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.