Jackson, Heath L.

Country: South Africa
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Serving At: Diocese of Johannesburg St George´s Anglican Church
Home Country: United States

Heath Jackson is an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

Heath is a member in the Oklahoma Annual Conference. He holds a master’s degree in real estate from Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, England, and a master’s degree in modern history form the University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland.

He interned with the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network. “I developed a database, allowing program data to be accessed faster,” Heath said. “I also researched health topics to help determine the need for future programs. This experience taught me how to analyze the needs of my community and work with others to address these needs.”

At university, he was active in the religious life on campus. “I assisted the university chaplain, welcomed worshippers and conducted services,” he said.

“The church has always been a part of my life,” Heath added. “I’ve been blessed to be raised in a Christian environment that has encouraged a close relationship with God. From a young age, I felt a personal connection to God and sought to discern God’s will.” Although Heath knew God had a plan for his life, he struggled to define it.

In 2014, Heath participated in lay servant leader training. In the local church, he has served on Staff-Parish Relations and Finance committees. He also led services and preached when clergy were not available. 

“As I have gotten older,” Heath said, “I have grown more serious about my relationship with Christ and thought more about God’s calling for my life. When I interned with a Christian nonprofit during the summer of my sophomore year in college, I figured out that I was called to work with the disadvantaged.” He pursued degrees that would help him improve the lives of others. He also worked with secular organizations that benefit society’s vulnerable, but he missed the Christ-centered nature of his internship.  “The work I do, both professionally and in my free time, is a product of my relationship with God,” Heath continued. “Being a Global Mission Fellow will allow me the opportunity to continue working with the people I feel a call to serve. It also will allow me to follow this call in a Christ-centered environment that promotes and nurtures a relationship with God.”