UMCOR leaders die from quake injuries

The Rev. Sam Dixon killed in hotel collapse; remembered as "a tireless servant"

BALTIMORE | January 17, 2010

Rev. Sam W. Dixon Jr.
Credit: UMNS

The Rev. Clinton Rabb
Credit: UMNS

United Methodists are mourning the deaths of the Rev. Sam W. Dixon Jr., the head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Rev. Clint Rabb, head of the organization's office of mission volunteers, who died last week in Haiti as a result of injuries received when the hotel in they were meeting collapsed.

Dixon and several other mission and relief specialists had been dropped off at a the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince hotel just minutes before the earthquake hit. The hotel collapsed as a result of the quake, pinning the UMCOR team and many others beneath its rubble.

The rest of the team was rescued Friday after 55-hours in the ruins of the collapsed hotel. Rabb was evacuated to a hospital in Florida, but died later from injuries sustained in the collapse. Earlier reports had indicated Dixon had survived the disaster.

The UMCOR team had been in Haiti last week for meetings with other humanitarian organizations working to improve medical services in that country.

“Sam Dixon was a tireless servant of the church of Jesus Christ on behalf of all of us,” said Bishop Joel N. Martinez, interim top executive of The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, UMCOR’s parent agency. “His death is an incalculable loss to Global Ministries, UMCOR and our worldwide ministry of relief to God’s most vulnerable children."

After serving as a pastor in North Carolina for 24 years, Dixon joined UMCOR in 1998 as director of field operations of the non-governmental agency (NGO) section. He later became head of the United Methodist Development Fund and moved up to head the unit on Evangelization and Church Growth. He was named to head UMCOR in 2007.

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