Keele Joins CCC as Associate Junior Youth Director
Donnie Keele's mission as Central California's new associate junior youth director is simple: lead our young people to be disciples for Jesus Christ. "Every program we do is simply an excuse to build relationships with our youth and make into disciples of Jesus," he says. He recognizes this is no easy task. "So many things compete for young people's attention. We have to capture their hearts and minds so they see a true Christian walk as a serious option for life."
Keele is responsible for assisting with the Adventure and Pathfinders Clubs, and a variety of other junior youth ministries. As a member of the leadership team, he will also help with summer camp programming and various youth events.
"It's fascinating working with people who are still growing and alive," says Keele of teens and pre-teens. "I love the age group. I love their vibrancy, joy and the way they live life to the max."
Keele discovered his love for youth ministry during college. A Communication major at Southern Adventist University (SAU), he took a year out as a student missionary. God sent him to Gem State Academy as assistant chaplain. He hung out, led vespers and did outreach and Bible studies with them. When he returned to SAU, he knew his calling. Reaching young people for Jesus had become his new passion.
During the summer of 2007, he worked as camp videographer at Camp Wawona. After graduating in 2008 with a degree in Mass Communication and Media Production, and a minor in Religion, Keele worked at SAU as assistant chaplain for a year.
In May of 2009, he married his college sweetheart, Rachel Hopkins. Together they prayerfully considered two calls and felt God leading them to Camp Wawona. Rachel serves as Guest Services director.
"I'm young and inexperienced, but I'm ready to learn," says Keele. "I'm excited about where God's leading and amazed that He's using me in ways I never thought possible."