A native of Massachusetts, Debby Akerman considered Greenland, New Hampshire, her hometown. After living there with husband, Brad, for 30 years, God called them to move south. In 2000, Debby and her husband responded to God’s call to move to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for retirement—and to do ministry together.
Once they heard His call, they were willing to give up a lifetime of connections and begin an exciting journey with God. She had a clear call, a vision, and promises from God about what He wanted to do. She was ready—but not before a prolonged period of waiting.
Accustomed to getting things done, this former registered nurse and nurse manager found waiting a difficult challenge. To understand why God was putting their call on hold, she began a 30-day word study of “wait” as her personal devotion. As a result, God nudged her to write Hold On as a way to share the rich biblical truths she gleaned from her study and scriptural and personal accounts of waiting.
Debby was the 22nd woman to be elected president of the Woman’s Missionary Union, Auxiliary to Southern Baptist Convention. Elected in June 2010, she also serves in her local church. Together with her husband, she has ministered in various church roles and at the local homeless shelter, Street Reach, and its in-house recovery program for alcoholics and addicts. She also has helped create ongoing missions partnerships between Ocean View Baptist Church and believers in Mexico and Lynch, Kentucky.
Having served on the South Carolina WMU Executive Board, she has also served as president of the New England WMU. In 2007 she received the Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Leadership Development, the highest award presented by the organization. In addition to being the national president emerita, she also serves as a children’s specialist for South Carolina WMU.
Debby and her husband have one daughter, Kim Cazeault, married to Seamus Cazeault, and two grandchildren, Drew and Megan. She and Brad reside in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.