Rev. Keith Lawder Named Next Georgia United Methodist Foundation President/CEO


After faithfully serving as President/CEO of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation for nearly five years, Rev. Charles (Chuck) W. Savage II has officially announced his plans to retire on June 30, 2016.
"GUMF's Board of Trustees, acting on the recommendation of the Personnel Committee Task Force as affirmed by the Executive Committee, unanimously elected Rev. Keith Lawder to succeed Rev. Chuck Savage during the November 4, 2015 meeting," said Zoe M. Hicks, Chairperson of GUMF's Board of Trustees. "He will initially join GUMF as Vice President of Development on January 1, 2016, before filling Chuck's role as President/CEO upon his retirement. Keith was selected from a group of highly qualified candidates for this position." 
"I was so pleased and humbled to receive the call that I was the nominee of the Personnel Committee Task Force. I am passionate about the work of GUMF and have been privileged to be a part of this wonderful ministry and to work with the staff, which is truly exceptional. Through my education and my careers in banking and in pastoral ministry, I believe God has equipped me, prepared me, and called me to this wonderful opportunity," Lawder said. "There is much to learn. GUMF has grown and prospered under Chuck's leadership and the guidance of an outstanding board. Our challenge is to build awareness of the many ways we can help ministries and individuals sow seeds of faith for future generations. The more we help churches and individuals invest in their future, the more we can help to provide scholarships fortomorrow's leaders."
Lawder has served as Associate Pastor of Dunwoody UMC in Dunwoody, Ga. since 2011. He is a long-time member of GUMF's Board of Trustees and currently chairs the Loan Committee. Rev. Dr. Glenn Ethridge, Senior Pastor of Oak Grove UMC in Decatur, Ga., has been elected to fill Lawder's role on GUMF's Board.
From 2008 to 2011, Lawder served as Pastor of Christ UMC in Roswell, Ga. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Associate Pastor of Simpsonwood UMC in Norcross, Ga. Before receiving God's call to ministry, he served as Senior Vice President and Group Executive of Wachovia Bank and Trust, N.A. from 1974 to 2005.
He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance and management from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Va., and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.
Lawder and his wife, Mary, have been married 41 years. She retired in June as the Parish Nurse for the Atlanta Roswell District of The United Methodist Church. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.
The Georgia United Methodist Foundation helps United Methodist churches, ministries and individuals in Georgia sow seeds of faith for future generations by providing planned giving, investment, lending, endowment and training services, as well as grants and scholarships. For more information, call 770-449-6726 or 877-220-5664, email or visit