Editors Note: For 2022, we’ve started a new feature to introduce a variety of associational leaders, pastors, pastors’ wives, and lay leaders. Read about their ministries, spiritual journeys, challenges, and struggles they have overcome.
In this post, we introduce Dr. Greg Kame, the Arundel Baptist Network director of missions.
BL: Please share a bit about yourself and your family
GK: I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am married to Lena Kame, and we both are from the West African nation of Cameroon. But by God’s providence, we now live in Glen Burnie, Maryland with our two children: Karis (4) and Jason (2).
BL: How did you come to the Lord? (spiritual journey)
GK: I was born into a Christian family that raised me with Christian values and helped me to understand the basics of the Christian faith. Even though I grew up as a Christian, I became genuinely converted at the age of 17. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my guilt of sin and delivered me such that I experienced a transformation from simply a life of obedience based on my Christian upbringing to a life of faith in Christ as my personal Lord and savior, evidenced by my obedience to his commandments. To God’s glory, I have been on fire for the Lord to this day, and by his grace, I hope to continue in this path until he returns.
A few years after my conversion, I sensed God’s convicting call into the ministry, which I responded to wholeheartedly with a firm commitment to invest my all to learn what God means by what he has said in Scriptures and to also learn how to make it known to others as clearly as possible. Because of this passion for the ministry of the word, I went to seminary and studied theology for nine consecutive years earning a Doctor of Theology (Ph.D.) in Systematic Theology from the University of South Africa. And now, I am privileged to serve in the Lord’s vineyard.
BL: I know you have a unique story of coming to the U.S. and the Arundel Association. Can you share some of that with us?
GK: During my years of theological training, I was greatly influenced by the theology and ministry praxis of great reformed theologians like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper. In fact, I spent a semester as a Ph.D. research fellow at VU University Amsterdam, a university established by Kuyper, to be a hotbed for reformed thinking against theological liberalism. I also spent some time at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Geneva, where Calvin preached daily and engaged in fellowship and speaking engagements with staunch Dutch reformed theologians. By the time I completed my doctorate and returned to Cameroon, I realized that I had become too reformed in my theological convictions to the point where I felt I was no longer a good fit in the Cameroon Baptist Convention.
I had four options to consider as a young/early career theologian, (1) Give up my reformed theological convictions to better fit in the Cameroon Baptist Context (2) Serve in the Cameroon Baptist Convention as a reformed theologian and challenge the system to move in the reformed tradition (3) Begin a new church in Cameroon where I can preach and teach the Bible based on my theological convictions without stepping on any toes (4) Become part of a Baptist Convention that is reformed. After much prayer, I became convinced that the fourth option was what God wanted me to do. As a young theologian, I had been influenced by SBC pastors/theologians in many ways first, through some of my seminary professors in Cameroon who studied in SBC seminaries and second through reading the works of fine SBC pastors and theologians I respect so much like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Tom Schreiner, etc. So, with a conviction that God wanted me to minister in a reformed Baptist context, I traveled to the U.S. in June of 2014 with the hope of serving within the SBC as the Lord would direct.
Even though I have learned that the SBC is not as reformed as I thought, there is certainly room for reformed theologians like me to thrive within the system. I am so thankful for how the Lord continues to use me to serve pastors and churches within the SBC.
BL: How has your background helped with leading the Association?
GK: My ministry background and experiences within the SBC began some months after I came to the U.S. I realized that if I must serve as a minister within the SBC, I had to first learn how to be a pastor in the SBC context. So in January 2015, I became a pastoral Intern at the Garden Church Baltimore with Pastor Joel Kurz. Six months after that internship, I joined Jessup Baptist Church and was eventually given the opportunity to serve as an associate pastor alongside Pastor Bill Jones. After about two years of ministry at Jessup, I was given the opportunity to serve as Interim director of missions in the Prince George’s Baptist Association (PGBA). That is where my experience with associational ministry began. During that period, I learned more about Associational ministries, became part of the state DOM group, and established great relationships with many pastors in the PGBA. However, the issue with my role was that I was living in Anne Arundel County, serving as an associate pastor in a church in Arundel Association (Jessup) while serving as an Interim DOM in PGBA. When there was an opening for a DOM for Arundel Association, I felt that serving in the ABN would be a good fit. So, after serving as Interim DOM in the PGBA for about a year, I transitioned to becoming the DOM in Arundel Association.
BL: Each Association has its own culture – how would you describe the Arundel Association?
Our Association has rediscovered itself into one that operates with three ministry priorities, ministry to pastors, ministry to local churches, and our local community.
As a church theologian, I strongly believe in the ministry of the pastorate as the basis for effective ecclesial and community ministry. The stronger the pastors are in their personal walks with God, the stronger the church and communities they serve will be. So, in the Arundel Association, we put more emphasis on pastoral ministry not as an end but to an end which ultimately will be church revitalization and joint efforts in missions and ministry in our community and beyond.
Because of our pastor-focus approach in our associational ministries, we have created opportunities for our pastors to go to Skycroft on a personal or prayer retreat any time in the year with ABN sponsorship. We also maintain a working relationship with Dr. Jamie Caldwell, our local NAMB church planting catalyst, to support the ministry of church planting pastors in our area.
When COVID hit, we bought and distributed copies of a book about how to effectively do virtual ministry so our pastors could remain relevant in ministry in the age of COVID. We also identified pastors who have been in need during COVID and provided financial resources, demonstrating our love and support for their ministry.
We do all of this because we believe that the first step to seeing healthy and revitalized churches in our area is to ensure that the pastors called to serve in those churches are healthy themselves. So, I would say our association culture revolves mainly around ministry to pastors.
BL: How has God been blessing Arundel Association?
GK: God has been blessing us mainly through his sustaining grace. Prior to my coming to the role, Arundel Association almost folded, but thanks to the efforts of some faithful men and women, the ministry rediscovered itself and called me to lead the renewed Association. Ever since, we have been seeing God’s blessings in many ways; churches that believe in the value of associational ministry continue to give financially to support our mission when needed, messengers or representatives of most churches participate in our events. In fact, our last fellowship event in 2021 was very well attended, with 25 participants.
All these are evidence of God’s blessings in our Association.
BL: What are some challenges?
While the praise is that most of our churches who give finically also participate in our events, some, however, either give financially but do not participate in our fellowship events while others neither give nor participate at all. If all 25 member churches of the Arundel Association would give faithfully and also participate in our activities, we will not only be stronger together, but we will also be able to minister to our local community more faithfully as a network of churches.
BL: How can we pray for you, and the Association?
By God’s divine providence, Lena and I are now part of American society. Pray for us as we continue to acculturate so we can minister the gospel more effectively. Pray that all member churches in the Arundel Association would see value in our fellowship because we are always better together than when we operate separately. Pray that the Lord will continue to give us fresh ideas on how to better minister to our pastors, churches, and community. Pray that God will continue to sustain and strengthen our relationship with the BCM/D so that, along with the other associations in our two-state convention, we will strive together for the faith of the gospel in our community.
BL: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
GK: Beginning as a consultant from the Arundel Association and eventually as the pastor, I am currently leading Glen Burnie Baptist Church through revitalization. GBBC has been a top CP giving church and now becoming more involved in the ministry of our local Association. Lena and I are so thankful for the opportunity the Lord has given us to serve GBBC while also serving the community as a whole through our local association ministry.
Feature photo submitted