Dr. Kenneth E. Rowe, Emeritus Methodist Librarian and Emeritus Professor of Church History, was honored at a reception on September 13 celebrating the publication of The Methodist Experience in America, Volume 1: A History (Abingdon Press, 2010). The book is a companion to the previously published Volume 2: A Sourcebook (2000). Dr. Robert Williams, General Secretary of the Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, described the publication as the “definitive historical narrative,” and Dr. Jeffery Kuan, Dean of the Drew University Theological School noted that it will be the standard text for all United Methodist Church seminarians studying Methodist history in the United States. Professor Rowe is co-author of the volumes with Dr. Russell E. Richey and Dr. Jean Miller Schmidt. All three distinguished authors are Drew alumni.
Morris Davis, Associate Professor of History of Christianity and Wesleyan/Methodist Studies, offered scholarly reflections on Methodist history and on the three themes of the work: piety, nurture, and advocacy. He pointed out that the volume is “the result of decades of work…a lifetime’s worth of thinking about a problem… [Methodism].” His talk was followed by a response from Rowe, who explained the authors’ intent to write an inclusive Methodist history reflecting the broad contributions and changing roles of its proponents.
The program ended with remarks from Dr. Christopher Anderson, Methodist Librarian and Coordinator of Special Collections and Dean of Libraries Andrew Scrimgeour honoring Rowe’s leadership during his long career of shepherding the Methodist collections and the Archives building. Scrimgeour announced that the president and trustees had authorized a special honor recognizing Rowe, the naming of the conference room in the Methodist Archives Building as the Kenneth E. Rowe Room.