Jo Anne Lyon

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Jo Anne Lyon

Jo Anne Lyon is General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador of The Wesleyan Church, General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador of The Wesleyan Church


Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors of many organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Christian Community Development Association, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Asbury Theological Seminary Board, Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum, the President of The United States Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Dr. Lyon holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, continued graduate studies in Historical Theology and has been granted five honorary doctorates. She has written several articles and publications, including the book The Ultimate Blessing and has served over 30 years in Pastoral Ministry. She has been Adjunct Professor of Church and Society at both Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. As the founder and CEO of World Hope International, Alexandria, VA, she directed the faith-based relief and development organizations into over 30 countries to alleviate suffering and injustice.
Dr. Lyon and her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, live in the Indianapolis area.[1]

Letter to Trump about 'Religious Liberty'

Jo Anne Lyon signed a letter to President Donald Trump[2] dated April 4, 2019 requesting affirmation that religions other than Christianity and Judaism "make outstanding contributions to the United States". The letter was initiated by "three chairmen of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops":[3]


General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, visited Cuba, December 6-11, 2014. She was accompanied by her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, Global Partners missionaries Rick West and Clara West, and four other team members.

Upon arrival, Dr. Lyon made a presentation of 10 bicycles to pastors in the Central and East Districts of Cuba. The pastors received the bikes with gratitude. For some, it was the first bike they have owned. Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church in Greenfield, Ind., provided the funds for the bikes via Global Partners.

“I was stunned with the growth in Cuba,” said Dr. Lyon. “We are now up to 40 congregations and over 4,000 members. There are many impressive young dedicated leaders and stories of radical conversions. There are reports of miraculous physical healings.”

On Sunday, December 7, Dr. Lyon ordained three pastors to ministry. The Cuban press, radio, and T.V. were present and recorded parts of the service and interviewed Dr. Lyon. The next day Dr. Lyon met with the national board and later challenged the 23 pastors present to continue forward offering hope and holiness to Cuba and beyond.

Tuesday, December 9, witnessed a celebration of the 60 years of ministry for the Church in Cuba. The Church was founded by laymen with a focus on hope and holiness. In January 2010, the Church in Cuba voted unanimously to join The Wesleyan Church. Missionary Clara West distributed a 2015 scriptural calendar in Spanish to each of the 23 pastors for which the pastors expressed deep gratitude.

“A high government official in Cuba has said, ‘I am not a Christian, but The Wesleyan Church does what I think a church should do and be,'” said Dr. Lyon. “This is a good witness!”

Unfortunately, on Saturday evening, team member Rev. Katherine Pace fell and broke her hip. She was hospitalized in the city of Santa Clara in the international section. She received excellent care until she and her husband Jerry Pace were evacuated by an air ambulance on Tuesday to a hospital near Charlotte, N.C.[4]

Circle of Protection

In 2020 Jo Anne Lyon served on the steering committee of the Circle of Protection.

President's Advisory Council

President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships 2012/13: Council Chair: Reverend Jennifer Butler, Bishop Carroll Baltimore, Preeta Bansal, Reverend David Beckmann, Reverend Traci Blackmon, Kara Bobroff, Rachel Held Evans, Rabbi Steve Gutow, Reverend Adam Hamilton, Aziza Hasan, Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, David Jeffrey, Naseem Kourosh, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Pastor Michael McBride, Nipun Mehta, Kevin Ryan, Reverend Dr. Gabriel Salguero, Barbara Satin, Dr. Stephen Schneck, Manjit Singh, Alexie Torres-Fleming , Deborah Weinstein, Dr. Rami Nashashibi.

"Seeking to be a centrist voice"

An article from November 2019 posted by Adelle Banks at Religion News[5] described the mission of the National Association of Evangelicals as being "centrist".

Anderson is part of a long history — 75 years as of 2018 — in which the evangelical organization National Association of Evangelicals has sought to be a centrist voice between more liberal and more fundamentalist Protestants. The organization currently has 40 member denominations along with a wide array of member organizations, from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church to the missions network Missio Nexus.
During his tenure as president, Anderson, 75, has continued to press for more diversity in the NAE, which has been a long-term concern for the organization. Billy Graham acknowledged the need for greater attention to racial justice in a 1960s speech at an annual NAE meeting, and three decades later then-NAE President Donald Argue said the membership was “too old, too male, and too white.”


"Under Anderson’s leadership, NAE worked with LifeWay Research to develop a statistical understanding of the diversity among U.S. evangelicals and found that 44% of African Americans, 30% of Hispanic Americans and 29% of whites can be defined as evangelical."


Last month (October), with Anderson’s encouragement, the NAE board transformed the look of his organization’s future leadership. The Rev. Walter Kim, an Asian American theologian, will succeed Anderson as president on Jan. 1. John Jenkins, the African American leader of a Maryland megachurch, and former Wesleyan Church General Superintendent Jo Anne Lyon will start as chair and vice chair, respectively, on March 5.
"Kim, an NAE board member since 2013, said Anderson has helped the organization determine what it can say jointly about issues such as immigration reform and creation care by “being able to figure out what is the central shared biblical concern and to focus in on that and to develop a consensus.”

Evangelical Leader Statement of Principles on Dreamers

The Evangelical Leader Statement of Principles on Dreamers was issued Oct 5, 2017.

Christians, like most Americans, recognize immigration policy is complex and the search for political consensus is difficult. While we feel the tension between our obligations to both Christian compassion and respect for the rule of law, we reject the idea that the two are irreconcilable. Accepting this false dichotomy perpetuates an immigration system which all Americans agree is broken...

Signatories included Jo Anne Lyon.

Promoting Illegal Immigration & Refugee Resettlement

Jo Anne Lyon signed a letter to President Trump written by World Relief.[6] titled "Top evangelical leaders and pastors from all 50 states urge action to help vulnerable immigrants" which lamented a decrease in refugees entering the United States, and requested amnesty for DACA recipients.


"Dear President Trump and Members of Congress,
"As Christian leaders, we have a commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our churches while also supporting just, compassionate and welcoming policies toward refugees and other immigrants. The Bible speaks clearly and repeatedly to God’s love and concern for the vulnerable, and also challenges us to think beyond our nationality, ethnicity or religion when loving our neighbor.
"We are committed to praying for you, our elected leaders, just as Scripture mandates (1 Timothy 2:1-2). In particular, we pray that you will not forget the following people as you craft our nation’s laws and policies:
"Dreamers. Roughly 700,000 young people are poised to lose their right to work lawfully in the U.S., not to mention their dreams of a future in this country—the country they were brought to as children, without choice. Our prayer is that these young people would be allowed to continue contributing to our society without fear of deportation.
"Refugees. We are troubled by the dramatic reduction in arrivals of refugees to the United States, which declined from 96,874 in 2016 to just 33,368 in 2017. Based on arrivals so far in this fiscal year, the United States is on track to admit the lowest number of refugees since the formalization of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 1980. This, at a time when there are more refugees in the world than ever before in recorded history. Our prayer is that the U.S. would continue to be a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution.
"Persecuted Christians. Refugees of all faiths and nationalities deserve our welcome, for they (like all human beings) are made in the image of God. We are particularly aware, though, of the Christian refugees and other minorities facing persecution in countries like Iraq, Iran and Syria. Admission of Christian refugees to the U.S. from these three countries has declined by 60%. We pray that those facing religious persecution would be protected overseas as well as in the U.S.
"Families Waiting for Reunification. God ordained the family as the cornerstone of society, and we believe that our country is stronger when our citizens can be quickly reunited with their close family members. For some U.S. citizens, the waiting period can be years or even decades. We pray you will respect the unity of the family.
"We are mindful of the difficulty of serving in public office and are grateful for your service. We ask that God would grant you wisdom and courage as you confront these and various other complex policy issues in the days and months ahead.


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