GBHEM’S Book Wins Saddlebag Award

Published On: June 7, 2018

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is honored to announce that “Encoding Methodism: Telling and Retelling Narratives of Wesleyan Origins” by Ted A. Campbell, published by the New Room Books, an imprint of the Publishing Office of GBHEM, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Saddlebag Award. The Saddlebag Award is given by the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church to the outstanding book on United Methodist history or a related subject published during the previous calendar year. 

Excelling within the award criteria of “respectable, readable, serious and accessible,” “Encoding Methodism” was acknowledged for offering a work that is both scholarly in its content and accessible to a broad audience. The Saddlebag Award will be presented July 11, 2018 at the Merging the Streams Convocation. Campbell will offer a presentation on his award-winning book during the convocation banquet. 

In “Encoding Methodism,” Campbell provides a comprehensive and well-documented account of the founding of Methodism and the distinctive identity of the religious community. He makes a pointed effort to highlight the development of the narratives of Wesleyan origins and the ways in which they have been used over time to describe or encode the unique and defining traits of Wesleyan/Methodist communities. The book shows how understanding the unique position and contexts of narrators provides a sound position to better grasp what really happened.

“When GBHEM relaunched its Publishing ministry in 2016, we intentionally sought to offer works that would serve as a resource for continued growth, encouragement and intellectual advancement within The United Methodist Church,” said Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “Ted’s work provides a holistic view of the history of the denomination, designed to help us better understand how our Methodist faith community has grown and changed over time, to become what it is today. We are honored to be the publisher for such an important work for the church and commend Ted for receiving the Saddlebag Award.” 

Campbell is a professor of Church History at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His previous works include “Wesleyan Beliefs: Formal and Popular Expressions of Core Teachings of Wesleyan Communities,” “The Gospel in Christian Traditions” and “Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials.”

“Encoding Methodism: Telling and Retelling Narratives of Wesleyan Origins” is available at and For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office and imprints, visit Publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.

An imprint of GBHEM and named for the New Room in Bristol, England, place of John Wesley’s study, New Room Books is a reviewed monograph series that offers scholars from the Methodist tradition a way to share the benefits of their research and in-depth study.

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.

Related Posts

  • UM Student Day Offering Gains Major Support from Methodist Church of Puerto Rico
    Published On: March 19, 2024

    Each year the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) awards approximately $5.5 million in scholarships to students all over the world thanks to the support of faithful members of The United Methodist Church. Through connectional giving, members of The United Methodist Church support specific funds, projects, and...

  • Empowering UMC Ministry Through Financial Assistance
    Published On: March 8, 2024

    UMC Partnerships Help to Strengthen Theological Education What could a newlywed from Alabama and a grandfather of two living in Washington, D.C., possibly have in common? Well as seminary students striving towards their ministerial calling, they may have more in common than meets the eye. Both John Bruce and...

    Published On: February 27, 2024

    As we witness the Body of Christ in motion, we sense God’s power on earth and receive a taste of the Divine. Motivated by the same Spirit, people living in different parts of the world often work together unknowingly, not seeing how their combined contributions shift lives and the concentric...