As a young boy, who could’ve known Roland Vaughan was destined to share Jesus Christ on the missions field, serve on the Church of God Executive Council, and be elected as an executive leader of World Missions twice.

Roland VaughanRoland often said, “I think I was born to be a missionary; missions is the only work I really know.”

Raised on a farm in South Carolina, Roland Vaughan is a third generation Church of God on both sides of his family. After serving in the Marine Corps, he graduated from Lee College with a major in Biblical Education. While attending Lee, Vaughan was employed at the local hospital in Cleveland, Tennessee, as an oxygen therapist.

Vaughan’s first appointment was in 1968 to teach at the Berea Bible Institute, Hermosillo, Mexico, where he taught and provided educational administration for six years in Mexico and Panama. World Missions leadership tapped him as an overseer in 1974, and he went on to lead in Central America for 16 years as an overseer and superintendent. At the 1990 General Assembly, Roland was elected as World Missions assistant director and elected director in 1992. He was appointed as field director of Africa in 1996 and later in Latin America. Vaughan returned to World Missions as assistant director (2000-2004) and then director (2004-2008).

World Missions asked Vaughan in 2008 to focus on finding unreached peoples, a burden he had already fulfilled while director as 10 congregations were planted in Africa and Asia among the UPGs. He served in that capacity until his formal retirement in 2014.

Vaughan states: “The missionary will ultimately reach many more people in a more productive and positive way by first reaching and discipling a few, and then those new disciples doing the evangelization and discipleship among the multitudes.”

With gratitude Vaughan reflected—the rewards that fill my heart with joy are those leaders that I know are where they are because God allowed me to have at least some part in making them become what God wanted them to be.