Located in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the World Methodist Museum houses the largest collection of Wesleyana – material related to Methodist founder John Wesley – anywhere in the world. The museum, which was founded to deepen fellowship, advance unity of theological and moral standards, encourage evangelism, and sponsor a Minister exchange program, attempts to tell the story of the Wesleyan movement from the beginning of Methodism in England in the 1700s to the growing movement in America.
Included in the museum’s collections are Wesleyan Staffordshire pottery, manuscripts, the traveling pulpit of John Wesley, rare books, portraits of the early founders of Methodism, and original letters. A special exhibit set apart from the rest celebrates the work of Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley, the founder of the movement. Very accomplished, Charles was a poet and hymn writer, a Church of England priest, and a Methodist preacher. It is estimated that Charles wrote more than 9,000 hymns and poems during his lifetime; many of them are included in Methodist hymnbooks around the world.
The Charles Wesley exhibit at the World Methodist Museum includes rare hymnbooks, rare needlepoint samplers featuring some of Charles’ hymns, engravings, a portable pump organ, illustrated songbooks, and an original handwritten poem that was never published.