Congregation and Community Developer Nominated to Lead United Methodist Mission and Evangelism Efforts
New York, NY, August 27, 2012— A church leader from the West Ohio Annual (regional) Conference is the nominee to lead the core program unit of The United Methodist Church’s worldwide mission agency.
George G. Howard was nominated by the personnel committee of the General Board of Global Ministries to serve as deputy general secretary of the agency’s Mission and Evangelism unit. The action is subject to the affirmative vote of the full board of directors at the end of October. In the meantime, Howard has been appointed by Thomas Kemper, the general secretary (chief executive) of Global Ministries to head up the unit on an interim basis, effective October 1.
“I am excited for George to join our leadership team at Global Ministries,” said Kemper. “His personal and professional experience brings the local and global together in a wonderful way.”
Church Mission Leader
Noting Howard’s long-standing passion for international missions and asset-based community development, Kemper continued, “George has worked on the level of the local church and annual conference and he has lived in various parts of the world. He is the perfect fit for our Mission and Evangelism unit and our goal to connect the church in mission around the world.”
In the West Ohio Conference, Howard has led the congregational and community-development efforts, orchestrated strategies and systems for developing leadership skills and competencies, served on the Cabinet, and managed the conference's programmatic ministries. He was a three-time delegate to General Conference.
As the director of connectional ministries, Howard was one of the architects of the partnership between the North Katanga Conference and the West Ohio Conference that led to a miracle offering of more than $1 million for the Wings of the Morning aviation ministry at this year's annual conference.
He was a founding leader in 2002 of The United Methodist Church for All People, a multiracial, cross-class church in Columbus, Ohio. He helped create Community Development for All People, and for seven years chaired the board of this United Methodist community-development corporation.
He says his career path has given him experience in “working with people in a wide variety of cultures and contexts and witnessing individuals and churches claiming the assets God has already provided, while seeking ways to collaborate with others in using those assets for the glory of God at home and around the world.”
Howard hosted dozens of Volunteer-In-Mission work teams and has been an active director of Global Ministries since 2008. As a leadership coach since 2005, he provides training to clergy and laity at the agency, conference, district, and local church levels.
Prior to working for The United Methodist Church, he worked for 10 years at the Ecumenical Institute and the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a faith-based church and community-development organization. In various positions, he managed programs and projects in Caracas, Sydney, Washington DC, Alaska, and Mississippi.
Howard is a graduate of the University of Toledo and lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Eileen, a jazz singer and actress. One of their daughters, Kathryn Wilkes, is an international human-rights lawyer in Uganda. She has recently moved, and her husband David and children will join her later this month. Jennifer Burns, their youngest daughter, is a United Methodist pastor serving in West Ohio, along with her husband John.
The General Board of Global Ministries is the global mission agency of The United Methodist Church. It has personnel, projects, and partners in 136 countries and incorporates the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and The Advance for Christ and His Church, the denomination’s designated mission giving channel.
The Mission and Evangelism Unit recruits, places, and supports missionaries, including young adults, from many lands and cultures in a variety of ministries. The unit also links to the mission volunteer movement; promotes and oversees new mission initiatives; cultivates ties with United Methodist conferences and other mission partners outside the United States; and relates to a broad range of racial/ethnic, community-based, and youth-oriented ministries.