March 2019 News Perspective Online

Alumni/ae Update

Wesley House Opportunity

The application deadline has been extended until April 1, 2019, for the Diploma for Theology in Ministry program offered through Perkins School of Theology and Wesley House, Cambridge (England). This unique, international one-year study opportunity is available with scholarship funding for 2019–20 M.Div. graduates and recent Perkins M.Div. alumni/ae. The diploma program offers a “combination of classical theological disciplines taught by world-class academics through the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University, together with specialist teaching from a confessional perspective delivered by ecumenical partners in Cambridge, in ecumenical classrooms.” For more information, visit our website here.


 No Mercy, No Justice. The Dominant Narrative of America versus the Counter-Narrative of Jesus’ Parables by John Brooks Harrington 

Harrington M.Div. ’94 is an elder in the Central Texas Conference who currently serves as director of the Methodist Justice Ministry, a legal ministry and nonprofit owned by First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth that protects indigent women and children victims of family violence and sexual abuse and provides them financial and pastoral support. Net proceeds of book sales and any speaking honoraria will go directly to the Methodist Justice Ministry. Click here to learn more.


Saints in the Struggle: Church of God in Christ Activists in the Memphis Civil Rights Movement, 1954–1968, by Jonathan Chism

Chism M.Div. ’08 writes about Mason Temple, the headquarters of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), which looms large in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his last sermon there during the Sanitation Workers Strike on April 3, 1968. This book highlights the unsung contributions made by local activists from the COGIC in the historic strike and the broader civil rights struggle in Memphis. Click here to learn more.



Called: Hearing and Responding to God’s Voice by Susan Robb

Robb M.Div. ‘06 is Senior Associate Minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, where she has been part of the church staff for 17 years. Published by Abingdon Press, the book examines how, throughout the Bible, God interrupts the lives of ordinary men and women, calling and empowering them to lives of service they never could have imagined on their own. A DVD featuring Susan Robb and a comprehensive Leader Guide complete the six-week study. Learn more here.



Retired Bishop Janice Riggle Huie.

In the Media

Retired Bishop Janice Riggle Huie M.Th. ‘73 reflects on resilience in this essay on the Texas Methodist Foundation website. She writes, “I first learned about resilience from my father, a South Texas farmer.” Read the post here.




Alum Award

Congratulations to Cynthia A. Wilson M.S.M. ’86 of Discipleship Ministries for being named a 2019 Women’s History Month Honoree in byFaith magazine! 


Rev. Kelli Williamson (pictured middle) at the Jackson County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office.

Newly Named Chaplain

The Jackson County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office recently announced the addition of its newest team member, the Rev. Kelli Williamson M.Div. ‘08. In this newly created position, Williamson will serve as volunteer chaplain on an on-call basis, as a resource as needed on scene, at death notifications, to support Sheriff’s Office personnel and at community events. Williamson also serves as pastor of First United Methodist Church Edna in Edna, Texas, and as a volunteer firefighter and chaplain for the Jackson County Emergency Services District No. 3 Fire Department.


Amy Spaur presenting at Courageous Leadership Imperative’s Launch 1.0. Photo courtesy of

Pitch Winner

From the Texas Methodist Foundation

Amy Spaur M.Div. ‘14 had one of the winning pitches presented at Courageous Leadership Imperative’s Launch 1.0, a cooperative event with the South Central Jurisdiction Foundations and Bishops designed to create a network for dynamic leaders. She is senior pastor of La Fundición de Cristo/Christ’s Foundry church in Dallas. The Texas Methodist Foundation interviewed her about her pitch: community cooking classes. Learn more about how her pitch idea is becoming a reality, and hear the outcomes she hopes to see here.


Josiah Montgomery travels from Fort Worth to Abilene to serve as organist at Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest. Photo by Greg Jaklewicz.

Pipe Dreams

As many pastors already know, a good organist is hard to find. The number of trained organists is declining, especially as smaller universities downsize their offerings and degrees in music in performance. Josiah Montgomery M.T.S. ‘18 is in high demand and drives from Fort Worth every weekend, sometimes more often, to play the organ at Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene. Read the story in the Abilene Reporter-News here.



Rev. Bruce Weaver B.D. ’47 passed away on February 18, 2019, in his home in Carrollton, Texas, near Dallas, at the age of 97. He was the Perkins Distinguished Alum in 2001 and a leader in the North Texas conference and the global church. Read his UMNS obituary here.





Rev. Robert A. Simpson M.Th. ’53 passed away on February 9, 2019, in his home at the age of 93. He was a member of the North Arkansas Conference who helped to open Camp Tanako and served the Stanford Charge (near Paragould), Rose City. He was also a chaplain for the Veterans Administration in Iowa and Texas. He retired in 1983. A Service of Death and Resurrection was held on February 12 at First UMC Sheridan.



Pastor Albert James Rymph II, 93, passed away on February 16, 2019, at Asbury Park in Newton, Kansas. He earned a Master of Theology degree from Perkins in 1955. During Pastor Rymph’s ministerial career, he served numerous congregations and communities throughout much of central and western Kansas, including First Methodist Church, Copeland; Ebenezer and Green Methodist Churches, near Clay Center; Mount Olivet and Saint Luke Methodist Churches, Wichita; First Methodist Church, Kingman; Trinity United Methodist Church, Russell; First United Methodist Church, El Dorado; First United Methodist Church, Beloit; First United Methodist Church, Dodge City; and First United Methodist Church, Ulysses.