Founder/Executive Director of Veranda Ministries

  • "Get Up & Get Moving!"
  • Lifestyle Transitions
  • "In Their Shoes"
  • Care Options: In-home and Facility
  • Daily Activities
  • Music: Voice of the Soul
  • Family Support & Role of Caregiver

Debbie bennett

Debbie Bennett has spent most of her adult life in one supportive role or another. Married for more than 25 years to Roger Bennett, former pianist for the Cathedral Quartet, and co-founder, pianist, vocalist and emcee for Legacy Five, Debbie filled many roles. She has thrived behind the scenes as wife and mother, even co-wrote several award-winning songs with Roger. However, her most challenging role was that of caregiver during Roger’s 11 and a half year battle with leukemia, which claimed his life on earth in 2007. Debbie has published a book about that journey through cancer. She maintains a blog that is visited by thousands, and she actively volunteers. Debbie also works with the National Marrow Donor Program and travels the country to transport bone marrow and cells from donors to patients awaiting transplant. More about Debbie

Mary Anne holds dual certification as PAC consultant and coach in Teepa Snow's "Positive Approach to Care" and also is certified in Alzheimer’s care by both the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer's Federation of America. Mary Anne’s presentation, which often blends speaking and singing, is based on her more than 15 years of experience in the senior care industry. Her experience in activity programs at assisted living facilities, at a day program and coordinating a care provider service have helped establish the foundation for her presentation. Her enlightening approach can help today’s churches, senior adults and families address issues relating to senior adult living. More about Mary Anne


No need is too small and no voice is too quiet to be heard. We devote the time and energy necessary to help families and caregivers.

The Hidden Heroes program is one outreach of Veranda Ministries. Hidden Heroes celebrates those who are living out Christ's example by serving others. What are the characteristics of "hidden heroes?" What behaviors do they represent? How can you identify them within your own congregations and motivate them in their service to others?

Helping Senior Adult Ministries Find Their Purpose

Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly of Nashville, Tenn., and Debbie Bennett of Franklin, Tenn., deliver an inspirational and heartfelt presentation on discovering the "hidden heroes" within your community, family and church. Whether presenting as a team or individually, each woman shares her own experiences in senior adult ministry, caregiving and volunteerism that will inspire you to action in your congregation and families.

God is at work in the world, and senior adult programs can be a part of it. Senior adults can find - and fulfill - their purpose in today's churches. "Hidden heroes" are those who are trying and making a difference in the lives of others by being the "hands and feet of Jesus." Veranda Ministries can provide ideas and show how you can celebrate the "hidden heroes" within your church and community.

For more information, contact:
Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly
Veranda Ministries
cell: 936-554-4615; office: 615-675-4345



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Women's Conferences
Church Workshops

Caregiver Seminars

Chair, Veranda Ministries Board of Directors


hidden herOes


Helping families care for their senior loved ones