UMCOR Church Relations Manager Landon Taylor visited Cuba twice on church mission trips. He is an avid photographer and committed to the church's role to "make God's love real in the world."
A Powerful Partnership
By Wickham Boyle*
May 31, 2012― Landon Taylor drawls through the phone from Atlanta to my ear in New York City, a honey covered Southern soothing wrought from his years as a Tennessee native. One should not, however, mistake his easy cadence and mellifluous tones for a lack of tenacious commitment to mission.
Landon has been charged with carrying the banner for missionary work in the developing world to congregations across America. If this seems a daunting task to you, it is not to Landon. He is committed to introducing the faithful to the great work that is possible when people join hands across continents to insure that all communities have what at home we consider to be basics: clean water, enough food, safety, and education for our children.
A member of the Tennessee Annual Conference, Landon graduated from East Tennessee State University, where he was very active in the Wesley Foundation campus ministry. After a volunteer stint in the Bahamas, he took a job in Atlanta as communications director for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Southeastern Jurisdiction. "I found my passion for serving God, by serving others," Landon says.
He studied advertising and photography in college. Perhaps this, coupled with his strong beliefs, gave him an ability to convey the church's wide-reaching message of helping others through Christ.
Landon has helped individual churches fund what are called "water ministries," an innovative series of fundraising events where the proceeds go to build wells to provide communities access to clean water. In Africa 900 million people do not have access to clean water, which continually provokes an ongoing health crisis (check out this video at http://liveandlovelikejesus.com).
On March 5, 2012, Landon was hired by UMCOR to serve as its manager of Church Relations. His vision is to create stronger relationships with the local churches and individual donors who make UMCOR’s ministry possible. Landon also seeks to increase partnership opportunities for those congregations that want to participate more fully in UMCOR’s work.
“The connection between the local church and UMCOR is a powerful partnership to make God’s love real in the world,” he remarks. “I believe in the local church. Without its presence and participation in ministry, UMCOR’s work does not exist.”
UMCOR ministries in sustainable agriculture, clean water, housing, education, emergency response, and others all need individual supporters in every congregation, and Landon’s job is to encourage steadfast supporters, parish by parish, across America. “Churches large and small, will come together and take on a worldwide mission,” he says with confidence.
Landon's love of travel and photography will come in handy as he visits UMCOR projects. He is most drawn to seeing the Old Mutare Hospital in Zimbabwe and would like to revisit Cuba, a place where he has been twice already on mission trips.
One may wonder how Landon, at only 32, has the wherewithal to ignite this passion in people day after day across The United Methodist Church, but after speaking with him and hearing his resolve, any worry vanishes like the fog in the great Smokey Mountains. Landon is proud of his church’s work; he truly sees it as an extension of God's work, and it is.
If your congregation is interested in building partnership with UMCOR to reach out to communities in need, please contact Landon Taylor at email@example.com
You can support UMCOR’s work with a donation to UMCOR Undesignated, Advance #999895
, and know that your gift will be used where it is needed most.
*Wickham Boyle is a writer and a regular contributor to www.UMCOR.org.