M. Garlinda Burton

Director of Resource Development
Garlinda works with staff and constituents to develop devotional, educational, and worship resources to support laity and clergy and other church leaders in tearing down walls of racial, cultural and tribal divisions and to foster Christian community and social justice. A deaconess in The United Methodist Church, Garlinda has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, producer, and trainer around issues of intercultural competency, racial justice, and gender justice. She is also committed to helping the church engage and nurture children, youth, and young adults as positive and powerful change agents for the cause of Jesus Christ.

In Her Own Words

What languages do you speak?

English and some Spanish

What brought you to the United Methodist Church?

I’m 5th generation United Methodist on both sides of my family, so I had no choice! And I love my church, with all its flaws.

What’s the best advice you ever got?

Know who you are and hold onto God’s love for you because you will be judged by everything other than your competence and your qualifications.

What’s more important to you: to be right or to be liked?

I love to be loved, but I can let go of people who are too negative.

If you could have one magic item what would it be?

A flying carpet

What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy afternoon?

Reading Agatha Christie or J. California Cooper

What’s the best flavor combination you can think of?

Spicy broth and noodles

What song gets stuck in your head most often?

“Ride On, King Jesus”

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

A nightclub singer in Iowa City, Iowa

What calls you?

The resilience of children and teens

Tell me about the happiest you’ve ever been.

When I started dating my husband, we knew within three weeks of dating, walking, him sitting up with me while I studied (I was in grad school), etc., that we were meant to be together. Were got engaged within four months of dating. Those were the happiest moments of my life.

Is there a book from your childhood that helped make you who you are today?

An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa Alcott, about a girl who was “odd,” independent, and practical. I still LOVE that book, and it made me want to go out into the world by myself and conquer.

If you had a time machine, what historical moment would you rewrite?

I would erase The Middle Passage.

What’s my favorite music?

Christmas music, any time of the year!!!

GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.