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Oct  2016 13
Seminary Alums Featured on National Website

Two alums of Phillips Theological Seminary are featured in a “What is #ModernMinistry?” campaign for the Pension Fund of the Christian Church.

The Rev. Virzola Law (MDiv 2001) and the Rev. Bill Hemm (MDiv 2011) tell their stories of modern ministry in the online Week of the Ministry series.

For Law, modern ministry is “serving a predominantly white congregation (despite racial tension escalating elsewhere),” according to the website.

“Going from a jail cell to serving a standing-room-only church,” is the core of Hemm’s story.

Law, who will also be a featured preacher at the 2017 General Assembly in Indianapolis, says her call to Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn. is part of her dream of a multicultural church. Lindenwood is historically a white congregation, Law is African American.

“To get the call affirmed my childhood dream, my seminary writing and my pastoral vocation. It is a call that God has chosen me to lead a church that would reflect a beloveth community," Law says.

Hemm saw his call to Forest Park Christian Church in Tulsa, Okla. as chance at a fresh start after being implicated in bank fraud he said he did not commit.

After three months serving the congregation, his attorney let him know that the bank issue was back. Rather than face trial and the possibility of a lengthy prison term, Hemm made a plea agreement to limit his incarceration time to two years.

He told the church board chair that he could either resign immediately or stay on until a replacement minister was found. But the board chair rejected those options, telling Hemm that he as their pastor now and would be their pastor when his jail time was over.

Since Hemm’s return, the congregation has doubled in size and increased its missional focus.


Browse more posts by: Seminary Relations Staff, Phillips Admin/Staff
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