Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

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Mary Zigbuo left the United States in November 2014 on a six-month assignment in Liberia to assist with the United Methodist response to the Ebola crisis there.

Mary Randall Zigbuo is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and, as of November 2014, is reassigned to assist with the United Methodist Liberia Ebola response in Liberia for a period of six months.

Mary is working closely with the Liberia Church’s Board of Health and church leadership and officials. Beyond the six-month Ebola-response assignment, there may be an opportunity for Mary to assist the church with leadership development training and strengthening the church’s coordination and communication efforts among its partners.

Her immediate previous mission assignment was as a support development coach for other missionaries, assisting them to develop support by sharing their work with congregations and annual (regional) conferences.

Mary Zigbuo and her late husband, Herbert, were missionaries in Liberia for more than 20 years; working in the areas of administration, education, health, and social-welfare ministries. In 2010, she returned home to North Carolina, where for two years she served as a “circles coach” in the Circles of Hope program in Anson County (Western North Carolina Annual Conference). Based in Wadesboro, this program was a pilot project through the Ministry with the Poor focus area of The United Methodist Church. Circles of Hope endeavors to provide the people of Anson County with the knowledge, relationships, and resources to achieve economic stability.

Mary’s strong background in counseling, education, coaching, and administration well prepares her for responding to a variety of needs and services through our partnership organizations and worldwide church network. Mary is a native of Bolton, North Carolina. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, earning a bachelor’s degree in community mental health, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, and another master’s degree in adult education.

Mary was a guidance counselor at the Ganta United Methodist Mission Station School in Liberia from 1988 to 1992. Civil unrest required her family to be temporarily assigned to Danané, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) during 1992 and 1993, where she organized, developed, and staffed a counseling program for Liberian refugee students. From 1996 to 2001, Mary and Herbert served as co-coordinators of Operation Classroom, a school-upgrade project in Liberia and Sierra Leone, launched in 1987 by United Methodists in Indiana in collaboration with Global Ministries.

Also, from 1998 to 2001, Mary and Herbert served as co-directors for the Department of General Education for the Liberia Annual Conference. Again, civil unrest in the country led to their temporary assignment to work with Liberian refugees in Guinea during six months of 2003. From 2003 to 2007, Mary was administrator of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital, serving with Herbert, who was the mission station superintendent. From 2008 through 2010, she supported The United Methodist Church in Liberia’s ministry for social and educational programs through the UMC Hope for the Deaf Ministry and the Christoffel-Blindenmission (CBM) eye-care programs at four hospitals in Liberia.

Mary is the parent of several adult children.

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Supporting Conferences: Detroit Annual Conference, Holston Annual Conference, Indiana Annual Conference, North Carolina Annual Conference, Oregon/Idaho Annual Conference, Red Bird Missionary Annual Conference, Western North Carolina Annual Conference

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