Bernice Keech is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as a Member Care & Community Worker at PACTEC. She is part of a team with her husband, Missionary James Keech.
Bernice and James have been missionaries since 1989, first in Nigeria (from 1989 to 2002) and then in Central Asia. She and her five siblings were born in Nigeria, where her parents served as missionaries for 22 years. Bernice was the youngest and came to the United State at age 7 when her father returned to the pastoral ministry there.
After living in Virginia, she graduated from high school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and earned a B.A. degree in elementary education from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
“At the age of 12, I made the commitment to follow Christ,” Bernice says, “but it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that he got my full attention. Growing through the ministries of my church and various campus ministries while in college, I believed that God had a plan for my life. I don’t differentiate between a call to mission and service to God. I knew I would be in some kind of fulltime service to God, but I did not know what that would look like.
“Enter the young man who became my husband; together we chose to be in fulltime ministry. Jim believed his gifts would be best used serving through aviation ministries. I believed my gifts would be best used supporting and enabling Jim, wherever in the world that would take us. Following five years of hard work, Jim graduated from Moody Aviation in 1988. In 1989, we were accepted by the General Board of Global Ministries.”
Bernice’s church membership is in the Valley Forge United Methodist Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, a part of the Holston Annual Conference.
She and James have two adult children, Micah Keech (and his wife Shelley) and Sarah Keech.