About the Museum

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the World Methodist Museum is home to one of the largest collections of artifacts from the early days of Methodism. History comes to life as the story of Methodism unfolds within the walls of the Museum.

Beginnings

The museum building, erected in 1956, was the generous gift of American Methodists to the World Methodist Council. In the beginning the building was home to the international offices of the World Methodist Council. Dr. Elmer T. Clark, the first secretary of the World Methodist Council, was also secretary of the Association of Methodist Historical Societies. He assembled a lifetime collection of Staffordshire pottery, Methodist primitives, commemoratives, and a wealth of original autographs and manuscripts from the earliest beginnings of the Methodist Movement in England. The Clark Collection of Wesleyana was housed in the central hall. Dr. Lee F. Tuttle, Clark’s successor, continued to add to the Museum. He made his own unique contribution by creating the beautiful Susanna Wesley Garden adjacent to the headquarters building to honor the mother of the Wesleys. On July 16, 1983, the renewed and expanded World Methodist Museum was dedicated. Shortly thereafter a support organization, Friends of the World Methodist Museum was formed. The member’s annual gifts have enabled the purchase of rare paintings, significant historical Methodist findings, and artifacts from the time of Jesus.

Interior left Inside the Museum

Beautiful windows depicting Jesus Christ and John Wesley, portraits of early founders of Methodism, the world’s largest collection of Wesleyan Staffordshire pottery, a library containing rare books, manuscripts and autographs all provide inspiration from the past. Ten portraits by Frank O. Salisbury hang in the Museum and a very rare parian figure of John Wesley at his mother’s tomb is on exhibit.

A Museum of Methodist Heritage and History for the World

The World Methodist Museum is an integral part of the World Methodist Council. Linked together through witness, evangelism and fellowship, the World Methodist Council is connected to people throughout the world who share the Wesleyan heritage. At present, 80 member churches in 132 countries make up the World Methodist Council, and as part of this tradition are linked together through the Museum. The Wesley Heritage comes alive for confirmation classes whose visits to Lake Junaluska are highlighted by a tour of the Museum.