Go Near Staff, Board Members, and Key Volunteers
Melody Taylor is the wife of Lewis Taylor and mother to Anna, Lowell, Claire and John.
In 2005, God began to move in Melody’s heart to step out in faith. The relentless calling soon became a burning song and Go Near Ministry was created as an answer to God’s call to care for orphans, widows, and those who live in extreme poverty.
Melody is relentlessly loving, a servant leader and has been a true force of nature in expanding Go Near’s reach over the past decade. While Melody will show endless gratitude to the people who have journeyed beside her, those who have had the honor of working with her will testify that her efforts (every day) to do God’s work has left a permanent imprint on the hearts of thousands at home and in Kenya.
Amy joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2014 after traveling to Kenya with a team in 2013. She has traveled two more times recently led a trip of volunteers that included her husband, Mark and four of her five children. Her sincerity and passion to love others are hard to miss. In her time on Go Near’s Board, Amy has made a big impact by offering support and leadership.
Amy’s background is in social work which is one of the many things that has equipped her for the work she does with Go Near.
“I am excited to see the ministry encompass the whole of James 1:27 “To visit widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Cheryl is the wife of Paul Williams and mother to Andrew, Stephen and Sara.
Since joining the team in 2006, Cheryl has served as a stronghold for Go Near’s Executive Director and has held several positions on the Go Near Ministry Board of Directors. Cheryl has boldly lead, nurtured and encouraged through leading several Go Near trips, being a foster mom, volunteering at Baptist Hospital, serving with children’s ministries, leading women’s Bible studies, volunteering on the Board of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes, and through teaching in the North Little Rock School District.
Cheryl earned her degrees in Education at OBU and UCA.
Danny joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2015 after traveling to Kenya with the team and his daughter Claire. He is a gifted servant leader who has helped lead three teams. With experience in coaching and mentoring young men, he contributes in meaningful ways to encourage our volunteer team and the people of Kenya. “ I am blessed and excited about the opportunity to serve the widows and orphans in Kenya. What a humbling experience to be his hands and feet, loving and encouraging the people of Nairobi.”
Danny is husband to Margaret Newton and father of Daniel and Claire. Danny is the owner of Power Corporation an Electrical Manufacturers Representative for the past 35 years.
Kimberly is the wife of Robert Cook and mother to Ann Claire, Alexander, and Ali B.
Kimberly joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2016. She fist became involved through the ministry after traveling to Kenya with her daughter and volunteering her time to the ministry upon returning. Kimberly is full of life and is gifted in offering support and encouragement wherever needed – whenever needed. She currently serves as the Secretary to the Board of Directors.
“I have such a passion to love the poor, orphans and widows in Kenya, as well as locally. I love that Go Near is empowering teenagers to live ‘on mission’ for the Lord!”
Jennifer Mooney is the widow of the late Bradley Mooney and mother to Nate and Allie. Jennifer became involved in Go Near Ministry in 2014 after her first trip to Kenya with her children. It was during her visit to the James 127 Foundation training center in Kenya that she returned to the U.S. with a passion to be an advocate for the widows she met there.
In 2015, she became general manager of Shop My Closet, a nonprofit women’s boutique to raise awareness and funds for Go Near Ministry initiatives and the James 127 Foundation. Jennifer, Nate and Allie returned to Kenya in 2016.
Jennifer also presently serves as the Co-Director for the James 127 Foundation. As a single mom, Jennifer is dedicated to caring for her family, women who have become widowed in the US, as well as widows in Kenya. Her favorite verse is Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
Linda Neaves is the widow of Mr. Neaves and mother to two adult children. She is a retired school teacher at LRCA and has touched countless lives through her career.
Linda joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2014 and immediately began serving as the prayer chair for the ministry. “Prayer Warrior” does not begin to describe Linda’s passion for bringing the concerns, praises and plans for Go Near to the throne. She is responsible for holding the team to the standard of consistent prayer for the ministry.
“I am excited to be a part of ministry – to pray for Go Near and trips.”
Lorri Harper is mother to seven children. She currently works as a Receptionist/Assistant to Missions at St. Andrews Church.
Lorri joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2016 after traveling to Kenya in 2015 with her two sons Isaiah and Jacob. Lorri is vibrant and a true problem-solver. She has a passion for teaching and nurturing- she homeschooled her children for seven years! Through her life experience, her heart is deeply rooted in caring for widows and orphans in their distress.
“I feel like the foundation for Go Near is to provide a way for families to go “on mission” together. What a special treat to serve alongside our kids.”
Nate is the husband of Kim Smith and father to his two children Penny and Malachi. Nate is a member of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s cabinet and serves as director and state health officer of the Arkansas Department of Health.
Nate joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2014. Nate is a consistent, knowledgeable leader of a vital state agency and has volunteered his time to refine the operations of Go Near Ministry.
He has a personal connection to the people of Kenya as he severed as a medical missionary there for many years.
He is an extraordinary individual and has already helped to grow Go Near as a ministry immensely in a short period of time.
Tori is the wife of Nathan Gay Jr. and dog-mom to Leo, the Italian Greyhound.
Tori joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2014 after volunteering to do communications work for Go Near.
She works as the Marketing Manager for Westrock Coffee Company.
“I’m committed to Go Near because I believe that the people who don’t know Christ, or who are currently striving for him in the midst of chaos, deserve to see true religion and passion for the gospel. And that’s what this team offers.”
Nate Mooney felt the Lord calling him to go to Africa at the age of 14. Just a year later, he went on his first trip to Kenya in 2014. He has since returned 4 times. Having lost his father at a young age, he is uniquely gifted to connect meaningfully with orphans and children in Kenya. Nate has demonstrated an unfaltering devotion to return back to Kenya on every trip possible with Go Near Ministry.
Little Rock Christian Academy, Nate received the Senior Warrior Award recognizing his Christian servant leadership in his school and community. As a college student, Nate serves as our youngest board member but has insights that will be of great benefit to Go Near Ministry. His favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
I had the opportunity to join the Go Near team for a 10-day mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. I was able to experience the impact that these trips had not only on the people of Kenya, but also on the team serving.
I’m so excited to be a part of this team. This board gives me the opportunity to work and be involved in the incredible impact and outreach that Go Near Ministry facilitates. I cannot wait to be a part of an organization whose mission is to reflect the Lord’s love and improving the lives of others through mobilization, empowerment, and transformation.
Ben serves as an associate for Westrock Group LLC
Beth Ann Berkman
Beth Ann Berkman is a graduate of Baylor University. She graduated with B.A. in Public Relations/Journalism. She is a marketing associate at Westrock Coffee.
“I first heard about Go Near through friends who had been on trips in the past. I have had the opportunity to go to Kenya numerous times fell in love with the people of Kenya. On the 2017 summer trip, I helped launch the “Learn the Whole Bible” curriculum in partnering schools. I love this organization and its ability to connect people from the US to Kenya. It is a blessing to connect with people from different walks of life and in different areas of the world, all in the name of spreading the gospel. I am excited to serve God through Go Near.”