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Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership
Director, G. Douglass Lewis Center for Church Leadership


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Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr., is distinguished professor of church leadership and director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  He came to this position in 2003 after eighteen years as president of Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.  Previously he was a local church pastor in Mississippi for many years. 

A native of Mississippi, Dr. Weems is a graduate of Millsaps College; Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University; and Wesley Theological Seminary.  He holds honorary degrees from Baker University, Central Methodist University, and Millsaps College.  

His years in local church ministry in Mississippi were marked by emphasis on both evangelism and social concerns.  His work in Mississippi led the distinguished Mississippi writer Willie Morris to describe him as “one of the persons who added much to the growing civility of Mississippi.”

He has been a clergy delegate to several General and Jurisdictional Conferences. 

The author of several books published by Abingdon Press, his most recent include High Yield: Seven Disciplines of the Fruitful Leader (with Tom Berlin), Overflow: Increase Worship Attendance and Bear More Fruit (with Tom Berlin), Focus: The Real Challenges That Face The United Methodist Church, Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results (with Tom Berlin), and a revised edition of his classic Church Leadership: Vision, Team, Culture, and Integrity, described by Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School as “an invaluable guide to leadership in the church.”  His book Take the Next Step: Leading Lasting Change in the Church is used by churches seeking revitalization.  His books Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit and John Wesley’s Message Today are used widely by United Methodist laity and clergy.  He co-edits the online newsletter, Leading Ideas, available free at www.churchleadership.com.