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GBHEM Publishing Office Releases New Book That Tells the Story of Henry Foxall

February 23, 2017

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announces the release of a new book, “Henry Foxall: Methodist, Industrialist, American.” The biography shares the compelling life, story and impact of Foxall on both a church and state in a country that enshrines their separation.

Author, Jane B. Donovan recounts Foxall’s role in what she describes as second-generation Methodism. In the book, Donovan explains how Foxall set the tone for subsequent American Methodists: adapters, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Donovan describes Foxall as the quintessential catalyst for the transformation of a spirit-filled movement into a church denomination and a young nation into an economic powerhouse.

“Henry Foxall” has received endorsements from United Methodist and government leaders. John Wigger, professor and chair, Department of History, University of Missouri, said, “In this fine-grained and elegantly written biography, Jane Donovan helps to explain how an outsider religion came to represent America’s emerging middle class after the revolution. Henry Foxall’s story is key to understanding Methodism’s growth in America and its connections to the industrial and political ambitions of the new nation.”

“Jane Donovan has written more than a fascinating biography of Henry Foxall; her work tells the story of a successful immigrant whose contributions to technology and industrialism laid the foundation for America’s rise as a global military and economic giant. This is a must read for anyone interested in American foreign policy, students of the early Republic, and early American Methodism,” said Alison T. Mann, Franklin Fellow, U.S. Department of State.

Jane B. Donovan is a lecturer in Religious Studies at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Author of many books and articles, she is also the book review editor for Methodist History and a member of the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church.

“Henry Foxall: Methodist, Industrialist, American,” is available on For more information on GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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