Q&A with Dr. Rick Lanford, GUMF Regional Vice President

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Dr. Laudis H. “Rick” Lanford has joined the Georgia United Methodist Foundation as our new regional vice president. He is a graduate of Oxford College and Emory University, the Candler School of Theology, and McCormick Theological Seminary.

An ordained elder, Dr. Lanford has held many roles while faithfully serving The South Georgia Conference. Before his most recent appointment as the North Central district superintendent, he served several churches in Macon and as vice president of development and then president and CEO of the Foundation of the Methodist Home for Children and Youth. In this Q&A, Dr. Lanford provides insight into his ministry goals while serving at GUMF.

GUMF: How did you first learn about GUMF?
DR. LANFORD:
I first learned about the South Georgia United Methodist Foundation when Rev. John Carroll served as its first director. I created a donor-advised fund, which at that time was helping to support seminary students. I continued supporting the ministry and mission of the Foundation after the South and North Georgia Foundations merged in 2010 to become the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. This merger offered more resources to South Georgia. Two good friends of mine have served in this position. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve God’s kingdom in such a meaningful way by assisting and helping individuals, churches, and pastors with their fiduciary responsibilities.

GUMF: What are your ministry goals while serving at GUMF?
DR. LANFORD:
My vision is to equip, educate, and disciple both the clergy and lay members of the South Georgia Annual Conference so that we, as a church, can share the love of Christ. I also hope that all churches, laity, clergy, and agencies within South Georgia will come to know how GUMF can assist them with any financial issues they may have. Our areas of expertise include planned giving strategies, certificates, scholarships, clergy financial literacy, investment management, loans, endowments and legacy ministry training, wills clinics, and cemetery associations.

GUMF: How do you plan to share GUMF’s mission of empowering people to change lives?DR. LANFORD: I plan to share GUMF’s mission by preaching, teaching, and speaking at different churches, civic groups, and local community gatherings. I will also be engaging individuals with the opportunities that GUMF offers in order to accomplish their philanthropic goals.

GUMF: Do you have any favorite spiritual principles that will guide you as you embark on this new journey?
DR. LANFORD:
I constantly remind myself every day and in every situation that I face to remember John Wesley’s number one rule, “Do no harm!” My prayer every morning is that my words will be kind and gentle, my thoughts will be that from above, and that my actions will prove God’s love to all people!

GUMF: What do you like to do in your free time?
DR. LANFORD:
I love spending time with my family. I have been married to Kim, my wife, best friend, and soul mate, for 38 years. We have three daughters, Derricka, Joanna, and Sara Beth. Derricka joined our family from the Methodist Children’s Home when she was 13 years old. She and her husband, Jamie, have two children, Dean Michael, and Sinclair Marie. Joanna graduated with degrees from both the University of Georgia and the University of California Davis and is a winemaker in Napa, Calif. Sara Beth is married to Matthew, and they have three sons, Luke, Levi, and Logan. I also volunteer my time by serving as chief chaplain for the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, the Bibb, Jones, and Monroe County Sherriff’s Offices, and several other law enforcement agencies within the State of Georgia.

If you need assistance, please contact Dr. Rick Lanford at 478-256-7130 or rlanford@gumf.org.