Baker's Serving the Congo as Newly Commissioned Missionaries


This article is to introduce two newly commissioned missionaries of the General Board of Global Ministries. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Baker and his wife, Donna Baker will be serving as full-time missionaries in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [caption id="attachment_2767" align="alignright" width="200"]Jonathan Baker is a missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS Jonathan Baker is a missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS[/caption] Jonathan, as Coordinator of the Congo Partnership, will facilitate, organize and oversee ongoing and new projects in DRC. Projects such as feeding programs, medical clinics, farms, sewing projects, social programs for young mothers will fill his time, but with much joy. As partnership coordinator, Jonathan works closely with the area episcopal leader, Bishop David Yemba, in planning the mission outreach and service in a region where The United Methodist Church is growing rapidly. The partnership puts strong emphasis on the physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare of the people. -See more at: [caption id="attachment_2768" align="alignright" width="200"]Donna Baker is a missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS Donna Baker is a missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS[/caption] Donna’s role is titled Nurse in Mission. 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. - See more at: After three weeks of missionary training in Nashville with ten other new missionaries from around the world, the culmination included a Service of Blessing where Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of Global Ministries, and Bishop William McAlilly presided. The service included a Foot Washing ceremony empowering the new missionaries to serve God’s people in the name of Christ. A brief quote from Thomas Kemper’s message: By taking up the towel and basin, and kneeling to wash his disciples’ feet, once again, Jesus turned their understanding of what it meant to be his disciple upside down. He showed them what it meant to offer yourself in selfless love to another. These who have accepted the call of mission have the heart of servant leaders. We wash their feet as a sign of our deep love in Christ for them and with the blessing of God as they are sent to serve from ‘everywhere to everywhere’ in Christ’s name. “ Advance logo300Donations can be made online donation to: Donna L. Baker #3022054 or Jonathan E. Baker #3022050 to support their ministry. Global Ministries’ missionaries are responsible for raising support for missionary salaries. Funds received for missionary support do not go directly to the designated missionary, but supports the entire missionary community.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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