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.

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