Holding considerable expertise in physical therapy, Rev. Marleena Ann Debrough was inspired to her profession during her early nursing studies when she was exposed to physical therapy at the hospital she was working at in 1989. Initially unfamiliar with the field, she did some research and found it perfectly suited to her love of helping people. Spending nine years working as a physical therapist assistant, she earned her Master of Arts in physical therapy at Old Dominion University in 2000 and has worked as a physical therapist for the past 20 years. In her current work, she excels in both general and geriatric care, serving a wide range of individuals and providing home therapy services.
Additionally, Rev. Debrough attained a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Andrews University in 2015 and has done considerable work with the Allegheny East Conference since then. In 2016, she was installed as the pastor of the Prentis Park Seventh Day Adventist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, where she has remained ever since. Through her ministry work she has volunteered with various programs working to provide food for the homeless and disenfranchised members of the community, and utilizes her love of evangelism to provide counseling for families in need of support. Rev. Debrough is also a frequently requested speaker for various women’s and youth ministries throughout Virginia, Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas, and has even been a speaker at the Southwest Region Camp Meeting.
Rev. Debrough is deeply spiritual and attributes much of her success to her relationship with God, feeling that he has been instrumental in all her achievements, commitment and hard work. She believes that when she puts God first in all of her decisions, he helps her to excel far beyond her imagination. Over the years, she has also been incredibly grateful for her excellent education and to everyone who encouraged her and saw her gifts when she couldn’t see them.
Feeling that healing is a gift from God, Rev. Debrough takes great pleasure in being able to participate in the healing process of others. She cites that coming to understand the importance of loving people and how people desire relationships and connection above everything else have been the most beneficial lessons she has learned throughout her career. In that vein, she has made a name for herself as someone who is committed to going above and beyond the call of duty and being able to relate to everyone regardless of ethnicity, class or spiritual beliefs.
For excellence in her career, Rev. Debrough has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. Notably, she has been presented with a Prestigious Award in Rehab Care for her leadership in the field and, in October 2017, she was featured in the Columbia Union Visitor, the magazine of the Columbia Union Conference, as part of their Pastor Appreciation Month. Living her life by the motto, “To love God, to love you and to love me,” she hopes to be remembered for her strong work ethic, her commitment to her patients and her love of all people.
Rev. Debrough was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, to father William T. Debrough Jr. and mother Christine Nicholson Debrough. Today, she is herself the proud mother of two children, Keon Thompson and Jerrod Short. In her free time, Rev. Debrough enjoys the pastimes of watching good movies, eating good food, and getting to spend time with her friends and family.