Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church will preach at FUMC Boulder on Sunday, June 17.
Kemper, a lay person, is a former missionary in Brazil from the German United Methodist Church. Before coming to the GBGM in 2010, he led the Board of Missions and International Church Cooperation of the United Methodist Germany Central Conference since 1998. Kemper considers it imperative for the mission agency to hold mercy and piety together and to “help local churches around the globe to feel and see themselves as part of a worldwide family, and to overcome the boundaries of culture, race, and denomination in the name of Jesus Christ.” He said that he profoundly believes that “the gospel can transform individuals and the world.”
“My interest in the Christian mission began in my childhood,” Kemper says. “Missionaries would visit the Hamburg congregation where my father was pastor and my mother was involved in the women’s mission society. I was excited and challenged by the differing cultural perspectives they represented within our shared faith and Wesleyan heritage.”
Kemper and his wife Barbara Hüfner-Kemper, who is joining Thomas at the Mountain Haven in Rollinsville, spent eight years, 1986-1994, as missionaries in Brazil through the German United Methodist Board of Missions. For six of those years, he taught in the Brazilian Theological Seminary in Sao Paulo and also engaged in ministry with the poor and new church development. Earlier, he spent almost two years in London working with the German Methodist Mission and with Vietnamese boat people. Kemper speaks fluent German, English, and Portuguese and is competent in French and Spanish.