The Keys

The Keys
“The Keys”

Matthew 16:16, 18-19 The keys at the top of the panel represent the keys to kingdom of heaven. The world below depicts the Western Hemisphere, an area of particular interest to Thomas Coke and the other early founders of Methodism as they headed out to the new Americas. The world is shown engulfed in red flame, which symbolizes the missionary zeal and enthusiasm Coke brought to his ministry. A part of John Wesley’s vision, which Coke shared, rests in Wesley’s famous statement, “The world is my parish.” Bishop Thomas Coke was appointed by Wesley as the first General Superintendent of the American Methodists. Coke became a key leader in the church. He was unusual for challenging the predominant ideology of his time that humans were unchangeably predestined to heaven or hell. His undaunted faith and confidence that the gospel makes all human beings new launched the missionary spirit of Methodism.

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