OUR STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
Debby Hughes, Moderator *
Debby Hughes is a former life-long Lutheran who found a progressive faith community south of the Mason-Dixon line in the United Church of Christ New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
She moved to Florida as a recent widow and being a life-long seeker of spiritual meaning within a faith community, she visited many area houses of worship until finding a lively community of like-minded seekers and people with a focus. She refers to our church as the nitty-gritty ragtag bunch of people who are not nearly perfect! That is what she loves that about us.
Her preference is being amongst people who roll up their sleeves and get the work done, while maybe getting a little messed up in the process. Living a life of love and service doesn’t mean sitting in the fanciest restaurant or the finest sanctuary in town, it means pooling our resources and doing the work of ministering to the broader community and beyond. It means standing up for the disenfranchised, the “other”. It means seeking peace and doing justice and loving God and one another.
As someone walking in the light of Jesus, to Debby, diversity is important, crucial even. And while we have yet to break the color barrier in percentages, we do have wonderful diversity. She was looking for a church that was more racially diverse and instead she found a community that was LGTBQ friendly! And her thought was "this is God finding just the right place for me". UCC NSB is a place where no matter where we come from or where we are, everyone is welcome!
Volunteering and giving back embodies Debby. She is part of the team at St. Vincent de Paul, delivering food to the needy from Oak Hill to NSB. She does this in honor of her late husband who was a lapsed Catholic and about whom she says, “I owe him for everything I have”. Debby volunteers at the Habitat Re-Store and pre-Covid she volunteered at the UCC Thrift Shop. Her kids have called her the “Thrift Girl” for years! She serves on the board of a 12-Step recovery program that she has been a member of for over 15 years.
Prayer and seeking deeper meaning and truth is part of my personal quest in having a deeper relationship with the Creator of all Life…our God who is ever drawing us towards a greater wholeness. I have a responsibility to say “yes, yes, yes” to God’s call wherever I happen to be. I am here to serve, not to be served.
Her hope is that her life reflects that…while having a boatload of fun.
Functional Department Chairs
Tom Besaw &
Outreach / Ministries
Sammie Hartwell &
Open and Affirming Ministry (ONA)
John Buchanan & Donnie Coleman
*Church Council Officer