Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keeney resigns as executive director of Global Mission Partnerships.

Mervin B. Keeney has resigned as executive director of Global Mission Partnerships for the Church of the Brethren General Board, as of March 14. He has held the position since 1997, with responsibility for overseeing the denomination’s international mission programs, Brethren Volunteer Service, and the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

During his tenure, the denomination has launched missions in Brazil and Haiti, and for the past few years General Board staff have been working on a new mission in Sudan. Keeney has served as a main contact with leaders of Brethren churches in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, India, and Nigeria, and fledgling congregations in Haiti.

He has traveled extensively and participated in key international delegations, including the visit of Annual Conference moderator Belita Mitchell to Nigeria in 2007 as the first African-American woman to head the US church; a trip to North Korea in 2003 as part of a delegation from the National Council of Churches (NCC) and Church World Service (CWS); and visits to India in 2000 and 2004 with Church of the Brethren leaders aiming to rebuild relationships after 30 years of separation between the Church of North India and India Brethren. In 1979 he met with Yasser Arafat as part of an NCC delegation to the Middle East. Most recently he was at the Historic Peace Churches international gathering in Indonesia. In the winter of 1998-99, he spent a sabbatical in Nigeria with his family, and was present for celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

Keeney has been a staff representative to the NCC and member of the CWS executive committee, a member of the General Board’s Mission and Ministries Planning Council, and on the board’s leadership team. He first began work for the board in 1978 as coordinator for BVS recruitment and interpretation, and then as a recruiter for mission staff through 1985. He held an assignment in Sudan 1985-87 as a medical administrator and consultant for the Sudan Council of Churches. From 1991-97 he worked for the General Board as Africa and Middle East representative.

He holds a graduate degree in public administration with a focus on international programs from the American University in Washington, D.C. He also has worked as a management analyst in the US General Accounting Office, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines.

General secretary Stan Noffsinger is assuming leadership and responsibility for the Global Mission Partnerships program during an interim time.

Source: 3/26/2008 Newsline

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