June 7, 2013

United Methodist Ministries is pleased to announce Nathan Morgan as its new Executive Director. Morgan succeeds the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede who has served as Executive Director for eight years.

Morgan has served as Director of the Big Garden, a program of United Methodist Ministries, for the past year, overseeing a network of more than 70 community gardens in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. As Director, Morgan recruited and implemented 15 new garden sites, managed the Big Garden's partnerships with other organizations, and served on the interim leadership of the Metro-Omaha Food Policy Council. Morgan also raised significant funding for the Big Garden through grantwriting. He is in the current class of the Nonprofit Executive Institute through the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands.

Ahlschwede says, "We've been working internally on succession planning for over a year, and the hire of Nathan to lead the Big Garden a year ago was part of that plan. He brings experience in both management and the implementation of programs. He is thoughtful, cares deeply about the church, and truly enjoys working with the people we serve."

A native of south Alabama, Morgan has lived in Omaha for 9 years. He comes to the Big Garden with degrees in Geography and Library Science. His background also includes organizing faith communities around poverty issues and helping rural schools integrate gardens and greenhouses into their science curricula. Nathan, along with his wife and 2 daughters, is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Omaha.

Teresa Whitehead, Board Chair of United Methodist Ministries says, "We honor and celebrate the foundation our current Executive Director, Stephanie Ahlschwede has given this ministry." Whitehead continues, "Nathan Morgan is a proven leader with a heart for mission. We look forward to working with him to take this organization into the future."

Morgan says, "I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for United Methodist Ministries."