Thursday, July 10, 2008
Celebrating Fifty Years of Service to the Lord
By Laura Grubbs and Joe Salling
The Rev. William V. Kemp was born on March 30, 1926, in Corinth. He met and married his lovely wife, then Geraldine Fowler, subsequent to graduation from Corinth High School on June 6, 1943. They had four children; William G. Kemp, born February 13, 1945, Michael L. Kemp, born June 11, 1947; Ella Susan Kemp Jones, born March 10, 1952 and Timothy V. Kemp, born August 23, 1958. The Kemps are proud grandparents of ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Rev. Kemp worked at Western Union from 1948 till 1956, while he attended and received degrees from Northeast Mississippi Junior College and Blue Mountain College. He attained a master's degree of divinity from Emory University and was first licensed to preach in 1952. Bro. Kemp earned and was given an elder's license in 1957 as well as his deacon's license in 1960.
Fifty years ago, during the summer of 1958, Rev. Kemp first came to serve as pastor of Ashland United Methodist Charge and remained there until 1962 when he left to serve Marks United Methodist Church in Marks, until 1966, when he was called to serve at Wesley United Methodist Church at Columbus until 1972.
In 1972, he was summoned to lead Moore Memorial United Methodist Church at Greenwood where he served until 1977 when Bishop Minnick called upon Rev. Kemp to serve as district superintendent at Greenwood until 1983; when he was assigned to First United Methodist Church at Senatobia where he served until 1989.
In 1989, Bro. Kemp "retired." But somehow he managed to lead Greenleaf Charge at Coldwater from 1989 until 1996 when he once again returned to us here at the Ashland Charge; and he's still here!
Just a few of Bro. Kemp's other accomplishments were serving on the District Board of Ministerial Training, the District Conference of Records, the District Committee of Ministry, the Committee for District Director for Greenwood, the Counsel on Finance and Administration for Conference, the Merger Committee for Mississippi Conference and still had time to serve as Trustee at Millsaps College. Today, we pay small homage to a great man who has served so many, so well, over his Christian lifespan of fifty "some-odd years" in the service of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We are so proud and honored to have such a man among us who is as tireless, brave, giving and loving as our Christian leader, Bro. William V. Kemp. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Bro. Kemp!
You are cordially invited to attend a celebration in honor of Rev. William V. Kemp's faithful service to the United Methodist Church to be held at Ashland United Methodist Church in Ashland. The reception will be Sunday, July 13, at 2 p.m. with a short program and refreshments. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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