General Commission on History and Archives
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2022
ARCHIVES & HISTORY HOLDS ANNUAL BOARD MEETING VIRTUALLY
Life Celebration for Past General Secretary among Activities
Madison, N.J. – Celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Yrigoyen Jr., general secretary emeritus, recognizing the enduring academic contributions of Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levinson and receiving committee reports and motions comprised the business and activities when the General Commission on Archives and History held its annual board meeting September 15-16, 2022. The 21 members from across the globe met virtually.
The Rev. Dr. Alfred “Fred” T. Day III presided over the Celebration of Life for Yrigoyen, who passed away May 9, 2022. Yrigoyen served as the Archives and History’s general secretary from 1982 to 2005. Day, also a former Archives and History chief executive, recounted the numerous accomplishments of Yrigoyen, who oversaw the move of the collection at Lake Junaluska to a state-of-the-art repository on the campus of Drew University.
When speaking of his predecessor, Day drew from current events, saying, “In this age of celebrating a new King, Charles III, we celebrate the one forever in our hearts, in the church and GCAH, Charles the First.”
In another time of special recognition, Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, a Dallas-based author and professor at Southern Methodist University, was named the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
Pope-Levison was recognized for the United Methodist’s ground-breaking research into the lives of the denomination’s pioneers, especially women in evangelism, and for significant academic contributions to the ministry of memory of The United Methodist Church.
A prolific author and veteran academic, Pope-Levison is the author of numerous books, including “Models of Evangelism.” “Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era” and “Sex, Gender and Christianity,” which she edited with John R. Levison. “Building the Old Time Religion” received the Smith/Wynkoop Book Award by the Wesleyan Theological Society and was listed as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014.
In other business, the board affirmed the work of Dr. Ashley Boggan and unanimously elected her to continue serving in her role as general secretary.
“History has to be our guide for the future and we have to do everything we can that our past is not only remembered but remembered accurately and used as a resource,” Boggan said, following the board’s vote.
Boggan reported that the agency’s educational offerings have increased with a revamped Local Church Historian School that launched on September 26, a 6-week course titled “Splits, Separations and Reconciliations,” and a Methodist History 101 for new members in the works. The agency’s podcast, “Un-Tied Methodism,” which the general secretary hosts, has published more than two dozen episodes, covering topics that range from why United Methodists use Welch’s grape juice during communion to an in depth examination of The Book of Discipline’s Paragraph 2548.2.
Throughout the two-day meeting, GCAH staff and board members shared reports from their respective areas of expertise, conferences and jurisdictions specific to work surrounding archives and history.
The 2023 annual board meeting is set for September 14-15, 2023.
About General Commission on Archives and History
The General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH), organized in 1968, is one of the general agencies of The United Methodist Church, with offices located in the Archives & History Center. GCAH offers assistance to local churches and Annual Conferences through publications, workshops, research services, and other programs. The Commission maintains relationships with the five Jurisdictional Commissions on Archives and History, the Central Conferences, the World Methodist Historical Society, the World Methodist Council, and the Charles Wesley Society.