Mary Randall Zigbuo is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as health project manager for the Liberia Episcopal Area. She is based in Monrovia, Liberia.
A career missionary, Mary and her late husband, Herbert, worked for 20 years in Liberia. After his death, she came home to the United States, but in 2014 voluntarily returned to Liberia in response to the Ebola epidemic. For six months, she worked with the Liberia Church’s Board of Health and church leadership in equipping congregations and families to deal with the health crisis.
Today, Mary works with the health board and the Liberian conference’s department of connectional ministries in the areas of capacity building, financial management, and health care planning. Special emphasis is on Ganta Hospital, which serves a population of 65,000 people as the only hospital in northeastern Liberia.
While back in the US for four years (2010–2014), she served for two years 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 prepared 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 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.
: 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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