Ronnie and Debbie

The ministry to Pastors in East Africa began with Ronnie’s parents, Clarence and Jewell Matheny, in the early 70′s when Ronnie and Debbie were missionaries there. When Ronnie’s father died in Kenya in 1986, Ronnie’s mother continued and expanded the vision to include building a conference and training center outside of Nairobi. Jewell worked faithfully until she returned to live permanently in the U.S. in 2007.

Today, Ronnie and Debbie oversee the Clarence Matheny Leadership Training Institute and its ministry staff of over 20. Together, they and the CMM Team are working to fulfill the vision Clarence had to train and equip the pastors and leaders of East Africa. All of the resources needed to continue this vision are facilitated through Mission Barnabas, founded by Ronnie and Debbie in 2004.

Ronnie and Debbie have been happily married since 1970. They have 2 grown sons and 4 grandchildren who you will hear about within the first few minutes of any conversation with them. They have residence in Nairobi, Kenya as well as Ft. Worth, Texas. The love they have for the pastors in East Africa along with their desire to live a life on mission has resulted in God doing a truly amazing work in the African Church!

Joel Chola

Joel Chola, Executive Director: Africa

Joel has been with Mission Barnabas since 2007. He oversees a staff of over 25 people at the Clarence Matheny Leadership Institute. Together with the CMLTI team they coordinate the practical aspects of ministering to thousands of leaders every year throughout East Africa. Bringing more than 15 years of pastoring and team leadership skills, Joel is respected across Kenya as friend and leader of Pastors. Joel and his wife Pauline they have 4 amazing kids and love the work they are called to in Nairobi, East Africa and the US.


Watch the Mission Barnabas overview video to learn all about what we are doing in East Africa