A Celebration of Life service for the Rev. Dr. Landon Tracy Archer Summers is being planned for Saturday, June 25 at 2 p.m. at Burlingame United Methodist Church. Summers, the pastor of Burlingame UMC since July 1, 2009, died peacefully early Sunday morning (May 15, 2011) following a sudden illness. He was 51.
Rev. Summers leaves his wife, the Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee, Associate Professor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and two teenage children, Clara Elaine and Landon Jack Summers.
The family issued a statement expressing sincere thanks for the many messages of love and support it has received.
Archer Summers was born Dec. 31, 1959 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to (the late) K.B. Summers and M. Elaine Archer Summers. He graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Classics and later returned to complete a law degree. He also graduated from Harvard University with two masters and a doctorate in divinity and education.
Rev. Summers was a member of the Washington State Bar Association and served on the Washington State Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. He also was a member of the District of Columbia Bar and was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court – but chose a life in ministry in order to fulfill a childhood dream, his family says.
"In a life too short, Archer accomplished a tremendous amount," his obituary reads. "Amazingly, Archer traveled to all seven continents by the age of 24. He was the greatest dad to two extraordinary children. He served as a Methodist minister to churches in Maine, Connecticut, and California. He spoke and read Hebrew, Russian, Greek, Latin, and some Korean to impress his in-laws. Archer was a Program Manager of the USDA Graduate School (America's largest continuing education program). He received a Congressional award for his inspired work to promote peace in the Middle East, and in 2008 was given the Unsung Hero award from the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council.
"Archer will be forever remembered as a loving father and husband, [and] for his positive spirit, gentle manner, undying faith in God, and overall love of life. [He] was an inspiration to everyone he met … His brilliant sermons inspired and enthralled congregants wherever he served and his ethical insights taught so many so much."
In the California-Nevada Annual Conference Rev. Summers served as pastor of St. Mark's UMC in Orinda from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005; and as pastor of First UMC of Palo Alto, July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2009, before being appointed to Burlingame UMC.
He has been a member of the Conference Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (CCUIC) since July 1, 2008.
Burlingame UMC is located at 1443 Howard Avenue (at El Camino Real), Burlingame, CA 94010. In lieu of flowers for the June 25 service, donations may be made to either the L.T. Archer Summers Memorial Education Fund at Burlingame UMC, or to the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem for its Christian Leadership Initiative in memory of Rev. Dr. L.T. Archer Summers (at www.shalomhartman.org or Shalom Hartman Institute, 1 Penn Plaza, Suite 1606, New York, NY 10119).