Kent Dunwoody, pastor of the Kansas City Central and Clinton Golden Valley churches in Missouri, was ordained on Sabbath, June 8, during a special service at the Iowa-Missouri Camp Meeting.
Ordained pastors from around the conference laid hands on Kent and his wife, Sarah, as executive secretary Robert Wagley offered prayer. “We place our hands on Kent as a token of Your grace and Your calling, recognizing what You are doing through him,” he prayed. “We ask, Father, that you would create in Kent a clean heart, renew his spirit daily, refresh him from Your Word. May rivers of living water flow from You through him as You have promised.”
Guest speaker Carlton Byrd, pastor of the Oakwood University Church and speaker/director of the Breath of Life television ministry, shared lessons from Heb. 12:1-2. “As ministers of the gospel, in running the race of life, you should have only one thing that matters to you,” he said. “You should have one goal set before you. One aim. One purpose. One prize. And that’s seeing Jesus in His eternal kingdom and taking as many people as you can with you.”
Lee Rochholz, ministerial director for the conference, expressed appreciation to Kent for his willingness to learn, to change, and to go above and beyond to reach people for Jesus. He also reminded Kent that ordination isn’t a transition in his ministry but a public acknowledgment of his calling.
“When I was ordained someone asked me if I felt different, and I was a little confused because I hadn’t felt different and thought I needed to feel different, and that maybe there was something wrong with me,” he said to Kent. “But the reality is you shouldn’t feel different today because this isn’t a transition. It’s a public proclamation that people have confidence God has called you to ministry. And I personally believe from visiting with your churches that they feel God has called you.”
Conference president Dean Coridan reminded Kent that he serves in a Protestant church. “You have not become a king, a priest or a pope,” he said. “You have become a slave. A slave to Christ. Follow in His footsteps in service to His church.”
After expressing his heartfelt thanks, Kent shared his personal testimony and read from John 14 and 15, emphasizing his passion for friendship evangelism. “I love to tell people Jesus calls them his friends,” he said. “I want to help them understand they have a Savior who loves them so much that He died for them.” He stressed the importance of letting that love flow through us to others as we interact with them.
Kent was born and raised in Moberly, Missouri. After graduating high school, he studied business and computer programming at the University of Missouri and Moberly Community College, and began a career in the electric municipal power industry. There he met Sarah, who introduced him to the Adventist faith. Kent had not grown up with any church affiliation and had not accepted Christ as his Savior, so Sarah began claiming Acts 16:31 as she prayed earnestly for him for 14 years.
After accepting Christ as his personal Savior, Kent was baptized in October 1994. He became an active member and took on various leadership roles. After 32 years in business and the power industry, he decided to take an entire year off work to serve the church. During that time, with much prayer and thoughtful consideration, he accepted the call to full-time gospel ministry in the Iowa-Missouri Conference. He served the Sioux City and Spencer churches in Iowa for nearly five years before transitioning to the Kansas City area.
Kent and Sarah have been married for 36 years with two grown children and one grandson.
Watch the ordination service online at youtu.be/Q7ed5oQ76qc.