Religion of the Heart

Exhibition Event and Reception

The Legacy of John Wesley and the Church Today: An Exhibition Conversation and Reception at Pitts Theology Library

Event Details


Join us for an evening reception for the exhibition “Religion of the Heart: John Wesley and the Legacy of Methodism in America.” Dr. Brandon Wason, Dr. Rex Matthews, and Rev. Carolyn Stephens will share remarks on John Wesley and the church today. Attendees will then have the opportunity to view the exhibition with the curator and Pitts Docents on hand to answer questions.

Date and Location

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Lecture Hall (CST 360)
Pitts Theology Library
Candler School of Theology
1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322


The event is free, but you need to register by Monday, February 12. Click on the following button to register:

Exhibition Catalogs

Copies of the exhibition catalog will be for sale at the event for $40 (cash and check only).

Religion of the Heart: John Wesley and the Legacy of Methodism in America
Brandon Wason

Dr. Brandon Wason is the Curator of Archives and Manuscripts at Pitts Theology Library and curator of the current exhibition, “Religion of the Heart: John Wesley and the Legacy of Methodism in America.” Brandon works closely with the library's Methodist collections and is the archivist for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He holds a PhD in religion from Emory University and his research interests include the New Testament, ancient historiography and rhetoric, and reception history. Brandon lives in Tucker with his wife, Wendy, and two children, Rowan and Ruby.

Rex D. Matthews

Dr. Rex D. Matthews is Professor in the Practice of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at the Candler School of Theology. He draws upon a range of primary sources, including letters, hymns, sermons and diaries, as well as his abilities as a storyteller, to teach history and theology of Methodism at Candler, where he has taught since 1982.

Matthews' research focuses on the life and thought of John Wesley and on the historical and theological development of Methodism in Britain and America. His book Timetables of History for Students of Methodism (Abingdon, 2007) received the 2007 Saddlebag Selection Award from the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church, and was billed as "the best book published during the year on the history, biography, polity or theology of United Methodism." His next project, “Divorce and Remarriage in American Methodism: The Evolution of Church Positions from 1884 to 2012,” has received the Florence A. Bell Research Award from Drew University.

Carolyn Stephens

Rev. Carolyn Stephens was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, as the last of seven children. She attended Montego Bay High School for Girls and then Montego Bay Community College. After college in Jamaica, she worked as a reservation supervisor with Air Jamaica. She then came to the United States, where she completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia State University and Master of Divinity degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

After graduating from the Candler School of Theology, she was appointed to serve as a local pastor at Tenth Street United Methodist Church, where she served for two years. After being commissioned by the Board of Ordained Ministry, she was appointed as associate pastor at Cannon United Methodist Church in Snellville, where she oversaw adult education, spiritual formation, and mission and outreach. After three years at Cannon, she was ordained and appointed to serve as senior pastor at Brookhaven United Methodist Church. Here, she guided the church in a new direction, encouraging and challenging them to go into the community and to be good neighbors. The church grew, with a 40 percent increase in average weekly attendance.

One of the primary guiding principles for Rev. Stephen’s life is Christ’s teaching on love of God and love of neighbor. She is zealous for, and fully committed to, the work of the Kingdom. She loves serving the church, and is passionate about preaching the Word of God and ordering the life of the church so that its members can reach the full potential of who they are in God, and be vessels of God’s grace and love in the world. Rev. Stephens is currently appointed a lead associate pastor at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.