Service to be held for local minister killed in Haiti

ROANOKE RAPIDS Rev. Dr. Sam Dixon, head of the humanitarian relief for the church, died before he could be rescued from the Montana Hotel, which was destroyed by the earthquake that hit the region on January 12.

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.

"All he wanted was to help the less fortunate, the under-privileged, the despondent, wherever," Dixon's friend Bill White said.

Others in the group were rescued. Preliminary reports that Dixon had been as well, were false, according to his church.

"As experienced traveler as he was, we thought initially he was going to be okay," White said.

A decade earlier, Dixon had served for two years as head minister at the First United Methodist Church.

But more recently, he had risen to oversee a huge Methodist missionary program, not just in Haiti, but across the globe.

The United Methodist Church will hold a memorial service for Dixon on Friday in downtown Raleigh.

The church say they expect people to come from around the world to pay their respects.

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