In April of 2023, Raquel and I had the pleasure of welcoming Rev. Edgar Avitia to our home for an early breakfast prior to a special called session of Annual Conference. On that visit, Edgar surprised me with news that I had been invited to the 150th Anniversary Celebration being planned later in the year.
Although Methodism has existed in Mexico since English speaking settlers brought their faith to Mexican territory in the early 19th century, the year 1873 marks the beginning of Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South missions in Mexico and the founding of the two historic congregations in Mexico City, La Santísima Trinidad (Gante), and El Mesias (Balderas).
Organized by the Mexico Annual Conference, the Congreso consisted of a series of academic lectures, panel discussions, and worship services convened in the main sanctuary of Templo “La Santísima Trinidad” at 5 Gante Street in the historic center of Mexico City.
In November of 2022, I became a corresponding member of the North-Central Conference (Methodist Church of Mexico) chapter of the Sociedad para Estudios Históricos de la Iglesia Metodista de México (SEHIMM). I have since been nominated to corresponding national membership in SEHIMM, a category reserved for individuals from other Methodist denominations (UMC). In preparation for possible election, I prepared a paper relating to the book Mexico In Transition from Political Romanism to Civil and Religious Liberty, written by Rev. Dr. William Butler, the missionary who founded Methodist Episcopal Church work in Mexico. Following Edgar’s passing last summer, SEHIMM invited me to share this paper and its findings at the 150th Anniversary Congreso event among other lectures and discussions. My presentation took place on Friday evening, December 1 and was given in honor of Rev. Edgar Avitia.
The event brought together laity and clergy from throughout Mexico along with several international representatives from the United Methodist Church, the Methodist Church of El Salvador, and the British Methodist Church. International guests were treated to a series of visits to cultural and church sites prior to the opening of the Congreso.
Months of organizing came together to produce an engaging, relevant, and inspiring program that called upon the church to reflect upon contemporary events and issues, to seek a conversion that begins within each believer, and contextualize its mission and ministry into the current pastoral situation. Lecturers and panelists at the Congreso addressed a number of pertinent cultural issues such as climate change, artificial intelligence, the status of women, colonialism in mission, the pandemic, and the role of social media.
It was a tremendous honor to be included in this event representing our own historic congregation (est. 1876) and the United Methodist Church.
Please enjoy the photographs below and the various documents relating to this event.
PDF Files of Program and Spanish and English Editions of Rev. Feagins’ Paper:
English interpretation of paper: