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 is the wife of Mark Gaydos and mother to five children, four of which she currently homeschools full-time.
Amy joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2014 after traveling to Kenya with the team in 2013. Her sincerity and passion to love others is 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 that 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 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.
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 is the widow of Bradley Mooney and mother to Nate and Allie. She currently serves as the Community Engagement Director for James 127 Foundation and the Executive Director of Shop My Closet.
Jennifer became involved in Go Near in 2014 after traveling to Kenya with her two kids. In 2015, she joined the team as a volunteer and then as the General Manager for Shop My Closet, which benefits Go Near Ministry. She joined the Go Near Board of Directors in 2016. Jennifer’s commitment and hardwork poured into everything she does illuminates her passion for Go Near and the people who are impacted by it. She is a light to those she meets at the shop.
Jennifer’s personal vision for Go Near is to… “Continue to serve orphans and widows in Kenya and partner with Shop My Closet and James 127 Foundation.”
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.”
Pati is the wife of Matt Jones and mother to her two children. She currently serves as a volunteer for Go Near Ministry and has been a guiding and helping hand for the ministry for several years.
Pati is undoubtedly genuine and strives for transparency in order to achieve good work for the kingdom. She has poured countless hours into Go Near Ministry and is the primary organizer of Go Near Trips – her work has truly made a huge difference!