St. John’s celebrates Pastor Kempin’s milestone

St. John’s Lutheran Church recently recognized Pastor Daniel Kempin for his 25 years in ministry. He was ordained on July 7, 1996, as a pastor in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. A celebration of his ministry was held between services on Sunday, July 11, with many of his family from Wisconsin and Illinois in attendance.

Kempin is the son of Judy and the late Alfred Kempin and was raised on a farm in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin before attending Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. During his four years at seminary, he earned a master's in divinity and a master's in sacred theology. He was also granted a “Preaching Excellence Award” for his ability to explain the Gospel message in simple, but meaningful language. His required year of “seminary vicarage” took him to Trinity Lutheran Church in Gillette, Wyoming, where he met his future bride, Karen Chance, who was working there as a director of Christian education (DCE). They were married on July 22, 1995, upon completion of his vicarage.

Kempin's first call to service was at Grace Lutheran Church in Monroe, Michigan, where he served from 1996-2005. He later accepted a call to Grace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota where he worked from 2005-2009. St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland called Kempin to serve as their administrative pastor in 2009, where he has been serving the congregation and Midland community for the past 12 years.

Kempin leads a team of over 25 employees of St. John’s Lutheran Church & School and is assisted by Associate Pastor Josh Parsons. Services are held on Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., with a Bible study led by Dan taking place at 9:30 a.m. All services are meeting in person as well as being live-streamed and recorded on Facebook. Dan also teaches Confirmation classes to the seventh and eighth students at St. John’s Lutheran School as well as congregational public-school students. He is currently serving as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Circuit President for area LCMS churches. Kempin has many diverse talents, including mushroom hunting, deer hunting, singing and he has occasionally added his percussion skills to the Joyful Praise Service.

The recognition program was led by congregational president, Steven Durance and included a trip through his years of ministry from his days in Wisconsin through his call to St. John’s. There were comments from his wife Karen and both his former congregations at Grace Monroe and Grace Brooklyn Park. The phrase “Team Kempin” was repeated many times as each place he served also appreciated the musical and ministry talents shared by Karen. Suzannah Parsons also sang two beautiful solo hymns in tribute to Kempin's love of the Lord. A reception was held in the lounge following the program with refreshments and socializing time for attendees.

Dan and Karen Kempin currently reside in Midland and have four children, Sarah who is attending Michigan Technological University; Jonathan and Hannah, who are attending Valley Lutheran High School; and the late Katherine Grace.

Dan Kempin’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 118:17: “I will not die, but I will live, and will declare the works of the Lord.”

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