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United Methodist Church Commissions 13 New Missionaries

General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

Tel: 212/870-3921

Newly commissioned missionaries and staff at the October 2007 Fall Commissioning Service.

Newly commissioned missionaries and staff at the October 2007 Fall Commissioning Service.
Image by: Cassandra Heller
Source: GBGM Administration

Stamford, CT, October 9, 2007--In a multilingual, international, and spirit-filled ceremony, 13 people were commissioned on October 9 for United Methodist missionary service in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the United States.

Bishop Joel N. Martinez of San Antonio and Bishop Benjamin A. Justo of the Baguio Episcopal Area in the Philippines, presided at the service that took place during the annual meeting of the directors of the General Board of Global Ministries meeting in Stamford. Bishop Martinez is president and Bishop Justo is a director of the international mission agency.

Three of the new missionaries are assigned through the United Methodist National Plan for Latino and Hispanic Ministries, a special emphasis in the United States.

Of the other nine new missionaries, four are from and will serve in Latin American countries, making the missionary class more than fifty percent Spanish-speaking. Bishop Martinez said this is "the vanguard of the new missionary movement of The United Methodist Church."

Bishop Justo delivered an impassioned sermon, calling upon Christians to purify their motives and strengthen their resolve, based on Matthew 28:18-20, also known as the Great Commission, that calls disciples of Jesus Christ to make other disciples.

More photos of this commissioning service

"The true followers of Jesus Christ have a common mandate," declared Bishop Justo. "That is, to go and make disciples in all parts of the world.... Tonight's occasion is another affirmation that that missionary spirit is alive."

The bishops were joined in the "laying on of hands," a holy sending forth, by the Rev. Edith Gleaves, head of the mission personnel unit of the mission agency, and directors John Peterson, Joan Johnson, and the Rev. Dr. Maxie Dunham.

In response to their commissioning, the new missionaries spoke in English and Spanish a Covenant Prayer from John Wesley, the 18th century English founder of Methodism. The prayer begins with a commitment to God's will: "I am no longer my own, but thine..."

The October commissioning took place less than four months after 17 young adults were commissioned in July 2007 as US-2 missionaries and international mission interns. It came six months after nine persons were commissioned as Church and Community Workers, missionaries who work in challenging rural and urban communities in the US.

National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministries missionaries:

  • The Rev. Roberto Martinez is pastor at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His home church is Temple Emmanuel in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Juanita Arrieta-Ramos is coordinator of Latino Ministries in the Louisiana Conference. She is originally from Mexico and her home conference is North Indiana. Her husband, a previously commissioned missionary, Oscar Ramos, also serves with the National Plan.
  • The Rev. Sergio Felipe Tristan is coordinator of Latino Ministries in Kansas West Conference. Originally from Nueva Rosita, Mexico, his home church is the First United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas.

Other missionaries:

  • Dr. Eduardo A. Campaña, a medical doctor from Ecuador, will coordinate HIV/AIDS training in Latin America and the Caribbean. His home church is the United Methodist Evangelical Church of Ecuador in Quito.
  • The Rev. Krista S. Givens is assigned as pastor of an international church in Germany. She grew up in California, and has experience in children and youth ministries. Her home annual conference is California-Pacific.
  • Ivonne Mendoza will coordinate study tours for the Latin American Biblical University in Costa Rica. Originally from Mexico, her home church is El Buen Pastor Methodist Church. She will serve alongside her husband, Isaias Ramos.
  • Katherine T. Parker is slated for service in Cambodia. She was previously a young adult Mission Intern in Japan and Iowa. Her home church is Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, California, in the California/Nevada Conference.
  • The Rev. Isaías Ramos is assigned to the Latin American Biblical University in Costa Rica, where he will serve alongside his wife, Ivonne Mendoza.
  • Courtney Randall will serve as director of Christian Education for the Latvia United Methodist Church in Riga, Latvia. Originally from Ohio, her home conference is North Carolina. Her husband Daniel Randall will serve alongside her.
  • Daniel Randall will be youth and young adult coordinator for the Latvia United Methodist Church in Riga, Latvia. He was born in Colorado and has lived in Paris, France. Like Courtney Randall, his wife, he too is from the North Carolina Conference.
  • Alina Saucedo, slated as area mission financial executive in Angola, is originally from Bolivia where she was educated and trained in administration, finances, and teaching. Her home church is the Messiah Evangelical Methodist Church in that country.
  • Marilia Alves Schüller will focus on racial and gender equality through Koinonia, an ecumenical group in Brazil. A member of the Methodist Church of Brazil, her home church is the Good Samaritan Parish in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • The Rev. Patrick Whaley will serve as a teaching pastor in Russia with the Sasha Ministry in Moscow. Originally from Oklahoma, he served as a pastor in Memphis, which he considers his home.

Additional information can be found at

To learn more about becoming a missionary, go to

Global Ministries 2007 Fall Board Meeting; Staff and directors of The United Methodist Church's mission agency meeting in Stamford, CT.


See Also...

Topic: GBGM events GBGM news Missionaries
Geographic Region: AngolaBoliviaBrazilCambodiaCosta RicaEcuadorGermanyLatviaMexicoRussia
Source: GBGM Press Releases
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Date posted: Oct 10, 2007