The Rev. Gregory S. Henneman is a Church and Community Worker missionary serving through the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries as coordinator of the HEAL Initiative of Community Development for all People in Columbus, Ohio.
HEAL (Healthy Eating and Living) assists and accompanies persons as they set goals and create action plans to improve their health. It is one of several health-oriented programs of Community Development for all People, a not-for-profit organization related to the United Methodist Church for All People on Columbus’ Southside.
Community Development for all People is dedicated to the improvement of the economic, social and spiritual quality of life for the residents of its service area. With an emphasis on empowerment rather than charity, it engages in housing, job, nutrition, child care and health programs.
Born in Ohio and a retired member of the US Air Force, Greg is an ordained elder of the New Mexico Annual Conference. He was associate pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque from 2009 to 2014, and pastored churches in Rio Vista and Kopperl in Texas while in seminary at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth from 2006 to 2009. He earned an M. Div. degree from Brite and holds an M.A. degree in International Relations from Oklahoma University’s Advanced Program in Lakenheath, England, and a B.A. in history from the worldwide program of the University of Maryland’s University College.
Greg dreamed of being a pastor as a child in his grandmother’s church, but after high school he enlisted in the Air Force, where he served for 20 years in many parts of the world. In 1998, he recalls, he walked into the doors of the Cloudcroft United Methodist Church in New Mexico and “fell in love with the theology, the connection of personal and social holiness and the position of open hearts, open minds, open doors. As an adopted child, the inclusion of all people has always been important to me. One of the greatest motivations of my ministry is to widen the circle of God’s love to include everyone.”
He enrolled in seminary, served student pastorates and then became an elder in the New Mexico Conference and received appointment. At Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, he became involved in a half-dozen ministries with persons living on the social and economic margins. He established Community of Hope, an outdoor worshipping community of homeless people. After five years of seeing lives transformed by the love of God and undergoing his own transforming experiences, Greg dedicated his life to ministry “with” the poor.
“Not only has the practice of ministry WITH shaped our ministry,” he says, “it has empowered lives … I have seen addicts go clean, unemployed people find jobs, homeless people find housing, and a few have begun serving in their own ministries. While I would not claim that ministry “with” our [Central Church] Community of Hope is the only factor that has made this happen, I do believe the empowerment we embody when we declare and practice the sacred worth of every person has transformed peoples’ lives.”
Greg is married to Jennifer Henneman. The couple has two sons, Noah, born in 2002, and Nathan, born in 2005.
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