250th Anniversary Biographies


UPDATED JUNE 2016: Annual Conference historical videos available!  The Commission on Archives and History created 1-2 minute videos of ten of our 250th anniversary luminaries, which were shown at Annual Conference at Hofstra University June 8-11, 2016.

Videos are available for: Nathan Bangs, Phoebe Palmer, Maggie Newton Van Cott, Fanny Crosby, Frank Mason North, Ralph Sockman, William James, Roy Nichols, Amos Seung Won Rhee, and Shirley Parris. 

View or download the videos on our 250th Anniversary Videos page or scroll down on this page to find each luminary, and click on the link to the video. 


UM Luminaries in the New York Area

To celebrate 250 years of United Methodism in the New York Area, the NYAC Commission on Archives and History developed educational biographies that tell the stories of 25 luminaries in the New York Conference over the past 250 years. These one-page biographies provide information about each person's life and accomplishments, as well as discussion questions that can be used for bible study, discussion groups, confirmation classes, and sermon preparation. 

Available as:

  • PDF 8.5x11 posters - see individual listings below to view/download
    • Once a file opens, you will see options to print and save to your computer at the top right of the screen
  • PDF Bulletin inserts - see individual listings below to view/download
    • PLEASE NOTE: When printing the bulletin inserts, choose "Print on both sides of paper" and "Flip on short edge." Then print, photocopy, and cut each sheet in half.

 

We hope you will find the biographies useful!         


Francis Asbury

Pioneer Methodist Bishop

1745-1816

8.5x11 poster     Bulletin insert 


 

Barbara Heck, Philip Embury and Captain Thomas Webb

Founders of John Street Church

1766-1768

8.5x11 poster            Bulletin insert


James Varick

Civil Rights Pioneer and First Bishop of the AME Zion Church

1750-1827

8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert


 

Freeborn and Catherine Garrettson

Early American Methodist "Power Couple"

1752-1827 and 1752-1849

8.5x11 poster              Bulletin insert


Jesse Lee

Methodist Apostle to New England

1758-1816

8.5x11 poster              Bulletin insert


 

Nathan Bangs

Pioneer Publisher, Theologian and Methodist Historian

1778-1862

8.5x11 poster              Bulletin insert              Video


Mary Morgan Mason

Charity Worker and Educator

1791-1868

8.5x11 poster          Bulletin insert 


 

Phoebe Palmer

    Prophetess of the Holiness Movement

1807-1874

 8.5x11 poster             Bulletin insert               Video


Sojourner Truth 

Abolitionist and Social Activist

1797-1883

8.5x11 poster           Bulletin insert


 

Maggie Newton Van Cott

First Woman Licensed to Preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church

1830-1914

 8.5x11 poster         Bulletin insert           Video


Fanny Crosby

Hymn Writer, Teacher and Mission Worker 

1820-1915

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert        Video


 

Frank Mason North

Activist for the Social Gospel, Community Organizer and Poet

 1850-1935

8.5x11 poster          Bulletin insert          Video


James Monroe Buckley

Newspaper Editor and Leading Opponent of Women's Rights

1836-1920

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert


 

Frederick Asbury Cullen

                                           Community Activist and Pastor of Salem Church

1868-1946

8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert 


Harry F. Ward

Methodist Preacher and Social Activist

1873-1966

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert


 

Elsie F. Stowe

First Woman Ordained in the New York East Conference

1894-1994

 8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert


Lorenzo King

 

First African-American Bishop Elected from the New York Conference

1878-1946

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert


 

Ralph Sockman

  Nationally-Known Radio Preacher and Pastor of Christ Church

1889-1970

8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert        Video


Chester A. Smith

Community Leader and Lay Member of Annual and General Conferences

1884-1972

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert


 

William M. James

Teacher, Mentor and Community Leader

 1915-2013

8.5x11 poster          Bulletin insert          Video


Alfredo Cotto-Thorner

Community Leader, Mentor and Founder of Anchor House

1917-2013

8.5x11 poster      Bulletin insert


 

Roy C. Nichols

                Social Justice Advocate and First African American Bishop in the UMC

1918-2002

 8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert        Video


Amos Seung Won Rhee

Korean Community Leader and Pastor of First UMC of Flushing

1936-1998

8.5x11 poster       Bulletin insert        Video


 

Paul Abels

                   Social Activist, Musician, and First Openly Gay Pastor in the NYAC

1937-1992

 8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert


Shirley I. Parris

First Woman District and Conference Lay Leader

1933-2010

8.5x11 poster        Bulletin insert          Video