Thomas Kemper Assumes Top Post at United Methodist Mission Agency
New York, NY, March 15, 2010--Thomas Kemper, a native of Germany, assumed his responsibilities as chief executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries on March 15.
"I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ here on my first day as general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries," he said in a letter to directors of the agency that has personnel, projects, and partners in more than 125 countries. "It is with a mixture of honor and humility that I assume this position."
Kemper, 53, pledged to work in close cooperation with directors and asked for their prayers and support "as we begin this period of our mission journey."
The new general secretary of the worldwide mission organization has led the Board of Missions and International Church Cooperation of the United Methodist Germany Central Conference since 1998. At the time of his election to the Global Ministries' position, he was a director of the 190-year-old mission board and had earlier served a four-year term in that capacity.
Kemper, a former missionary in Brazil, is the first general secretary of a United Methodist general agency who is from outside the United States. He succeeds Bishop Joel N. Martinez (retired), who took over the executive position on an interim basis last September on the resignation of the previous general secretary. He was introduced to the board staff in mid-February.
Kemper has traveled extensively, done field work in Africa, worked with Vietnamese boat people in England, and can communicate in five languages.
Further details on Kemper's background can be found in a story announcing his election:
Date posted: Mar 16, 2010