Rev. Anthony Tang, Director of Connectional Ministries

Anthony TangE-mail:   Phone: (602) 266-6956 Ext. 261

Rev. Anthony Tang has been the Senior Pastor of University UMC in Las Vegas since 2009 and followed Rev. David McPherson as the next Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) for the Desert Southwest Annual Conference effective July 1, 2014.

Communications: In your words, what is the role of the DCM?

Tang: I admit that I'm still learning about the responsibilities of a DCM. DCMs help our annual conferences live into the vision of where Christ is leading. For our Desert Southwest Conference, that's our mission and vision of empowering leaders who create vital congregations through our Strategic Direction. My job is to support our churches and ministries to help make this vision a reality.

Communications: What has prepared you for this responsibility?

Tang: Almost 17 years ago when I started as an associate pastor at Dayspring, I was surrounded by some pretty impressive leaders. They were patient with me, but I knew that my own leadership skills were sorely lacking. Church members, my cousin who was finishing her MBA, and especially my wife, Katherine, encouraged me to enroll in ASU's MBA program. It completely changed how I processed information and the questions I asked.

That's where I got started, but honestly, I recognize that over these years, I have been amazingly blessed by so many good relationships. I've served in churches with incredible lay persons who are passionate about their faith and willing to experiment with me on crazy ideas as well as put up with some pretty unusual sermons on my part. Clergy colleagues have been so generous with encouragement, support, sharing ideas, and mentoring. Perhaps most helpful of all, is that God has surrounded me with such loving people who offered forgiveness freely, who believed in me even when I didn't, and who took a chance on me. I'm really grateful.

Communications: Would you share with us a memorable life experience and why it is noteworthy?

Tang: I don't know if I talk about him too often. Perhaps I do. But I don't think Christ has put anyone in our lives who has impacted Katherine and me as much as our son, Jack. Through the painful time approaching his death, Jack taught us that in the midst of helplessness I'm to stop trying to do something and instead just love. Then through his death and in overcoming a crippling fear of repeating something like that again, I learned that I am strong, I will face whatever will come at me next, and I will live. These were not easy lessons to learn, but Christ blessed us with an amazing teacher and I believe these will be useful lessons for my new position.

Communications: What are your plans for yourself and others in your new leadership role?

Tang: I don't have all the answers, but I'm excited to be in shared ministry with the amazing people and churches of our Annual Conference. I know that Christ will use our relationships with others to do great things and I'm excited to see what miracles he has in store for us.