Maxie Dunnam Born of Conviction

Maxie Dunnam on “Born of Conviction,” His Ministry, and the Future of Methodism

on May 12, 2020

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.


The original “Born of Conviction” statement.

Some deeper historical background surrounding “Born of Conviction,” reflecting one author’s perspective.

  1. Comment by Hayne hamilton on May 13, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Your article told us what you talked about but not Maxie Dunham said

  2. Comment by Jeffrey Walton on May 13, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Please click on the video in order to hear the interview with Maxie Dunnam.

  3. Comment by John Smith on May 16, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I must admit I’m with you. I dislike video for informational purposes like this but many people want it. I much prefer reading. One of my pet peeves is video on a newspaper or magazine site. OTOH I realize its generally not crucial information and can easily be skipped. Based on the summary above about the only thing really new is the “in closing” section

  4. Comment by John Smith on May 16, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I hope this isn’t a trend, opened six articles got four videos.

  5. Comment by C.A. Buster on May 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I also have little interest in watching a video, instead of reading, and reviewing specific areas of the ‘conversation’. If the topic is sufficiently important for IRD to post, then please present the topic in print for serious consideration.

  6. Comment by John Smith on May 27, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Just went through another series of videos in the latest posts.

  7. Comment by Catherine on May 17, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I’m hard of hearing. Really want transcripts. Videos do me no good what so ever.

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