The American Baptist Churches of the Central Region has called the new executive minister, Rev. Dr. Gregg Hemmen. Dr. Hemmen is a native of Steamboat Rock, a small farming community in central Iowa. He has a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Sioux Falls, an M.Div. and M.A. in Counseling from Sioux Falls Seminary, and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Dr. Hemmen has served three congregations in his 25 years of pastoral ministry: Wentworth Presbyterian Church in Wentworth, SD, while going to seminary; Cane Creek Baptist Church in Hillsborough, NC; and First Baptist Church in Rapid City, SD. 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 Rapid City Regional Hospital in the chaplaincy department. They have two children, Ainslee, a junior at Rapid City Central High School, and Eli, a freshman at Rapid City Central High School. Rev. Hemmen will be attending the ABCCR Annual Gathering, Oct. 12-13. He is expected to assume his duties in November.
Here is what people are saying:
“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.”
— Dr. Nathan Marsh on behalf of the Central Region staff
“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. He loves the Lord and wants to serve Him in this capacity. I believe he was truly called by the Lord to serve our Region.”
— Lois Chiles, search committee member
“I was impressed with the variety of ministries Gregg was involved in, all while serving as a pastor. I appreciated his ability to be relaxed and poised during the stress of the interview process. I believe he has the depth of knowledge and spirituality needed to lead the Central Region.”
— Rev. Rick Qualls, search committee member
“Not only did Dr. Gregg Hemmen meet all the qualifications we hoped we would find in a candidate, but he was thoroughly Christian in his beliefs. 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! It was a pleasure to work alongside such fine committee members and national staff in this regard. Thank you for the great honor of being able to serve the Region in this way.”
— Rev. Peter Smith search committee member
“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.”
— Rev. Franklin Ruff, chair of the search committee and ABCCR President