Pastor. Author. Church planter. President, and then Chancellor, of Asbury Theological Seminary. World Editor of The Upper Room.
The Rev. Maxie Dunnam has held many titles over the course of his life. He now serves as president of the Confessing Movement board of directors and Minister-at-Large at Christ Church United Methodist in Memphis, Tennessee.
In a recent ZOOM interview with me, he shared at length about his experiences of standing up for civil rights in his native Mississippi in the early 1960s. He explained that his boldly defending racial equality in a difficult environment “was inspired by and guided by” the same core Christian faith commitments driving his current defenses of theological orthodoxy in our denomination on questions of sexual morality, and more fundamentally, the authority of Scripture. He traced how this experience led to his connecting with the famous Methodist missionary, E. Stanley Jones, which in turn contributed to the launch of the Walk to Emmaus.
We also more widely discussed his extraordinary career of service to our denomination and to the Kingdom – his coming to faith, his call to Methodist ministry, planting congregations in three states, his experience ministering within the Western Jurisdiction, pastoring Christ Church (which remains one of our denomination’s largest congregations), and changes he oversaw at Asbury Seminary.
In closing, he offers some big-picture perspective on the present division facing our denomination, and outlines key opportunities and challenges for theologically orthodox United Methodists we can expect on the other side of the coming denominational separation.