New exhibit features paintings, orders, letters of Soule

Mar 07, 2017
Photo by: Donated Bishop Joshua Soule and wife, Sara Allen Soule

LAKE JUNALUSKA — Valuable early American paintings of Bishop Joshua Soule and his wife, Sara Allen Soule, are now on display at the World Methodist Museum, Lake Junaluska.

The paintings are valuable examples of Early American paintings, said museum director Jackie Bolden, but they are especially significant to the museum because of the leadership of the subjects.

Bishop Soule was a leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the primary author of its founding constitution in 1808. He lived from 1781-1897 and was the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1846).

The museum already had a collection of letters he wrote to Sara Allen, with whom he had 11 children, as he travelled to and from California, and Deacon’s Orders with his signature and seal. However, the letters had not been transcribed, according to Bolden, but now have been for easy reading.

The life of Bishop Soule is a fascinating one, according to museum staff, and his letters are like reading a short story of steamboat travel from that time.

“It is especially important that these collections of paintings and manuscripts have now been brought together,” said Bolden.

Dr. and Mrs. James T. Laney gave these early American paintings to the World Methodist Museum. Dr. Laney’s service includes ambassador to South Korea, president of Emory University, and dean of the Candler School of Theology.

The museum is located at 575 N. Lakeshore Drive. It is open year round from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit or call 456-7242.