Pastor Phil Kennemer
Pastor Kennemer began his preaching ministry at our International Christian Community in August of 2015. He has lived with his wife Rebecca in Cuenca since 2009, after immigrating here from Houston, Texas. They have two daughters, one who lives in San Francisco with their only grandson, and the other lives in the Washington DC Area, where she runs a non-profit organization championing the rights and potential of girls around the world.
Besides preaching the gospel, Pastor Kennemer loves gourmet cooking (for which he studied the Cordon Bleu Courses) and enjoys all kinds of music. He loves to sing, and early in his life he was a professional bass player in the Dallas Ft Worth Area. He also studied musical composition in the university and has written works for choirs, bands and orchestras. In 2013, he wrote “El Me Dijo” for choir and orchestra that was performed in Theater Sucre in Cuenca and other locations in Ecuador. Also in 2014, he founded the Cuenca International Chorale and became its administrator. It has now grown to be a major musical addition to Cuenca, performing twice yearly, with over 40 singers from around the world.
Pastor Kennemer was born in West Texas, and lived all his life in Texas, until moving to Cuenca. He and Rebecca are widely traveled, having visited countries all over the world. In his college years, he studied to be a court room attorney but then decided to enter Graduate School at the University of Texas to seek a Master Degree in Contemporary Philosophy. After this, he became interested in pursuing a degree in theology and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Austin Presbyterian Seminary graduating with a Master of Theology Degree, and continuing to complete the work for a Doctor of Ministries Degree.
In 1970, he became the youngest ordained pastor ever to serve in the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. After ordination, he entered the field of Youth Ministry and served several churches. He became nationally known for his creative ministries and was a featured speaker at the International Youth Ministry Conference in 1976 in Chicago, IL. Later he accepted the role of Senior Pastor, and over the course of 25 years, served various churches throughout South Texas. During this time, he developed a free preaching style using no notes and no pulpit. Later he started using stories from his life experiences as parables of the gospel, making these the major part of his sermons. His desire is to preach in a very understandable form, not the gospel about Jesus, but the gospel of Jesus, which he continues to do to this day.
Pastor Kennemer took early retirement from a full-time church ministry, and in the 1980’s began his own Evangelical Outreach Ministry, preaching revivals and holding seminars around The United States, while funding himself by owning and operating his own real estate brokerage in Houston, TX. During this time, he earned an Associate Degree in Real Estate Finance from the University of Houston. In 2008, he and Rebecca decided to go into full retirement and after traveling to many places in the world, chose Cuenca, Ecuador. They came here so that Pastor Kennemer could pursue his interest in writing a book about all the insights God has given him over the years. This is still a work in progress.