Africa Office Staff
Sandra Gourdet is the Area Executive for the Africa Office of Global Ministries, representing both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ to more than forty partner churches, councils, and organizations in fourteen African countries. One of Sandra=s main responsibilities is administering the full time Disciples and UCC mission staff working on the African continent.
Sandra Rucker Gourdet was born November 6, 1949, in Birmingham, Alabama. Sandra graduated from Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama in 1972 with a BA degree in English and minor in sociology. She received a certificate from the Teacher’s Education Program at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1972 before doing intensive French language studies at L’Accueil Fraternal, Le Chambon Sur-Lignon, France, 1972-73 under the Division of Overseas Ministries. She received a BS degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham and Teacher Certification from the state of Alabama in 1986. She completed an advanced BTh degree with the University of South Africa in March 1999 and was ordained by the Disciples of Christ Alabama/NW Florida Region in September 1999. She received an MTh degree from the University of South Africa in 2003.
Sandra began employment with DOM (1972-75) as a Fraternal Worker assigned to the Disciples Community of the Church of Christ in Zaire, at Bolenge and Mbandaka, as an English teacher. From 1975-79, she was assigned to the Disciples Community of the Church of Christ in Mbandaka, Zaire as a teacher. From 1981-88, she taught at Bolenge. From 1988-1993 Sandra began work in formal and informal education. From 1993-1997 Sandra served in administration and teaching with the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, at Chikore. In October 1997, Sandra was appointed to the Zimbabwe Synod of UCCSA, where she served working with the women, as AIDs Orphan Coordinator and as a local pastor. Beginning in 1999 Sandra was appointed to the Zimbabwe Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, where she served as a consultant in education and women’s development programs until September 2002. From January 2003 through June 2005 Sandra served as an educational consultant in Haiti. She assumed her current position as area executive for Africa in July of 2005.
Sandra and her husband, Daniel, are members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Her home congregation was in Birmingham, Alabama. Married in 1973, the Gourdets are parents of Nicolas Patrice and Helene Danielle.
Pat Sanborn has been working with the Africa Office since 1975. Her responsibilities include coordinating the work of the Office within our international headquarters, as well as with our overseas staff members. During the frequent and lengthy overseas domestic travel absences of the Executive, she manages the office.
She is responsible for correspondence, preparation of reports, scheduling, organizing meetings, travel logistics and French-English translation of correspondence. Her position requires her to be in close phone contact with overseas workers, heads of churches, ministers and church members throughout the USA, Canada, and Africa. She assists many people with travel matters such as obtaining passports, visas and effecting currency transfers and exchanges. She also has been involved in emergency evacuations of overseas staff and with immigration matters.
Pat is a 1974 graduate of Adelphi University in Garden City, New York where she earned a B.A. degree in French. Fluent in French language, she also has a working knowledge of Spanish. Pat is married and lives in Indianapolis, IN.