Sunday, September 24, 2006

Conversations with Dr. Maxie Dunnam

Yesterday (Saturday, September 23) I was privileged to spend an hour in conversation with Dr. Maxie Dunnam concerning the work in Venezuela, especially the seminary. This was a great privilege. I have known Maxie for many years and he is one of the most well respected leaders, educator, writer, speaker and thinker in Christendom (see a short bio below).

This opportunity occurred as we were both working with the North Georgia Conference United Methodist Men's Retreat at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp.
The conversation was a result of Dr. Dunnam asking me to tell him about our work in Venezuela, particularly our work with the seminary there.

We had a great and candid conversation as I shared our hopes and dreams, accomplishments and disappointments, mistakes and learnings. He was very complimentary of what we are doing in Theological Education in Venezuela and Latin America.

Toward the end of the conversation, Maxie shared that as Chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary, he would like to build some strategic partnerships with various seminaries in countries in the South and East, the places where the Christian church is experiencing its most dynamic and critical growth. Theological education in these countries is in relative infancy and faces many struggles and difficulties.

Maxie envisions a relationship between Asbury and some of these schools, including the Wesley Seminary of Venezuela.
We discussed possibilities of our (Venezuela Now, Inc. and Wesley Seminary of Venezuela) hosting a gathering of representatives of 4 or 5 carefully chosen seminaries to meet with Maxie to explore the possibilities of this relationship. I will let you know as this develops. Needless to say, I am most excited about the possibilities of a strategic partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary, one of the greatest seminaries in the United States.

Please pray for this as we seek to discover God's will and find our way forward in this effort. Pray especially because of what this could mean to the church in Venezuela and South America, as well as Costa Rica, Africa and Asia.

Biographical information about Dr. Dunnam:

Dr. Maxie Dunnam, has been a minister in the United Methodist Church since 1955, when at the age of 21, he organized Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In the next several years, he served three more congregations, before becoming Director of the Fellowship Department and then World Editor of The Upper Room, the well-known United Methodist publication. In 1982, Dr. Dunnam returned to parish ministry as Senior Minister of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, in 1994, he was elected president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Maxie Dunnam is the author of several dozen books and is widely recognized as an evangelist and a pioneer in small group ministries.

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