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January 30, 2019

EMM Board of Directors appoints Gerry Keener as eighth president

Written by  EMM Communications
Gerry Keener will serve as EMM’s eighth president. Gerry Keener will serve as EMM’s eighth president.

SALUNGA, Pa. — The Board of Directors of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) announces the appointment of Gerald “Gerry” H. Keener as the president of the organization.

Keener has served EMM as the executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2010. He will serve as EMM’s eighth president effective immediately.

Board Chair Brian Martin stated: “Gerry brings a wealth of EMM experience locally and globally. Given his missional and operational skill sets, Gerry is well postured for this role. As a Board, we are grateful for Gerry’s willingness to serve as president. We look forward to pressing forward together, proclaiming the good news of Jesus through the continued mission of EMM.”  

With respect for Keener’s wishes, this appointment will be for a two-year term.

Keener said: “Over the years, and in various roles, I have considered it a sacred call and privilege to serve in the Kingdom of God through EMM. Given EMM’s remarkable history, I appreciate that our generation today stands on the shoulders of those who have served before us. May we be counted faithful in carrying forward the ‘baton’ during this next season. I look forward to the continuing work of making disciples of Jesus.”

Since 1985, Keener has served EMM in a variety of capacities, bringing significant leadership and ministry experience to this appointment.

From 1978 to 1997, he lived in New York City, where he served as the pastor of Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church, and later as the executive director of Heartsease Home.

From 1997 to 2009, Keener lived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he served in community and educational development and as the head of school for Saigon South International School.

Over the past decade, in addition to his role as executive vice president of EMM, Keener and his wife, Donna, have served as non-resident workers overseeing church leadership development and theological education for the Vietnam Mennonite Church.

Keener holds a Master of Sacred Theology from New York Theological Seminary in New York City, a Master of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va., and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Houghton (N.Y.) College.

He and his wife have two adult daughters. They are members of Mount Joy (Pa.) Mennonite Church and reside in Lancaster, Pa.