Saddlebag Notes, August 2019

The latest issue of the World Methodist Museum’s Newsletter, Saddlebag Notes is now available.

Saddlebag Notes, June 2019

The June issue of the World Methodist Museum’s Newsletter, Saddlebag Notes is now available.

2015 John Wesley’s Chest-on-Chest: World Methodist Museum Receives Major Acquisition

The World Methodist Museum at Lake Junaluska is believed to have the single largest collection of Wesley artifacts of any institution, and on Sunday, 20 September, it unveiled another major item: a chest on chest that belonged to the Most Rev. John Wesley was gifted to the Museum.

Approximately 4’ x 6’ (approx. 122 cm x 183 cm), this imposing piece was given by Sue McCrory of San Antonio, Texas, in memoriam to its former owner, the late Dr. Pearl L. Zink. A faded and fragile paper pasted in a top drawer explains that it was owned by Wesley, and later by Lord Kitchener. History shows that one of the Kitcheners was friends of one of Charles Wesley’s son.

Dr. Zink died in 2008, but had asked Mrs. McCrory to “find a permanent home for this very special piece. We decided that should be with the Methodist Church, and I vowed to make this happen,” a letter from Mrs. McCrory reads. The letter was read aloud in its entirety at the unveiling. “To conclude, our precious chest is exactly where it should be. I know it will be cherished. Both my grandmother and Pearl must be singing in heaven, for both their wishes have been fulfilled. I told Jackie [Bolden], someone was whispering in my ear the day I contacted the Museum. I would like to think so, perhaps an ancestor, my grandmother or Pearl.” Mrs. McCrory said her grandmother was from North Carolina and always spoke of it fondly and lovingly. She said Haywood County roots include the Fines Creek area and Nolands, Russells, Rheas, Rogers, Milners and others.

At the special Sept. 20 unveiling ceremony, attended by a standing-only crowd in the Museum, the furniture was unveiled with special remarks by World Methodist Council General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams. He thanked those involved in making this possible. He also stated that the Museum’s valuable content needs to be available to more people throughout the world and an effort is being made to allow this through video and web, as well as to make the Museum more interactive to those visiting in person.

The Friends of the Museum paid for the moving costs and Friends President, the Rev. Dr. Donald Rankin, welcomed those attending the event. Also on the program were the Rev. Dr. Jim Gilland, Museum Director Jackie Bolden, harpist Balfour Knight and vocalists Susan Gaddy and Carol Lynn Knight.

Since Wesley was known for “scanty but choice” furniture, according to a former Warden of the Old Rectory in England, attendees were asked to surmise what Wesley might have kept in the chest. Answers included an outfit for himself in the top and two to be given away in the bottom; tracts and maps; Bibles, communication with other religious groups; sermons he was working to complete; Charles Wesley’s early book of hymns and so forth. “It seems no one thought it would be full of a personal wardrobe as might be the case today since people in the 1700’s had very few sets of clothes, no matter where they were in the world or their status,” Bolden commented.

The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday year-round from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Special groups are also welcome at other hours by appointment by calling (828) 456-7242 or emailing Find out more about the museum at

Saddlebag Notes, June 2015

The latest issue of the World Methodist Museum’s Newsletter, Saddlebag Notes is now available.

Saddlebag Notes, January 2015

The latest issue of the World Methodist Museum’s Newsletter, Saddlebag Notes is now available.

Hurst Watercolor Collections

John Wesley – A Pictorial Journey begins and ends in Epworth, the boyhood home of Wesley.  The book takes in many notable as well as lesser-known locations visited by the early preachers of Methodism.  The World Methodist Museum offers these books for sale and also features two rooms which are referred to as the Hurst Gallery highlighting many watercolor paintings by acclaimed artist John Hurst and author of the book.  Entry to the Museum and gallery is free and open to the public. Visit beautiful Lake Junaluska and the Museum year around.

Christmas Greetings from the World Methodist Museum and the World Methodist Council


As Christmas draws near, General Secretary Ivan Abrahams would like to extend a warm and loving message to all of our friends, families and associates that help keep this global family strong and vibrant.

On behalf of the World Methodist Museum and the headquarters staff of the World Methodist Council, we wish you a blessed and happy holiday.

World Methodist Museum Honors Women in Methodism

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As part of a new exhibit that calls attention to the efforts of women helping to spread the gospel and the Methodist faith, the World Methodist Museum hosted the unveiling of a portrait of Helenor Davisson, a circuit riding minister from 1866, was a highlight of the program which included a time of fellowship with refreshments.

Speakers for the ceremony included Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council; Bishop Charlene Kammerer who has done much international mission work while serving the WNCC and Virginia Conferences;  and the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, General Secretary (chief executive) of the General Board of Discipleship. Also participating in the program were Yvette Richards, President of the National United Methodist Women (UMW) and Tonya Lanier, President of the Western North Carolina Conference UMW. Special music was arranged by vocalist Susan Gaddy.

Clay Michael Powers of Cataula, Georgia was the artist of the painting. The Rev. Christopher Shoemaker from Wadley, Ga., the principal scholar on Davisson’s life and ordination, did extensive research on this project.

“Indiana Conference Historian Dr. Richard Stowe and I decided Lake Junaluska would be the ideal home for Helenor’s portrait. We wanted visitors from the world over to be able to encounter Helenor and hear her story. There is no better place for this than the World Methodist Museum,” Rev. Shoemaker said.

“We are pleased at the careful research compiled by the Rev. Shoemaker, the beautiful and historically accurate painting of Mr. Powers and thrilled to be able to highlight some of the many women in Methodism, beginning with Susanna Wesley, the mother of John Wesley,” Museum Director Jackie Bolden said.

Jackie Bolden to Head Museum

The World Methodist Museum has recently named Jackie Bolden as the replacement for outgoing director, Sarah Beth Lee.

Bolden, a Haywood County, North Carolina resident, has spent over two decades leading non-profit organizations in the area. As the Executive Director of Folkmoot, she oversaw the festival’s growth and expansion, enabling it to become NC’s largest folk festival.

A lifelong United Methodist, Jackie has also worked as a Coordinator and Trainer for the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Disaster Response Program.

“I am excited to be involved with the World Methodist Council and to be helping the World Methodist Museum reach out to a larger audience in the region and the world. I think that the Friends of the World Methodist Museum is the perfect organization to work alongside us as we work to achieve these goals,” said Bolden.


From the Director…

By Sarah Beth Lee

Spring has finally turned to summer and the Museum is full of activity. As my time as the director of the World Methodist Museum comes to a close, I want to take a moment and thank the Friends of the World Methodist Museum for their support. I will be answering a calling to join the field of public education, but I leave knowing that the Friends are steering the Museum towards exciting developments and happenings in the future.

The Museum’s collection is unsurpassed and the history that it shares is invaluable¾these underlying qualities will bolster its continued success. Jackie Bolden’s skill-set will be an excellent addition to the institution and I have no doubt that it is on track to reach its goals in the future. During my short time here, I have been able to incorporate basic policies and procedures that will guide and help protect the long-term integrity and vitality of the museum. With Jackie’s incoming organizational and marketing expertise, she will be able to build on that base by effectively spreading word of the endless array of Methodist artifacts and history that are on display in the Museum. Accordingly, the Museum’s treasures will continue to inspire and educate generations to come.


Museum Partners with Duke Divinity Library

The Museum also began a long term project to better ensure the protection and accessibility of its valuable manuscript collections. Museum staff members embarked upon a partnership with Duke Divinity Library to make the Museum’s precious letters of several Methodist forefathers available through the Library’s Digital Archive. Gradually over the coming months and years, some of the correspondence of John Wesley and others will be preserved digitally and made available to researchers around the world through the Digital Archive.


Reserve your tickets now for the 2014 Friends of the World Methodist Museum’s Annual Banquet!

Join us for an evening of fellowship, a meal, and an excellent presentation. Dr. Richard Heitzenrater, noted for his abundant scholarship on Church History and John Wesley, will present on “The Historical John Wesley.”

Reservations for dinner at the annual banquet are $18.00. They can be purchased during the Museum’s open hours (Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00)with cash, check, or credit card. Reservations can also be made over the phone with a credit card by calling the Museum at (828)-456-9432, ext. 4.

Event date: Friday, August 8, 2014

Time: 6:00 PM

Where: The International Room at the Lambuth Inn,

Lake Junaluska, NC

*Last but not least, please remember to pay your annual membership gift to the Friends for the 2014 year if you have not done so already. It is only through your consistent membership contributions that the Museum is able to carry on in its mission of sharing Methodist history with the world. You can renew your Friends of the Museum membership anytime during the Museum’s normal operating hours or via mail.


From the Director… May 2014

Welcome to the new Saddlebag Notes from the World Methodist Museum! As the Museum begins to grow and change, we hope that this insert into the First Friday Letter will help not only the local audience of the World Methodist Museum, but also the entire world to be informed about the exciting work being done by the Museum, which is a ministry of the World Methodist Council.

My first month here at the Museum has been wonderful. There is a lot of work to be done, but I feel that a new energy and vibrancy has already taken over our organization!

The Museum also made headway with its manuscript collection. Heather South, archivist for the NC Department of Cultural Resources, spent at day at the Museum evaluating John Wesley’s and other Methodist mavericks’ historic letters and certificates. Since South’s visit, the Museum has commenced a long-term project of stabilizing these documents with more appropriate archival materials in order that they may last for many years to come.

In April the Museum launched its new website and a new introduction video for Museum visitors. The staff also began sending an electronic survey to Museum patrons after their visits with hopes that visitor feedback will enable the Museum to create a more powerful experience for audiences in the future.

I look forward to letting everyone in our Global Family know of the progress and work being done in preserving our Methodist and Wesleyan History each month.

Sarah Beth Lee


Adopt an Artifact

The World Methodist Museum urges web and traditional visitors  to “Adopt an Artifact.” In the coming months as the Museum works to better preserve its manuscripts, it will use quite a bit of archival polyester film to encapsulate these old paper materials. This film comes in rolls with the smallest rolls starting at around $70 (US) each. The Museum would welcome a monetary donation in order to help build its archival document storage supply. If you are interested in helping with this endeavor, feel free to contact the museum via our website or by mail at:

World Methodist Museum
PO Box 518
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

April and May bring busy Confirmation Season

Just as the flowers and trees were waking up with activity in April, so too was the World Methodist Museum. During the previous month the Museum served around 550 visitors, including over 300 middle-school age confirmands and the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries. The confirmands especially saw Methodist history come to life as they completed a history scavenger hunt through the Museum, stood behind John Wesley’s traveling pulpit, and measured themselves against a life size mural of a preaching Wesley!


Museum welcomes Confirmands from Lincolnton County, NC!


Confirmands from Lincolnton County, NC, pose for a picture on the steps of the World Methodist Museum and in front of John Wesley’s traveling pulpit. The outing gave these students a chance to explore Methodist history outside of the church walls.

To schedule your group for a visit to the World Methodist Museum, please visit our contact page or by using this contact form.

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World Methodist Museum welcomes PAUMCS

The World Methodist Museum was visited by the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS), who were holding their 2014 meetings in nearby Asheville, North Carolina.

Over fifty members of the PAUMCS stopped by the museum and took in the exhibits on a beautiful afternoon in Lake Junaluska.

The visit was brief, but well-received.

To schedule your group’s visit to the World Methodist Museum, be sure to visit our Contact page or email us using the form below.
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World Methodist Museum welcomes New Director

The World Methodist Museum in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina is proud to welcome Sarah Beth Lee as the new Museum Director.

Sarah Beth was previously employed by the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site in Asheville, North Carolina and brings with her a passion for history and preservation.

A native of Haywood County, Sarah Beth is a graduate of MTSU, with a BA in History, and WCU where she received her MA in American History with a focus in Public History.

“I’m excited for the opportunity that the World Methodist Museum presents. I look forward to sharing this treasure with a greater audience in the coming years. The history and witness that it tells is inspiring and informative,” says Lee.

The World Methodist Museum is a ministry of the World Methodist Council. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM – 4:00 PM and is closed daily for lunch from 12:00 PM—1:00 PM.

Confirm ’14

Throughout March, the World Methodist Museum was pleased to welcome Confirmation groups from the Intentional Growth Center’s Confirm ’14 program. The theme for the 2013-2014 Confirmation season is “I Promise – to be faithful in
Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Services and Witness.”. Throughout March, over a thousand confirmands visited the museum to learn about the life of John Wesley and the formation of the Methodist Church.

To schedule your group for a visit to the World Methodist Museum, please visit our contact page or by using this contact form.

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