Board of Directors

Neema Village Board of Directors

Michael Fortson

Michael Fortson is the Founder and Executive Director of Neema Village. Beginning as a young missionary in 1965 in Mbeya, Michael has a long history of service in Tanzania. Michael graduated from Abilene Christian University with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and served as Campus Minister at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas from 1976-2005. He has also served as a senior minister at other churches and is proficient in planning and implementing new projects/programs.


Dorris Fortson

Dorris Fortson is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Neema Village. Dorris has a true understanding of the plight of these children as she was raised in an orphanage from age 4 to age 18. She is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and retired from there as the Events Coordinator and also received the President’s Achievement Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award. She served with Michael as a missionary in Tanzania and as a pastor’s wife for many years. She is also the author of 6 children’s books.

Dr. Sue Hamby

Dr. Sue Hamby is a retired nursing administrator from Department of Veteran Affairs. She is also a real estate entrepreneur and has owned her own business for the past 28 years. Dr. Hamby has served on many Board of Directors including Compass Bank, American Heart Association, Temple Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for Progress and many more. She received her PhD from Texas A&M University and is co-author of two books. She has been recognized as Outstanding Citizen, Small Business Person of the Year and Notable Women of Texas. She has volunteered in orphanages in Japan, Russia, and Tanzania in the past. Sue has been to Neema Village as a volunteer.

Dr. Jack Pape

Dr. Jack Pape served churches as preaching minister and senior minister from 1962 until his retirement. He retired from the ministry in 2005 as the senior minister from Eastside Church of Christ in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received his Doctorate of Ministry from Abilene Christian University. Dr. Pape has served as Director of School of Preaching in the Mbeya region of Tanzania East Africa and has spent several months volunteering at Neema House with his wife, Sylvia. He has been the keynote speaker at Oklahoma Christian University and guest teacher at Pepperdine University, Oklahoma Christian University and Abilene Christian University.  Jack goes regularly to Neema Village as a volunteer.

Sylvia Pape

Sylvia Pape is a retired educator and volunteer. She received her B.S. in Education from Abilene Christian University and has done post graduate work at Stephen F. Austin University, University of Texas at El Paso, Chapman College, Colorado State University and University of the Rockies. Sylvia was a school director for 10 years and is listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She and her husband, Dr. Jack Pape visit regularly at Neema as volunteers.

Rebekah Johnson

Rebekah Johnson is the daughter of Michael and Dorris Fortson and was born in Tanzania. She is an EMT, emergency medical technician and has attended Stephen F. Austin State University, Abilene Christian College and Temple College. She is currently working in Neema House as the medical director of Neema Village.

Robert Dale Fortson

Robert Dale Fortson is the son of Michael and Dorris Fortson and was born in Tanzania. He attended Abilene Christian College and graduated from Oklahoma Christian University. Robert and his wife Becky were youth ministers for 19 years. Robert now owns his own business and visited Tanzania with his parents in 2011. He lives in Robinson, Texas with his wife and three children.


Scott B. Lockett

Scott B. Lockett graduated from University of Texas @El Paso with a degree in mechanical engineering. He has worked in the aerospace since 1983 and is currently employed at L-3 Communications in Waco, Texas as a Liaison Engineer. He has been on the Board of Directors, of Doulos International (501C3) since 2011. Scott and his wife have been to Neema Village a number of times.

Sarah L. Lockett

Sarah L. Lockett graduated from University of Texas @El Paso with a BSN degree. She worked as an RN in a hospital setting for 20 years and is currently a volunteer RN with church camps and Mission Waco in Waco, Tx. She was the Director of RCC Preschool for four years in Robinson, Texas and has been on the Board of Directors of Doulos International (501C3) since 2011. She serves in a volunteer capacity as Book-Keeper for Doulos and as Treasurer of Neema House Board of Directors.  Sarah has been to Neema Village as a volunteer.


Dr. Kevin Huddleston

Dr. Kevin Huddleston graduated from Texas A&M Medical School and has been a staff OB/GYN physician for the past 22 years at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at Texas A&M Medical School. Dr. Huddleston lived in Tanzania from age 2-5 with his family as his father was a Medical Missionary. Dr. Huddleston has visited and volunteered at Neema House.

Debra Hicks

Debra Hicks is a Tax Manager at Patillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P. and has over 30 years experience as a Certified Public Accountant. She graduated from Abilene Christian University summa cum laude with BBA in Accounting. She is a member of Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, & American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  Debra works as a volunteer bookkeeper for Neema Village.

Birdie Jones

Birdie Jones is an attorney. She received her B.A. in International Studies from Baylor University, M.A. in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University; and her JD from Texas Southern University. She is now practicing criminal law but has a real interest in helping non profits. She has had success in implementing creative & effective public awareness for municipal projects, resulting in significant public and political support. Her husband, Dr. Kenyatta Jones is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Metroplex Pavilion Behavior Health Center. Address:

Becky Fortson

Becky Fortson works at Baylor University in Waco, Texas as a Research Project Manager. She is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University with a degree in math and statistics and special studies in actuary. Rob and Becky have three children, Hayley, Hope and Hunter. Hayley spent a month volunteering at Neema House Arusha in 2014 and is now at Harding University and plans to get her nursing degree and return to Africa to work with Neema.  Becky serves in a volunteer capacity on the finance committee of Neema Village.

Kim White

Kim White is a graduate of Abilene Christian University. She lives in Billings, Montana with her husband Bruce and their two children Rachel and Tanner, who are both currently in college. After staying home for 18 years to raise her children, Kim returned to work as an insurance agent in June 2013. She volunteers for Forever Families and Word of Life Fellowship. She is a member of the GFWC Billings Junior Women’s Club and served on the board of directors for SAGE Cooperative School. She is an active fundraiser and supporter of Neema House, leading several trips and bringing volunteers and sponsors to Neema House.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Margaret Mead