Sunday, August 26, 2012

A. J. Kempin; Pioneer Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist, Educator

Albert and Naomi at Holliday Park, Portland

Arlington College Group
Pastor Albert Kempin (1900-1974) served God with purity, passion, and power. He became a premier pastor-evangelist, and popular author at Gospel Trumpet Company. He loved people and the church recognized him for his Bible teaching and doctrinal writing. He began pastoring at twenty-four and distinguished himself across the next thirty years, serving churches in North Bergen, N.J.; Williamsbridge, (NYC); Lansdale, PA.; San Diego and East Los Angeles, CA.; and Holiday Park in Portland, retiring from Long Beach, CA.

This visionary pastor led Long Beach Pine Avenue in buying and refurbishing an older school property as a church campus--a lovely square city block, including a great parsonage and a rental house. It was said that he loved every moment of his time there, especially his thirty-minute ocean-swims every afternoon.

Retirement launched Albert and Naomi as global travelers. They served Interim Pastorates in Madeira, CA and Portland, OR, also serving as para-missionaries in Grand Cayman, B. W. I. Travel returned Albert to Europe, where he preached in many countries. Being bi-lingual, the Lithuanian-born German often preached in German while in Germany. He also wrote for the American church, detailing their European itinerary and the state of the recovering European church.

The Kempins’ did a “round-the-world trip,’ during which they spoke at Mission Stations in Africa. On their second visit to Grand Cayman, he became seriously ill, returned to home to Whittier, where they diagnosed him ALS--Lou Gerig’s Disease. He transitioned slowly, finally relocating to Corvallis, OR, with daughter Naomi Ruth, and responded to his final call home at the age of 74.

Dr. Kempin authored six books, all published by Gospel Trumpet Company: The King’s Parables, Why the Millennial Doctrine is not Biblical, How to Live a Christian Life, Revelation for Today, Daniel for Today, and Twelve Great Chapters from the Book of Life. He wrote widely for Warner Press Curriculum Editors, furnishing the church many Sunday School lessons.

Born in Villainous, Lithuania, October 20, 1900, Kempin grew up in a devout German Lutheran family that came into the Church of God--German in Philadelphia when his mother walked past this inner-city church one day and heard beautiful music. She decided to go inside. There, God spoke to her and she gave her heart to the Lord. From then on, that family became active in that church, serving the American church significantly.

Albert’s European family came from culture and affluence, but his father was a simple Street Vendor in Philly--an American emigrant. Always a student, young Albert pursued his disrupted studies through Taylor, Temple,and USC, not satisfied until completing doctoral studies at East LA Baptist Seminary. He married Naomi, already graduated from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, after meeting her at Boyertown Camp Meeting.

With teaching experience as a graduate student, Dr. Kempin began teaching at the new Church of God college in Long Beach, where he served as Founding Dean, later teaching at Pacific Bible College, Portland. Dr. Kempin had earned his education the hard way, having to drop out of school as a teen. During that time he apprenticed as a pattern maker, then did factory work producing baseballs in one factory, and hats in another.

While teaching at Arlington College, he showed his quiet, sensitive soul by secretly working as a pattern maker--learned as a youth--and using those earnings to purchase wife Naomi a new fur coat. Daughter Naomi took many such memories to her death in 2011, recalling their “wonderful life together … during which they were diligently devoted to each other.”

I share this bio of people I met more than six decades ago, because they were lesser known to many; yet, they were among our more significant early Church of God leaders. NOW: Ocala Pastor, Dr. James Fleming is now working with Dr. Steven Williams in making available early Church of God writings via kindle. Friend Jim has extensive experience producing his Logos Series that reproduced hundreds of early Gospel Trumpet volumes on cd. You will now be able to access this new series at book stores like Amazon via kindle, as a product of Reformation Publishers.

Available books will include Kempin’s six Warner Press books: Daniel for Today; How to Live a Christian Life; Revelation for Today; The Kings Parables; Twelve Great Chapters; Why the Millennial Doctrine is Not Biblical, plus a new compilation of the best of Kempin, entitled Truths That Matter, containing significant biographical material and an excellent sampling of this pen preacher from his personal papers now in the Archives at Anderson University.

Of Albert Kempin, Evangelist Wm. C. Neece (a friend to many of us), wrote: "I became a frequent guest in their home. I regard him as one of the most outstanding, and scholarly preachers, I have ever known. His sermons were rich and deep--packed with helpful information. Many times, I sat on the platform with him, and enjoyed observing his preaching at close range. I believe he took more information into the pulpit than any preacher I have ever heard."

Neece leaves us this “Kempinism”: “When I prepare my sermons, I do my research and make my notes. Then, if I want to put the messages into book form later, it’s easy because I have already done the research” (emphasis added).

From Warner’s World,
this is,
and if you’re into kindle,
you will want to pursue this additional resource further.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Prayer of a Hard-Working Man

“Public performance is in direct proportion to private practice.” That came out of Pastor Jim’s sermon this morning on “The Secret of Prayer” (Mt. 6:6). I was a pastor for forty-five years, and now, after having been retired from fulltime church work for sixteen years, I am now watching our pastor wind down his career in preparation for retirement. Never have I valued a good pastor as much as I do today.

That opening statement summarizes his sermon, but it also captures the essential ingredients of success in most any area of life. Jim also suggested that prayer is its own reward, that prayer always rewards, and that prayer has eternal rewards. Having said that, prayer must be measured, Jim reminded us, by its inwardness rather than its outwardness.

He related an interesting event from the life of Joni Erickson Tada, who always wanted to roll into that Jerusalem pool, where it was said that the first one into the waters after the angel stirred them, would be healed. When she finally saw Jerusalem, and that pool from her wheelchair, she had one of those God-moments, in which she realized for the first time that while God had not miraculously healed her of her paralysis, for her prayer had become more important than being able to walk.

I have always said we should pray as if God was doing all the work, whatever the need might be. Simultaneously, I concluded, that we should also work as if we were doing the whole project. Prayer is essential to good, healthy living; on the other hand, although we are always dependent upon God, work is equally essential to good healthy living.

As I step into another new week, a half-century older than I was in this 1961 San Angelo, Texas photo that follows, I am thankful I have mind enough to pray. On the other hand, while I am not as active as I was in past decades, I enjoy health and mobility far beyond that of many my age, which brings me to a favorite poet. I have used Paul Laurence Dunbar's verses many times in my life, but tonight I am using them as the heart-felt sentiments of a hard-working man: - “When all is done”:

When all is done, and my last word is said,
And ye who loved me murmur, “He is dead,”
Let no one weep, for fear that I should know,
And sorrow too that ye should sorrow so.

When all is done, say not my day is o’er,
And that thro’ night I seek a dimmer shore,
Say, rather that my mourn has just begun---
I greet the dawn and not a setting sun.

From Warner’s World,
I am

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Making a Difference in South Sudan

Dan and Teresa Janzen are home this summer. They were at Warner Memorial Family Camp at Grand Junction, MI in July and are preparing for their soon return to Werkok, Republic of South Sudan. They will return to continue working with the South Sudanese employed on that hospital compound. Eventually, the whole family will relocate permanently.

The Janzens work at providing information and resources for enablling the community to help themselves out of the poverty caused by fifty years of civil war and tyranny from northern Sudan. They work under the sponsorship of PARTNERS IN COMPASSIONATE CARE, Box 150278, Grand Rapids, MI 49515.

They can be reached directly at, or, or Here, you can learn about the projects they are currently involved in.

Check them out and learn how this average American family is making a difference. Discover how you can further expand Christian ministry in South Sudan. From Warner’s World, this is