Dr. Debbye Turner Bell is a veterinarian, author, journalist, motivational speaker, workshop facilitator, corporate trainer and Miss America 1990. In August 2021, Turner Bell will add author to her many roles with the publication of her first book, “Courageous Faith: A Lifelong Pursuit of Faith Over Fear.” For more than two decades, she has addressed audiences in the corporate, academic, and community service arenas. Among the topics she has addressed are “Being A Woman in A Man’s World,” “Effective Communication,” “Power of Influence,” and “Enhancing Diversity in Health Professions.” In addition to her speaking and media work, Dr. Turner Bell is the Founder and CEO of Debbye Turner Bell Consulting, through which she provides leadership development training in communications, influence, and diversity to corporate and business leaders, managers, and executives. Turner Bell is also a faculty member of the Institute for Management Studies, and an Affiliate Trainer for the TransPorter Group Inc. Turner Bell has been a guest lecturer and Commencement speaker on numerous college campuses, including University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, Texas A & M University and Auburn University.
When Debbye Turner Bell was seven years old, her mother sat her down at the kitchen table and said, “You can’t get to heaven on my apron strings. You must know God for yourself. You must read the bible yourself. You must pray on your own….” So, as a young girl, she began a wonderful journey of learning and experiencing the love of God through Jesus. A part of that journey led to being crowned Miss America 1990. Since she was crowned, Dr. Turner Bell has spoken to hundreds of thousands of students at hundreds of schools, youth organizations, and college campuses. Her topics include personal excellence, unrelenting determination, goal setting, and the importance of a solid education. She strongly believes that any person has the potential for success no matter their race, socio-economic background, or gender. She uses her own life as an example of triumphing over the odds. It took seven years, eleven tries, in two states to get to the Miss America Pageant.
Turner Bell ministers the Word of God, His purpose and deliverance to youth, singles, women’s groups, and church services nationwide. God has sent Dr. Turner Bell as far away as South Africa with a message of the saving power of Christ’s love and God’s awesome design for every human beings’ life. In October 2005, Dr. Turner Bell preached her trial sermon at Allen Cathedral in Queens, NY, and became a licensed minister. She can now be called Rev. Dr. Turner Bell. In April, 2009, Rev. Turner Bell was ordained a deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She received her full order as an Elder in April 2011. Rev. Dr. Turner Bell now serves as Leadership and Discipleship Pastor at Kentwood Community Church.
Turner Bell combined her expertise from her Veterinary Medical degree and her vast public relations and speaking experience as Miss America to forge a career in broadcast journalism. She hosted a national pet show called “The Gentle Doctor” and went on to host a variety of news and entertainment programs on the local and national level. Recently, Turner Bell served as the lead U.S. news anchor for Arise News, a global cable news network. Currently, she can be seen as an expert contributor to the shows “DOGS 101” and “CATS 101” on Animal Planet. For 11 years, Turner Bell was a staff correspondent for CBS News. She covered a variety of subjects, and was from time to time called upon to cover breaking and developing news. During her time at CBS, she appeared on “The Early Show,” “CBS Evening News,” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” Turner Bell also hosted a prime time television magazine program called "48 Hours on WE." She was a national spokesperson for Ralston Purina’s pet education program called “Caring For Pets,” conducting print, television, and radio interviews on responsible pet ownership. Dr. Turner Bell has carried her message of pet care and motivation as far away as Rome, Italy.
Turner Bell has served on many local, state and national boards, including the National Council on Youth leadership, Children's Miracle Network, Missouri Division of Youth Services and an advisory council to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is an institute in the National Institutes of Health.
After many years of being single, God provided His perfect choice for Turner Bell at the tender age of 42. God sure is faithful!! Debbye married Gerald Bell in July, 2008. The happy couple welcomed their first child, Lynlee, into the world in February, 2010. The Bells live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.