Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Keough, George Dorkin

Seventh-Day Adventist

George Dorkin Keough was an Irish Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) missionary to the Middle East. Born of Irish parents in Crieff, Scotland, Keough was educated at the SDA British Training College in London, and entered the ministry in the south of England in 1905. He and his wife, Mary (Alderson), accepted a call to mission service in Egypt in 1909. Aware that an earlier intellectual approach to city dwellers had yielded slender results, he took up residence among the fellahin in a village in upper Egypt and sought to enter into the life of the community. He was more successful in influencing Copts, some of whom were converting to Islam, than in winning Muslims; nevertheless, his work sparked renewed interest in mission to Muslims among Adventists. After spending about fifteen years in this work, he was transferred to Cairo as superintendent of SDA missions in Egypt and Syria. He and his German colleague, W. K. Ising, alternated in this position from 1923 to 1942. During this time they sent several prospective European missionaries to the School of Oriental Studies in Cairo, where they studied under Samuel Zwemer. In 1942 Keough was temporarily assigned to the SDA theological seminary in Washington, D.C., to prepare missionaries for work among Muslims. He returned to Beirut in 1946 as head of the Voice of Prophecy, a Bible correspondence school, to develop Bible lessons in Arabic. Retired in 1955, he continued to teach Bible and promote missions at Newbold College (near London) for another decade. His final home was in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Russell L. Staples


Erich W. Bethmann, Bridge to Islam, (1950); Baldur E. Pfeiffer, The European Seventh-day Adventist Mission in the Middle East, 1879-1939 (1981); “Egypt, Arab Republic of,” and “Keough, George D.,” in Seventh Day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2d rev. ed. (1996); Nabil G. Mansour, “Seventh-day Adventist Mission in Egypt” (unpublished paper, 1975), Adventist Heritage Center, Andrews Univ., Berrien Springs, Mich.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.