Highland Park and Church of the Resurrection Leaders Visit AU

The leaders of two large and influential United Methodist churches in the U.S. spent a week (8-13 February) at the Africa University campus in Mutare, Zimbabwe, learning more about the institutions contributions and challenges.

Their congregations—Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX and the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS—are stalwart Africa University supporters. In the 22 years since the institution opened, they’ve made significant investments in the Africa University Fund apportionment, student scholarships, and campus infrastructure.

Rev. Adam Hamiltion, founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, with Mrs. Lisa Tichenor of the AU Advisory Development Committee, and her pastor, Rev. Paul Rasmussen of Highland Park UMC.The nine-person delegation included Highland Park UMC’s senior pastor, Rev. Paul Rasmussen and the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Rev. Adam Hamilton (pictured with Mrs. Lisa Tichenor). The missions and outreach committees of both churches were also represented in the delegation.

“It is wonderful that the leadership of both of these congregations will be able to see the results of their support for themselves, and learn more about what can be accomplished by and with Africans within the footprint of Africa University, said Mrs. Lisa Tichenor

Tichenor, a member of Highland Park UMC’s Outreach Committee and a founding member of the Africa University Advisory Development Committee, was instrumental in bringing this visit to fruition. She is optimistic about its impact.

"It can magnify the work that local congregations can do, if they feel called to work in Africa,” said Tichenor. “Some of the most important work that we can do is to facilitate education so that people can grow and equip themselves for self-sufficiency in their own cultural context.”

While on the campus, members of the delegation participated in lectures, worship, and discussions with students, faculty, and administrators.

Rev. Paul Rasmussen, senior pastor of Highland Park UMC, Dallas, TX.Rev. Paul Rasmussen preached at the Sunday worship service on February 8, in the Kwang Lim Chapel, that brought out local congregants and choirs from churches in the districts around the university. Rev. Rasmussen and the Highland Park UMC group also focused on learning more about the university’s work in the areas of leadership formation and public health.

Rev. Adam Hamilton was the featured speaker for a “Conversation on Leadership” in the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance on February 10. He will also be a guest lecturer in the Faculty of Theology. Rev. Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS.

The visit coincided with the Africa Evangelism Seminar, sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries, which took place on the Africa University campus from February 11-13. The delegation joined 140 evangelists, pastors, church leaders and students from across the African continent to explore and share experiences around evangelism, church growth, preaching, and revival in the African context.

(Photo credits: Mrs. Lisa Tichenor, Highland Park UMC, and the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.)