April 18, 2005
Bishop John Schol
A UMNS Feature
By Suzy Keenan*
Bishop John R. Schol worked in Philadelphia to develop what has become a
national model for the Communities of Shalom initiative, he never
expected to become the national staff person, then chairperson, for the
growing Shalom ministry.
out of seminary, Schol was appointed in 1981 to develop an urban
ministry among four United Methodist congregations in Philadelphia’s
Frankford section. That ministry grew to build houses, start businesses,
address human needs and strengthen race, class and cultural
relationships. It transformed neighborhood congregations into spiritual
centers within the community.
Frankford Group Ministry, as it is now known, is one of more than 300
United Methodist Communities of Shalom in 44 annual conferences across
the United States and in Zimbabwe and Ghana.
12 years of ministry in Frankford, Schol became the urban staff person
for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and the national
staff person for Communities of Shalom. While with the board, he helped
develop the Shalom initiative after its creation by the 1992 General
July 2004, Schol was elected a bishop and assigned to the Washington
Area to lead the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The conference has
taken the lead role in developing the Shalom initiative in Zimbabwe,
which Schol first visited in 1995 with conference members.
of Shalom draws support from the denomination’s Advance for Christ and
His Church (#742566). More details are available from Deanna Martinez,
Board of Global Ministries, at (212) 870-3711 or email@example.com.
*Keenan is director of communications for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.