Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

March 6, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- Perkins School of Theology at SMU is marking the 300th anniversary of John Wesley's birth by sponsoring a conference titled "Wesley in America" April 3-5.

The conference will bring together scholars and professionals to examine Wesley's influence upon and relationship to early American Methodism.

The keynote speech, titled "Episcopacy in Methodism: Shadows of John Wesley," will be given Thursday evening by Russell Richey, dean of Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

The remainder of the conference will include a variety of other lectures as well as worship services and discussion groups. A complete conference schedule is available at

A special exhibit at Bridwell Library will serve as a centerpiece for the conference. The exhibit covers Wesley's ministry in Georgia (1736-1737), Whitefield and the Methodists, Wesleyan preachers in America, Wesley and the American Revolution, the growth of Methodism in the New World, the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784), tensions between Wesley and the American Methodists, Wesley's later attitudes toward Native Americans and slavery, reaction in America to Wesley's death and the subsequent influence of Wesley in the United States.

Registration fee for the conference is $100 and registrations must be received by March 26. For more information, contact Page Thomas at (214) 768-2363 or by email at

The conference also includes a free bilingual preconference workshop April 3 titled "Wesley en Las Americas" led by Dr. Elbert Wethington and Rev. Daniel Flores. Participants in this workshop will discuss The Works of Wesley, which was recently translated into Spanish, as well as the status of Wesleyan Studies scholarship among Hispanic Latinos and the proposed formation of a Hispanic/Latino Wesleyan Studies Scholars group.

Perkins School of Theology was founded in 1915 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now The United Methodist Church, as one of the original schools of Southern Methodist University. Offering a variety of degree programs, it remains one of the few university-related theological schools in the nation.