Kevin Huddleston and Betty McKenzie

Press Release

Branson, MO—Christian Action Ministries welcomed Ms. Betty McKenzie in February as its Director of Operations and will welcome Kevin Huddleston as its Executive Director June 1, 2019.  He will replace Elizabeth Hughes, who has been serving in this role since January of 2017.  Hughes and her husband, who will retire from College of the Ozarks after 30 years of service, are relocating to Townsend, Tennessee.

“We are excited to add Ms. McKenzie and Mr. Huddleston to our team,”

said Larry Johnson, CAM Board chairman.  “In the last couple years CAM has experienced tremendous growth and honed its efforts on mission.”

As the Director of Operations McKenzie oversees all daily operations and volunteer activities.  She was born and raised in southeast Missouri. McKenzie moved to the Branson area in 1996 and spent 19 years working at College of the Ozarks as a Residence Hall Supervisor and Stained Glass Department Manager.

“It is a true blessing to be a part of Christian Action Ministries, helping others in Christ’s name and glorifying Him,” McKenzie said.  “I invite our community to join us through volunteering to experience this.”

A native of the Branson area, Huddleston predominately has spent most of his life in Ozark Mountain Country.  He received his bachelor’s degree in political science: public administration from College of the Ozarks and earned his master’s in public administration from University of Missouri. After a varied career, holding leadership positions from city to hospitality management Huddleston entered retirement.  He has served on numerous Branson area civic, Christian and city committees and boards.

“Over the years, I have been blessed to have opportunity to serve our community in several capacities”, Huddleston said.  “Being asked to serve in this new capacity with Christian Action Ministries is very humbling, and I want to thank the Board of Directors, the staff and volunteers, all our generous donors and contributors, and our gracious Lord who make it all possible.”

Christian Action Ministries operates the food ministry of Taney County and through its two food pantries and mobile food outreaches provides emergency food to an average of 3,600 residents each month.  In 2017, it launched the Senior Food Box Outreach, delivering a week’s worth of groceries to nearly 300 senior citizens, many who are shut-ins, on a monthly basis.  Also, in 2017, CAM initiated Summer Hunger Relief for Taney County Children.  Last year, this program ensured 3,859 Taney County kids received nutritious meals during summer break.

In the last year, CAM, along with 17 other agencies and organizations, set out to research the root causes of elevated poverty and poor health in Stone and Taney Counties.  By mid-2020 the coalition will conclude research and produce a comprehensive report, The Community Assessment on Poverty and Health in Stone and Taney Counties.  This report will enable Ozark Mountain Country to create a strategic plan to address key community challenges. CAM serves as the lead agency on this project.

Most recently, CAM added Operation Restoration, an effort to encourage relationships between their local churches through fellowship dinners.

“The CAM Board of Directors, and Elizabeth as Director, have performed remarkably in restoring CAM’s condition financially, as well as our standing as a respected ministry in the community.  We will miss Elizabeth’s passion for helping those in need, and we pray the Lord’s blessings for her and her husband as they relocate in Tennessee.  It is my intention to follow Elizabeth’s example in serving the Lord and those in need in Taney County and throughout Ozark Mountain Country.” For more information or to volunteer, please call 417-334-1157 or visit christianactionministries.org.