Hemphill Joins SWBTS Faculty to Run Center Bearing His Name • Bible Recorder


Picture SWBTS
Ken Hemphill speaks at the SWBTS Chapel in 2019.

Kenneth S. Hemphillseventh president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), was named a distinguished fellow of the Hemphill Center for Church Revitalization and senior professor of church revitalization at the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, president Adam W. Greenway announced April 14.

“It is very special for me to be able to bring my president, Dr. Hemphill, back to Dome to serve in strategic positions that will contribute significantly to Southwestern Seminary,” Greenway said. “Dr. Hemphill has few peers in the Southern Baptist Convention in the areas of church revitalization and growth. I am delighted that he has agreed to lead the vital work of the center that bears his name and that “He also brings his lifelong experience and knowledge to our Fish School classrooms. It’s a great day for South West Seminar.”

Hemphill said he was “humbled and honoured” by the invitation to serve again at the seminary he previously led as president from 1994 to 2003.

“The Lord used my varied life experiences to prepare me for this unique opportunity,” Hemphill said. “My passion for the local church was born in me thanks to my pastor/father. The privilege of serving my Southern Baptist family in many capacities has provided me with a wealth of information that I look forward to sharing with the next generation.

Hemphill praised Southwestern’s “world-class faculty,” known for both academic excellence and hands-on experience in church ministry. “Southwestern is uniquely prepared to assist pastors and churches in the revitalization process. The book of Acts makes it clear that the local church is central to God’s plan to expand his kingdom until he returns. This appointment will allow me to play a small role in helping churches effectively fulfill the Great Commission,” he said.

He asked for prayer “as I begin this new adventure in ministry.”

Established in 2019, The Hemphill Center offers academic programs, resources, training and equipment events, counseling services, and ministry opportunities to help meet the needs of pastors, church leaders, and the community. local church. Additionally, the center works in partnership with the National Community of State Revitalization Leaders and the Church Replanting Team of the North American Mission Board (NAMB).

At its October 2021 meeting, the board named the center after Hemphill.

In addition to his role at the center, Hemphill will also teach at the Fish School, an appointment enthusiastically welcomed by the school’s dean. John D. Massey.

“I am grateful that Dr. Ken Hemphill was my president when I was a doctoral student. student at Southwestern Seminary,” Massey said. “I am thrilled that he is once again playing an important role at Southwestern at the Fish School as the senior church revitalization teacher. His influence through the center and the academic programs attached to it will be keenly felt in the revitalization of SBC churches at a key time in the life of our convention. It will allow the Fish School to expand its influence “to touch the world and impact eternity,” Massey said, citing the seminar’s motto during Hemphill’s presidential term.

Hemphill will also help the seminary raise funds to fund the center’s work.

“I look forward to working alongside Dr. Hemphill, a prolific fundraiser during his tenure as president of Southwestern Seminary, to secure the financial future of the Hemphill Center for Church Revitalization,” said F. Edward Uptonvice-president of institutional promotion.

In addition to his service at SWBTS, Hemphill was the national strategist for the Empowering Kingdom Growth focus of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) from 2003-2011. He was also founding director of the Center for Planting and Revitalizing churches at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.

Hemphill served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va., from 1981 to 1992, and he led the Southern Baptist Center for Church Growth from 1992 to 1994, a joint venture of the Home Mission Board and the Sunday School Board of the SBC (now known as NAMB and Lifeway Christian Resources, respectively).

A native of Morganton, North Carolina, Hemphill earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1970. While in college, as a player for the Demon Deacons football team, Hemphill served as a youth minister in a local church with aspirations. play in the NFL. However, he surrendered to a call to ministry after his marriage to Paula Moore in 1969.

Hemphill earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of New Testament Philosophy degree from Cambridge University.

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