Dixon was the executive officer of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, or UMCOR. He was part of a group of mission and relief specialists in the region.
Others in the group were rescued. Preliminary reports that Dixon had been as well, were false, according to the church.
"Sam Dixon was a tireless servant of the church of Jesus Christ on behalf of all of us," said Bishop Joel N. Martinez, interim general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries. "His death is an incalculable loss to Global Ministries, UMCOR and our worldwide ministry of relief to God's most vulnerable children. Our directors and staff extend their condolences to Sam's wife, Cindy, their children, and their wider circle of friends and colleagues.
Bishop Janice Huie of Texas, president of UMCOR, said that Dixon "was an extremely gifted minister of the Gospel. He lived his life following the commandments of Jesus to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and love the least of these all over the world. Jesus is holding him dear, and we are in prayer for his family."