Debbie C. Keeney is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, a Church and Community Worker, serving as director of mission and education of United Methodist Ministries in Omaha, Nebraska. Her work there began in the spring of 2012.
United Methodist Ministries is a multifaceted service agency that in April 2012 became a national mission institution of United Methodist Women. It offers empowering programs and volunteer opportunities for mission experiences, especially related to ministries seeking to overcome hunger and poverty.
Debbie coordinates volunteer-in-mission experiences in Omaha, including work in one of several Big Gardens, food pantries, and homeless shelters, as well as education on food security and fair trade. In addition, she manages the Blue Flamingo, a fair-trade shop inside the Hanscom Park United Methodist Church. The fair trade boutique includes items from Ten Thousand Villages, Global Girlfriends, and SERRV. It also takes fair trade items to churches and community sales, the proceeds helping to support the ministry.
“My mother has been a huge influence in my call to missionary service,” Deb says. “As a single mother of five children, holding down two jobs to support us, she lived her life as an example to her children. She showed us by her actions the importance of God in our lives, and how we could always depend on him.”
A native of Atlantic, Iowa, Deb attended Iowa State University in Ames, studying elementary education. She has served as youth leader in two Omaha United Methodist churches, as well as in the Missouri River District office. Previously, Deb served as a Church and Community Worker in the position of executive director of the Community Outreach Program in Roanoke, Virginia, in the Virginia Annual Conference, and still earlier as program director of Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry related to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Omaha. She joined the staff of United Methodist Ministries initially in 2000 and returned in 2011 as director of program and administration.
Deb is a member of the First United Methodist Church, Omaha. She has two daughters and two grandchildren, and was a host mother to five Japanese exchange students and seven foster children.
: Nebraska Annual Conference
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