Advocate History Book

“In the World, Not of the World: 175 Years of the S.C. United Methodist Advocate”


In 2012, the Advocate celebrated 175 years of existence, and to celebrate this milestone, the nonprofit newspaper ministry published a full-scale 175-year history. The handsome, heavily researched hardcover book covers the rich and tumultuous history of the Advocate from its founding in 1837 through the Civil War, two World Wars, temperance and the Civil Rights Movement, right up to today. It is the recipient of the Herbert Hucks Award (2013) from the South Carolina Conference Archives and History, as well as an Award of Excellence from the United Methodist Association of Communicators.

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Praise for “In the World, Not of the World”

Retired United Methodist Bishop William H. (Will) Willimon: “The Advocate has not only chronicled but also led our beloved Conference through the years. Every major move that the Holy Spirit has made among us has been reported and interpreted by the Advocate. Here is the moving story of how The Advocate has served our church by living up to its name – advocating for a church on the move and a God who is not only the way and the life but also the truth. This book is an eloquent testimonial to the faithful witness of a distinguished advocate for the faith.”

Larry Hollon, United Methodist Communications: “What does it mean as a Christian to be in the world but not of the world? And in light of this question, how do we communicate about our faith? This fascinating history of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate reveals how the church has wrestled with this important communications challenge over the years. It shows how faith is affected by the social realities in which we live, how the church engages in conversation with the culture and internally with itself, all the while assessing faithfulness, mission and communication with integrity. What a fascinating look at an important communications endeavor that remains as relevant today as it was when it started 175 years ago.”

Retired United Methodist Bishop Marshall L. Meadors Jr.: “Michael Wolfe has written a fascinating and informative account of the S.C. UnitedMethodist Advocate in the life, ministry and mission of the Methodist movement over the past 175 years. Readers see the dark side when the Advocate editors were mostly silent on slavery, promoted the Civil War and neglected the Jim Crow laws. The Advocate’s support of the Mission to the Slaves, the Temperance movement, the role of women in the life of the church, the establishment of colleges and Epworth Children’s Home are highlighted. The author celebrates recent editors who boldly supported the Civil Rights movement, called for the Confederate flag to be moved from the dome of the capitol and encouraged the people called Methodist to open their hearts and the doors of the churches to welcome all people. Every United Methodist will benefit from reading this book. Get a copy. Place a copy in the church library. Subscribe to the Advocate.” 

Dr. Phillip Stone, Wofford College and South Carolina Conference Archivist: “This is not only the story of the Advocate, it’s the story of how the Advocate has covered Methodism in South Carolina. Dr. Wolfe has used the Advocate’s own words to show how the church and its institutions have grown, and how Methodists have responded to the great challenges in our state’s history. In this book, he shares the Advocate’s unique perspective on the changing tides of Methodism.”

Conference Secretary the Rev. Ken Nelson, UMCSC: “Through the eye of memory, this account of the S.C. United Methodist Advocate shares the story of the people of God in the S.C. Annual Conference’s coming of age. More than a history book about the role of the conference paper in the life of the annual conference, this book gives the reader a glimpse into the ethos of Methodism in this state. It bears witness to the hopes and fears of all the years. But be warned, this recollection lays bare the needs, deeds, courage, commitment and misgivings of a people in the grips of a powerful God ever on the move. If you really want to know what God has been up to among the people of South Carolina over last century, then this book is for you.” 

Former UMCSC Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor: “Dr. Wolfe brings the stories of the Advocate to life in a brand new and exciting way. Using the stories from the Advocate, he captures the essence of being a United Methodist in South Carolina for over 175 years. This book is a beautiful example of our deep, rich and sometimes complicated history.”

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Advocate, 4908 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-786-9486 |

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