VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS)—The American Baptist Churches of the Central Region called the Rev. Dr. Gregg Hemmen to serve as its next Executive Minister at a meeting of the region’s Board of Directors on September 8.
“Rev. Hemmen has the gifts and the temperament needed to lead the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region into the future. Thank you for the hard work of the outstanding members of the search committee that followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring Rev. Hemmen to our region,” said Rev. Franklin Ruff, Chair of the Search Committee and ABCCR President.
Dr. Nathan Marsh, on behalf of the Central Region staff, said, “After meeting with Dr. Hemmen this past weekend, it is apparent that he has incredible gifts, talents and strengths for region ministry. The Central Region staff welcomes Dr. Hemmen to the ABCCR staff team and to the region. The future for the region is as bright as ever, and we eagerly anticipate what God will continue to do in the future as we serve together.”
“Gregg Hemmen brings the experience of a long and successful pastorate, numerous productive mentorships with other pastors, and a strong knowledge of regional life. I anticipate that his leadership will have a great impact upon the region and its pastors,” said Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries.
Likewise, the search comittee had praise for Hemmen. Search committee member Rev. Rick Qualls said, “I was impressed with the variety of ministries Gregg was involved in, all while serving as a pastor… I believe he has the depth of knowledge and spirituality needed to lead the Central Region.“
Another committee memberm Lois Chiles, stated, “I believe that Rev. Dr. Gregg Hemmen will bring a sense of relationship and community to our Region. He brings a strong faith and is very approachable and personable. He will take an interest in each Pastor, church and church member.”
“Not only did Dr. Gregg Hemmen meet all of the qualifications we hoped we would find in a candidate, he is thoroughly Christian in his beliefs,” added committee member Rev. Peter Smith. “He has the unique ability to hold his convictions clearly and charitably and still maintain warm relations with those from other backgrounds and lifestyles. Plus, Gregg has a great passion for mentoring others. He’s a great listener, well liked, and well respected. He’s confident in what he’s accomplished but humble and humorous!”
Hemmen has served three congregations in his twenty-five years of pastoral ministry: Wentworth Presbyterian Church in Wentworth, SD (while attending seminary), Cane Creek Baptist Church in Hillsborough, NC, and First Baptist Church in Rapid City, SD.
Hemmen is a native of Steamboat Rock, Iowa, a small farming community in central Iowa. He has a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Sioux Falls, a M.Div. and M.A. in Counseling from Sioux Falls Seminary, and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
He is married to Rev. Dr. Diane Lynn Janssen Hemmen who serves the Hermosa United Church of Christ, First Presbyterian Church, in Rapid City, SD, and at Rapid City Regional Hospital in the chaplaincy department. They have two children, Ainslee and Eli.
He will be attending the ABCCR annual gathering in October at Cross Wind Conference Center in Hesston, Kan., and is expected to assume his duties as Executive Minister in November.