The Rev. Courtney Randall is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as an Interpretation, Education and Advocacy Coordinator for the Methodist Liaison Office in the Middle East Region
A runner, Rev. Randall views her ministry as a course with different turns and terrains. She sensed a distinct call that the next leg of her ministry would be in a global context. During her time as a missionary in Latvia, she learned the importance of taking time to build genuine relationships with neighbors and friends.
The Methodist Liaison office is a joint project of Global Ministries, the British Methodist Church, and the World Methodist Council. It relates to ecumenical organizations, churches, and church-related institutions in the Holy Land, and it provides educational venues for Methodist pilgrims to the region.
In 2012, the Methodist Liaison Office in the Middle East Region was created, primarily to unite the Methodist family of churches in their response to the call. As advocacy coordinator, Rev. Randall facilitates the dissemination of information and assists in bringing Methodists to the region to meet with ecumenical partners and show solidarity with our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters.
Born in Ohio, Rev. Randall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a social psychology minor and a math endorsement from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, in 1997, and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina, in 2007.
She and her husband, the Rev. Daniel Randall, served with Global Ministries (2007-10) as standard-support missionaries with the Latvian United Methodist Church. They have one daughter, and two sons.
Ordained in 2011 by the North Carolina Annual Conference, Rev. Randall is now an elder in the New England Conference. Prior to her present assignment, she served as pastor of cultivation at New Hope United Methodist Church in North Adams, Massachusetts (2014-20). Her previous appointments were Mount Horeb and Springdale United Methodist churches, Warren, New Jersey (2012-14), and Cornerstone UMC, Saco, Maine (2010-12).
Describing her call to mission, Rev. Randall quoted John Wesley, who said, “The best of all is God is with us.” Those words, she said, have both comforted her and encouraged her to walk more closely with God.
Raised in The United Methodist Church, Rev. Randall recalled many disciples who formed and shaped her walk with Christ. “My parents and grandparents provided me with examples of faith journeys filled with service and discipleship.”
As a youth, Rev. Randall participated in the Appalachian Service Project. When she returned home, she delivered her first sermon. At DePauw, a few years later, she was asked to serve as a Bonner Scholar. “Those years,” she recalled, “were foundational in my understanding of service-learning and how to be in ministry with others, especially those in the criminal system and young people with disabilities.”
After graduation, she served two terms in AmeriCorps in the West and in Chicago. “It took me a couple more years,” Rev. Randall said, “to find myself in a place where I could see how God was calling me to use mission work and mission service within the context of the local church.” She then worked as a youth director at her local church, St. Francis UMC in Cary, NC. “St. Francis UMC continues to be a mission-oriented faith community who has supports me and others in service,” she recalls, “that took me one step closer to recognizing my call as a missionary and as a pastor.” Three years later, she felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting to apply to divinity school. At Duke, she pursued mission opportunities and discerned elders’ orders. She met her future husband. “We were following leads and potential sites,” Rev. Randall continued. “My mentor asked if we would be willing to serve in Latvia. I knew nothing about Latvia and could barely locate it on a map. Yet, this is where God led us to serve the next part of our lives. “The mission field is everywhere. God has called us to places unknown to serve alongside and with God’s people.