become all political. But righteousness without seeking justice for others leads to isolation from the world. We find that balance including both justice and righteousness, rooted in the Bible and in our historical identity.”
We join the global Wesleyan Methodist family in congratulating Dr. Lyon. We thank God for her remarkable leadership and are deeply grateful for her support of World Methodist Evangelism.
World Methodist Evangelism Announces New World Director
World Methodist Evangelism announces the selection of the Rev Dr. Kimberly Reisman of West Lafayette, Indiana, as the new World Director beginning September 1, 2014. She will follow the Rev Dr. Eddie Fox, who is retiring after having served as World Director of World Methodist Evangelism for the past 25 years.
Doctor Reisman has Bachelor of Arts Degrees (BD) from Emory University in psychology and English literature, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Yale University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with an emphasis in the theology of evangelism from Durham University in the United Kingdom. She has ministerial credentials as an ordained elder in the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church where she has been serving as Director of Next Step Evangelism Ministries and Conference Evangelist.
Bishop Mike Watson, President of World Methodist Evangelism and Chair of the World Methodist Council’s Evangelism Committee, said that “as a member of the World Methodist Council Steering Committee, Dr. Reisman leads in social justice and has been a regular partner with World Methodist Evangelism and the World Methodist Evangelism Institute teaching and preaching in their evangelism seminars worldwide. She has provided faith sharing training for congregations both nationally and internationally. As a published author, she has written several books seeking to awaken strengthen and enliven the faith commitment of individuals as well as empower communities of faith to become visible witnesses to the love of Christ for the world.”
Rev. Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council added “Since my introduction to Dr. Reisman, she has been a source of boundless energy and spirit within the World Methodist Council. As chair of the Social Justice Committee her opinions and thought are among the first that I seek on many issues. I look forward to forging a partnership that honors the work of our predecessors and forges a bold new trail.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work more fully with World Methodist Evangelism. I feel both honored and humbled – honored to be involved with such a strong and vital part of God’s Kingdom work, and humbled by the responsibility of following such a dynamic and gifted leader as Eddie Fox. Eddie will leave a tremendous legacy of ministry. He’s been an important mentor to me and I plan to build on his solid foundation, praying that God will continue to bless World Evangelism as richly in the future as God has in the past,” added Reisman.
In February, Kimberly Reisman, SJC Chair, traveled to Nigeria to learn more about the interfaith work being done by the Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association (www.nifaaonline.org), an organization led by Bishop Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha of the Methodist Church Nigeria. While there Dr. Reisman also preached at West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS) and led 15,000 women as they explored the theme Seek Peace, Pursue It! (1 Peter 3:11) at the annual United Methodist Women’s conference in the Gwaten Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Nigeria.