Meet our Board
U.S. Board of Directors
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, African Rescue Ministries is governed by a Board of Directors. The United States’ Board of Directors is the supreme body that governs every ministry under the African Rescue Ministries umbrella. The U.S. Board members shall have powers to make decisions on behalf of the organization and make sure that all activities of the organization are in line with the mission and the vision of the organization.
Rev. Dr. Innocent N. Justice – Chair
Curt Kendall – Treasurer
Sulayman Nyang, Jr – Director of Philantropy
Kathy White – Secretary
Rev. Craig J. Sefa – Communications Officer
Mark Sample – Assistant Communications Officer
South African Chapter
Chapters may have their own Board of Directors in countries where such a Board is required by law. National Boards of Directors shall hold the local staff accountable to upholding our policies and the mission of the organization. The first chapter has been established in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, in association with the Family of God Ministries.
GET TO KNOW OUR
U.S. BOARD MEMBERS
REV. Dr. INNOCENT JUSTICE
PASTOR (WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH)
Innocent is a native of Rwanda where he grew up in a Christian family. Despite growing up in a Christian family, faith was not among the core values he experienced as a child until when he converted to a Pentecostal church during his early 20s. Innocent’s experience of a new birth in Christ became a paradigm shift when it comes to the way he views “a claimed faith” versus “a lived faith,” which leads others to Christ.
The civil war of October 1, 1990 and the genocide of 1994, affected every Rwandan who was inside and outside. Innocent lost his half-brother, uncles, father and friends. He found himself in the neighboring country of Zaire where he lived a tough life in a refugee camp for almost two years.
In November of 1996, the civil war broke in Zaire, which forced the majority of the Rwandan refugees to return home and other thousands fled deep in the jungles of Zaire. Innocent was among those who returned to Rwanda, but he left again in 2001 and went to South Africa. He spent four years in Pretoria, South Africa and came to the U.S. in 2005.
Innocent started his college education at Bluegrass Community and Technical College where he earned an Associate Degree in May 2008. After earning his Associate Degree, he transferred to John Wesley University in High Point, NC.
Innocent earned a Bachelor Degree in Pastoral Ministry from John Wesley University in May 2010, a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from Duke University in May 2013. He is currently working on a Doctorate Degree in Ministry with a focus in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Gardner-Webb University where he anticipates graduation in 2018.
During his education at Duke Divinity School, Innocent served Duke’s Chapel UMC as an Associate Student Pastor from 2010 to 2013. The Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC commissioned him in June 2013. He was appointed to Blair Road UMC in Mint Hill from July 1, 2013- June 30, 2015 as an Associate Pastor. Innocent now serves as the Lead Pastor at St. Paul & Wesley Chapel United Methodist Churches in Reidsville, NC. In June 2016, Innocent became fully ordained an Elder in Full Connection in the Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC (WNCCUMC).
Honors / Awards
2010 – Delta Epsilon Chi- John Wesley University
2010-2013 – Full tuition Scholarship- Duke University
2016 – Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L)- John Wesley University Leadership/Service
2016 – 2017- Missional Network Leader- Uwharrie District of the WNCCUMC
2016-2024 – Member of the WNCCUMC Leadership Development Team
2016 – Present- Trustee at John Wesley University
Innocent served refugees as a volunteer in Kentucky and North Carolina from 2006 until present.
Click here to learn more about Innocent’s story and ministry.
MR. CURT KENDALL
Curt is an active member of Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in Norwood, NC where he is involved in local and international mission work. He serves as the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee Chairman, teaches the Young Adult Sunday School class, and participates in local mission work through the Community Coalition for Christ – a cross-denominational partnership of churches across Stanly County – to assist local families.
Additionally, he looks forward each year to the church’s annual mission trip to Mexico to complete the construction of a local church and considers it as a transformative step in his faith journey.
Curt is employed by Bank of America as an Investor Relations senior manager in Charlotte, NC. He joined the bank in 2003 and has held several positions within the Chief Financial Officer Group including Corporate Strategy & Development and Corporate Treasury Finance.
He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Religious Studies.
MR. SULAYMAN NYANG, JR.
Sulayman is an experienced financial services industry professional with over 20 years of experience. He has held roles in consumer finance, mortgage banking, commercial banking, and is currently a fully licensed financial advisor working with individual investors and small businesses.
A native of Silver Spring Maryland Sulayman has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from Frostburg State University in Frostburg Maryland and a Master of Business Administration degree from Wingate University. Sulayman is an active member of the community he has served as a volunteer to several faith and community based organizations as a Board Member.
Sulayman is married to his best friend Brandi and in his spare time enjoys traveling and outdoor adventures.
MRS. KATHRYN WHITE
I was born in Greensboro, but grew up in Burlington, NC. I graduated from Elon College with a BS in elementary Ed. I taught in the Guilford Co schools for 30+ years and was Teacher of the Year twice. I created my own science- based curriculum, which I taught for over 15 yrs. I met my husband to be at Elon and we have two children, Kathryn and Merritt, and three beautiful grandchildren. My husband passed away in May of 2013 from lung cancer after nearly 46 years of marriage.
I have been a member of Mt. Pisgah UMC in Greensboro since 1989 and have served on almost every committee, some of which I chaired. I continue to serve on the Women’s Yard Sale and missions committees. I taught children’s Sunday School for several years. I facilitated Disciple Bible studies, all four, for many years. I currently facilitate a small group Bible study twice a month.
My husband and I enjoyed traveling and I continue to do so. Two of my favorite trips were to the Holy Land and Petra, and the Footsteps of Paul more recently. Those trips make my Bible study now more understanding and alive.
I first met Innocent when I had his eldest child in my second grade class. In a parent/ teacher conference, Innocent shared with me that he is a pastor and needed a church home. I introduced him to my pastor, Innocent was embraced as an associate and began bringing in African refugees to our Contemporary service. He discovered a need in our community to help families coming to our city by providing for their needs. I was interested and we formed the beginnings of The Refugee Rescue Mission, now known as African Rescue Ministries.
From a student conference many years ago to watching Innocent complete his under graduate and Masters education, to working on his doctorate in ministry, I couldn’t be more proud of him. In fact, I have literally adopted him as my son. He calls me Mama!
REV. CRAIG J. SEFA
PASTOR (WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH)
Craig grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and first sensed a call to ministry while studying architecture at the University of Florida and participating in Campus Crusade for Christ. Forced to leave college after his father’s death, he married McKenzie in June of 2000 and later completed a BA in Visual Communications online.
After running from God’s call for several years along with many negative church experiences, he finally accepted a part time youth pastor position at a small Methodist Church outside of DeLand, Florida where he and McKenzie lived. Through the mentoring of his pastor and several other clergy, he and McKenzie packed up and left Florida the day after Christmas, 2006 to pursue God’s call at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY.
Craig graduated in 2011 with an MDiv and an MA in Theological Studies, and following the recommendation of several colleagues, transferred to Western North Carolina where he and McKenzie completed the ordination process as a clergy couple. She now serves as the pastor at Central UMC in Spencer, NC while Craig is appointed at The Arbor in Salisbury, NC. Along with being a clergy couple and seeking creative ways to minister together in their community, Craig and McKenzie are also raising their daughter, Ariana, born in 2014.
Craig also enjoys graphic arts, writing, including song-writing, playing guitar, reading, hiking and travel and tries to incorporate all of these into life and ministry as much as possible. He is passionate about discipleship and teaching the whole story of Scripture, helping others to find their place in God’s great redemption narrative and equipping them to serve the least and the lost out of the overflow of God’s love for them.
His passion for the gospel, for ministry, and for life can be summed up in the words of his Old Testament Professor Dr. Sandra Richter, “Tell The Story, and Tell It Well.”
You can learn more about Craig and follow his ministry at his personal website, “Echo”.
MR. MARK SAMPLE
Mark is a member of Central United Methodist Church in Albemarle, NC. He is active in the Men’s Club and serves on the CUMC Technology and Worship Committees. He is the Vice-Chair of the Church Council and will take over as chair in 2018.
Mark is married to Linda Sample, the owner of Kendall Valley Kennels. They live on a small scenic farm in New London, NC. Their “children” include 4 dogs, 4 cats, a cockatiel, and a variety of chickens. He loves living the “country life”!
He is the Director of Media Services at Stanly Community College in Albemarle. He has enjoyed working there for over 21 years, and has been involved with the Media Services Department in different capacities the entire time. He teaches computer classes part time, and has enjoyed being an adjunct faculty for Stanly, Rowan-Cabarrus, and Randolph Community Colleges.
Mark is also a professional videographer and is the owner of Mark Sample Multimedia Enterprises. He offers quality video production and duplicating services to Stanly County and the Southern Piedmont area of North Carolina at affordable rates.
He was born in York, SC to Jim and Ruth Sample (a Presbyterian minister and school teacher) and has lived most of his life in North Carolina. Mark graduated from Elon University in 1991 and received his Masters from UNC-Charlotte in 2002.
Mark is excited to be a part of African Rescue Ministries. Although he’s not certain he’ll ever make a mission trip to Africa, he is willing to contribute to the cause in any way he’s able.
MRS. LINDA SAMPLE
Linda is a proud member of Central United Methodist Church in Albemarle, NC. She presently serves on the Worship Committee and is the Chairperson for the Communications Committee. Her duties include publishing The Central Express – a daily email newsletter and keeping the CUMC Facebook page and sections of the church website updated. Linda also organizes day trips for the seniors at Central.
Linda is self-employed and owns Kendall Valley Kennels, a dog boarding kennel. Established in 1994, Kendall Valley Kennels is the recipient of the 1997 Stanly County Historical Properties Commission’s Commercial Award of the Year and the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce 2001 Best Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award. Her small business also has been the recipient of the Stanly News and Press, Readers’ Choice, Best Boarding Kennel in Stanly County for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Linda is a natural born caregiver. She also enjoys traveling. And she is in love with all things Australian, especially her Australian Cattle Dogs.
Linda is married to Mark Sample, the Director of Media Services at Stanly Community College. Mark and Linda live on a small farm outside New London NC with their 4 dogs, 4 cats, a cockatiel and several chickens.
Linda’s favorite quote is, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” – John Wesley
GET TO KNOW OUR
PASTOR JEREMIE HAVUGIMANA
FAMILY OF GOD MINISTRIES
I am Rwandan by birth. I grew up in a Christian family, in a church called Pentecostal Church in Rwanda. Although I grew up following my parents at the church, I did not meet Jesus Christ personally until 1994 when all things came to a stand-still for the entire country. It is then I had an encounter with Jesus. After returning to Rwanda from Congo where almost the entire country had gone, I served as a deacon and financial committee member of my local church for about 13 years.
In 2005 I left Rwanda for South Africa, where in 2006, I started my Theological studies at North West University, and earned a Diploma and Bachelor’s degree in Theology. During the same period we joined a couple from California in church planting missions. In 2013, the couple left the church to return to the United States. I still serve as the pastor of this church, Family of God Ministries (FOGM) today.
After completing the honors degree in Theology, I spent 2015-2016 pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Education with the University of South Africa while also teaching at Musawenkosi Christian Academy primary school.
My heart has been attached to the community where I reside, and I presently serve on the Board of Directors of two community based organizations: Musawenkosi Christian Academy and the Nakekela Community Center that helps HIV positive patients.
We thank God for all things he taught us on this journey.
I am the Chairperson of African Rescue Ministries – South Africa Chapter.
MS. NTOMBI ZODWA MAPUTSE
I was born and grew up in South Africa , Mpumalanga Province. I completed high school in 1997, followed by a number of small courses where I obtained a certificate in Marketing Management, a Certificate in Home Based Care , and a Certificate in Catering. I am involved in the community and active in the SACP political party, which is an affiliate of ANC. I am the chairperson of the women’s league and the secretary of the party in my local ward.
Currently I am a single mother of three boys, as my husband recently died on January 6, 2017.
I met Pastor Jeremie in 2007 and he taught me what it means to be a Christian. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and got baptized in the same church, the Family of God Ministries. The church has been of great support, even in my marriage where things were not always smooth . I love God and I like helping in the church as much as I can through the help of God.
In African Rescue Ministries (South Africa) I serve as board member and part of the financial committee of the Board of Directors.
MR. OBU SAMWEL
I was born and grew up in Accra, Ghana with a Christian family in a church called Christ Evangelical mission.
Back home I was trained as a professional teacher. After my studies, I taught for a number of years until coming down to South Africa, where I am now a permanent resident. A work as a teacher of mathematics and physics and serve as the cluster leader for mathematical literacy in one of the schools near the Family of God Ministries..
I am married to Vivian. God blessed us with two boys and one girl.
Arriving in South Africa, I completed a few courses and earned a Certificate in Assessing and a Certificate in Skills Development Facilitation. I also serve as the treasurer for an an organization called “Angels of Planet of Earth” On that side of the Ghanaian community staying in Kwamhlanga, I am the chairperson.
I met Pastor Jeremie in 2007 through one of my students who was attending the Family of God Ministries. He invited me to the church and I now serve as a Pastor in charge of administration in the church. I thank God who brought me into the Family of God Ministries. It helped to develop Christian character in me and I was exposed to work of the Lord.
Now I am glad to be part of African rescue Ministries as a board member and a member of the financial committee.
MRS. MATSEBE SALOME VICTORIA MASANGO
I work as an educator and began teaching in 1991. I grew up in a Christian family, and was baptized and confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran church in South Africa (ELSA). I joined the Family of God Ministries in 2009 and I felt that I needed to get baptized again. I was baptized again in 2010 and began to get involved in the church. Given the fact that our church is multicultural , I assist in interpreting in the local language. I love God and I thank him for keeping me going to this day.
I am married and God blessed me with four sons and four grandchildren.
In my career I have received qualification through a Teaching Diploma and an Advanced Certificate in Education Management (ACE-Management). I also earned a post-graduate Diploma in Public Management. I have worked closely with my community in several different roles. I currently serve as part of the leadership at church, as the chairperson of the South African National Congress in the branch, and as the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Democratic Teachers Union branch.
At school I am also Head of Department in the Math, Science and Technology Stream. In our new organization African Rescue Ministry (ARM) I am the secretary of the Board of Directors of the organization.
MR. NSABIMANA JOSEPH
I was born and grew up in Rwanda in a Roman Catholic family. In the terrible events that swept my country, I left Rwanda in 2001 for South Africa.
In Rwanda I attended a technical school where I was doing public works and Construction. After completing I worked in several companies until 2001, the year l left the country for South Africa.
I am married to Josette and God blessed us with one girl.
In South Africa , like other refugees , I entered business life. In 2004 I went back to my career and got a job in Eastern Cape Province working as a brick layer. All this was in preparation to get myself into the South African construction industry. In 2008 I went back to further my education, and in 2011 I completed my Diploma in Civil Engineering. Following my studies, I lectured in one of the technical colleges in Pretoria until I got another job as a foreman in road maintenance
In 2013 I registered my own construction company which is still operating today. I really thank God for being on my side all these years.
Although I did not get opportunities to serve the community, I had been having a desire to be part of a team that can bring changes as a way of giving back to the community that welcomed us.
I am part of the Board of Directors of African Rescue Ministries (ARM).