Walking with Wesley
2022 Joint ANNUAL Meetings
Epworth by the Sea
St. Simons Island, Georgia
July 26-29, 2022
The South Georgia Conference Archives and History Committee hosted the Southeastern Jurisdiction Historical Society and the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church during their annual meetings in 2022. The event focused on John and Charles Wesley’s ministry in the colony of Georgia. On the first day, after-dinner lectures were given by Rev. Franklin Buie ("John Wesley's Decision for Georgia") and Rev. Dave Hanson ("John Wesley’s Time in Georgia"). An ice cream social rounded out the first evening.
On the second day, participants took a field trip to Savannah, GA with a stop along the way at Cockspur Island to see the Wesley Memorial marking the spot where John and Charles landed in the colony to begin their ministry. Arriving in Savannah, the group took a walking tour of historic sites associated with John Wesley, his ministry, and the birth of Methodism in Savannah. After returning to St. Simons Island and dinner, a tour of the Moore Methodist Museum was made available to all who wanted to know more about St. Simons Island and the Methodist connections throughout Georgia.
The tour the following day began at the historic Christ Episcopal Church and grounds with a docent led program. This was followed by a ranger led program at Fort Frederica where the Wesley brothers ministered to the colonists. The Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder, recently retired from Candler School of Theology, gave a wonderful presentation in the afternoon on women in Methodism in the 20th Century. Her presentation entitled “Rebel With a Cause” focused on the life and influence of Dorothy Rogers Tilly (1883-1970), a native of Hampton, Georgia. Her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, friendships with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McCleod Bethune along with helping to lead the crusade against lynchings, the KKK and other significant efforts left a legacy of positive and progressive changes not just in Georgia and the South, but in the whole nation. Closing out the afternoon was a second presentation by Rev. Buie ("John Wesley's Travels in South Carolina") as well as the annual business meetings of the South Georgia Conference Archives and History Committee and the HSUMC. The banquet celebrating the recipients of the Saddlebag Award and Ministry of Memory Award was held that evening.
The annual meeting concluded on the Friday with a memorial service honoring those we have lost since our last in-person gathering.
Epworth by the Sea Conference Center offers a gorgeous 100 acre riverfront campus with 235 rooms in various price points, on-site dining, and is a great location of meetings and events.