Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Donna L. Baker

Serving At: Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership

Location: DRCongo, Africa

Home Country: United States of America, North America

Spouse: Jonathan E. Baker

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Donna Lee Baker is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as a nurse in mission related to the Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership based in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She was commissioned in June 2015. Her husband, Jonathan, is also a missionary.

The Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership, named for a retired bishop, is a mission collaboration of the Central Congo Episcopal Area and a network of annual conferences in the United States. It was initiated around 2002 in covenant between the Central Congo Episcopal Area and the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference, and has grown to include the Eastern Pennsylvania and Western North Carolina conferences. Its inception took place during the episcopacy of Bishop Weaver in the Philadelphia Area, which included Peninsula-Delaware.

The spiritual, emotional, and physical health of the Congolese people form a priority for the episcopal area, led by Bishop David Yemba. To date, health services through the partnership have included three cataract surgery missions. The partnership conducts three feeding programs for undernourished children and adults and supports multiple medical centers throughout the episcopal area. Dental needs and HIV/AIDS education are being explored. There is no way to count the actual number of patients that have been medically assisted over the past 11 years.

Donna Baker works with church leaders and indigenous health personnel to assess the most urgent health challenges and develop responses. Particular attention is being given to more remote areas, where limited health services are available.

Donna and Jonathan Baker most recently have lived in The Villages in Florida, where she is a member of the New Covenant United Methodist Church–Lake Deaton Campus. The couple spent many years in ministry in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, where Jonathan was a pastor. She worked in health services after completing a Baccalaureate of Nursing program at Wilmington College, Wilmington, Delaware, and a Master of Science degree in Nursing at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland. She earlier received a diploma in nursing from the Reading (Pennsylvania) Hospital School of Nursing.

Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Donna’s faith journey began in her teen years as president of her congregation’s youth fellowship. She counts her first encounter with Christ at a youth camp during her sophomore year in high school. She met Jonathan Baker, the son of her pastor, in high school and they married while she was in college. She became deeply involved in the ministries of the churches he pastors, especially in music—as organist, choir director, soloist, and praise team director. She was introduced to the Walk to Emmaus in 1992, an experience that has deepened her prayer and devotional time.

Donna dates her call to mission to 2004 when she first visited the DRC, and says: “But I was very naïve about the mission field and not passionately involved. In 2011, I was asked to lead a medical mission to Congo and it was on that journey that my heart was touched beyond comprehension: caring for patients personally, feeding the hungry children, praying and worshipping with the people. All of these experiences led me to become fervently connected to the body of Christ in Congo…I pray daily for guidance from God that will lead me to new projects and opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ in this country that I love so deeply.”

Donna and Jonathan are the parents of two adult children with spouses, and three granddaughters.

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