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GBHEM Publishing Releases a Book Offering Help for New Pastors

December 12, 2018

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), leadership development agency for the denomination, announced the release of a new book, “The United Methodist Clergy Book of Firsts” by F. Belton Joyner, Jr. Written especially for licensing school and Course of Study students, this book helps pastors navigate the early days of their ministry.  

Featuring topics from first appointments and first sermons to leadership development and community involvement, Joyner dives into opportunities and challenges pastors face as they grow and mature as clergy.    

Joyner teaches courses in Methodist history and Wesleyan Theology at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. Some of his more popular books include “Being United Methodist in the Bible Belt” and “The Unofficial Handbook for United Methodist Pastors.” 

“I had the honor of being a student of F. Belton Joyner for several classes during Course of Study at Duke Divinity School,” said Sue Anne Morris, pastor of First Eden Spray United Methodist Church in Eden, North Carolina and chair of local pastors and associate members for the Western North Carolina Conference. “Belton is a fountain of knowledge with a mix of quick wit and humor. He has a heart for pastors, especially those just beginning their journey in ministry.  I am forever grateful for Belton’s love of God, the church, and pastors.” 

“Belton Joyner has once again blessed us with a gift of God’s “practical divinity,” said Leonard E. Fairley, resident bishop in the Louisville Episcopal Area. “I hope and pray that this treasure of wisdom will find its way into the hands of anyone with the audacity to answer the call of God to serve as a United Methodist pastor. Whatever your status in the annual conference, here is both practical and spiritual wisdom that I highly recommend for both laity and clergy. I have just one question, where was this when I started my ministry as a local pastor?” 

Published by Wesley’s Foundery Books, an imprint of GBHEM, “The United Methodist Clergy Book of Firsts” is available at and For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit Publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.  

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. 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 in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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