Details correct as at 22nd October, 2007.
The author of Confidence in the Word is Michael Kemp.
Michael has not written this page out of selfish ambition or vain conceit (Philippians 2:3 (NIV)). Rather, he has included it as a testimony of how the Lord has been pleased to guide and use one "mere Christian" over many years, as an encouragement to others to be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless (1 Corinthians 15:58).
To God be all the glory!
Born just three months before the outbreak of the Second World War, Michael grew up in the Midlands and south-east London. After leaving school in 1957 he trained as a cost accountant in a light engineering company in north Kent, and continued working with various engineering concerns for fourteen years, followed by seven years in music publishing. In 1978 Michael joined the Bible Society where he served in a financial capacity for very nearly fifteen years.
Working for the Bible Society greatly increased Michael's love for the Scriptures, and he gradually developed a concern to help others value and use the Bible more. In 1988, the Church Michael then attended sponsored him for a week-long Institute in Biblical Studies at Waverley Abbey. This proved a formative experience, and he returned home convinced that the remainder of his life's work would be inextricably bound up with the Bible. Two years later, during a period of illness, Michael vowed that should the Lord spare his life, he would devote the rest of his days to helping people to know, love, understand and use the Scriptures. The research into personal Bible use he encountered while at Bible Society prompted him to compile Confidence in the Word as an opus dei as a part of fulfilling his vow.
Michael initially began to develop Confidence in the Word as an introductory course for a proposed Bible School for which he continues to hold a vision (see Hopes and Dreams). When initial feedback from those with whom he shared the idea proved discouraging, it was Michael's wife, Ann, who suggested he should instead offer the course to the world in the form of a website.
Since leaving Bible Society in April 1993, 2 Timothy 2:15 has become Michael's "job description". In order to increase his competence in handling the Scriptures he studied for a diploma of theology with Bible Ministry College and was subsequently ordained by the College in 1997. Michael has also has trained to teach the Walk Thru' the Bible Old Testament seminar, and broadcast a short series of Bible studies on Trans World Radio-UK. In 2000 and 2004, he helped arrange public readings of the Scriptures at Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church and was also an Editor and Examination Secretary for Go Teach Publications for some years.
In 2003, Michael decided to retire from accountancy in order to be fully available to the Lord. As well as developing Confidence in the Word he has also renewed his association with TWR, by auditioning US-sourced programmes prior to transmission in the UK, until the relocation of the Bath studio early in 2006. His current activities include assisting in the ministry of his local church (which is without a minister at the moment), including preaching and leading public services, and maintaining the Church's website. He hopes that, in the fullness of time, he may realise his long held ambition to get to grips with New Testament Greek as well as continue to deepen his knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures. Michael may also be seen behind the counter at the Lighthouse Bookshop in Highworth, usually on a Friday afternoon.
For some time Michael has nursed an ambition to write a book which would help men to be strong in the Lord in their latter years. He is also keen to help recently retired men and women, and those contemplating retirement, to renew their sense of vocation.
Although he may now be "retired" in the eyes of the world, yet, despite some continuing health problems, Michael considers himself "refired" for the Lord's work! His constant prayer is: "Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord: point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you" (Psalm 25:4-5). Although at times he is very conscious that, physically, he is growing older, Michael is equally certain that his inner being is being renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Michael grew up in a church-going home, being baptised in infancy and confirmed at 14 while a choirboy at his Parish Church. Confirmation made a deep impression on him, and the associated discipline of regular communion taught him the importance of individual responsibility in spiritual matters. His first meaningful encounter with the Scriptures took place in his early twenties, when he was introduced to the then newly published translation of the complete New Testament by J B Phillips.
However, Michael dates his "evangelical conversion" from February 1971, when he was almost 32. While preparing an essay on the atonement, during training as a Reader in the Church of England, he became convinced that Jesus Christ had died for him personally and that all he needed to do in order to be saved was simply to accept this fact in faith.
Rather like John Wesley, on that unforgettable May evening at Aldersgate in 1738, Michael found his heart strangely warmed and received an inner assurance of salvation, and a baptism in the Holy Spirit, which have never since left him.
Water baptism by immersion in 1989 proved another milestone in Michael's spiritual journey, for it released the Lord's ability to enable him to grow in the special favour and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18).
Michael is married to Ann (left) his wife of 40 years. Their home for the past 22 years has been in the Greenmeadow area of Swindon, Wiltshire, England.
The Lord has blessed Michael and Ann with five boys and four girls, whose ages range from 39 to 15. The three oldest are now married with nine children of their own between them, plus two adopted children.
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Michael welcomes opportunities to expound the Scriptures and encourage personal Bible reading. He is willing to visit any church or Christian meeting where he may be of help, irrespective of its denomination or tradition.
In particular, Michael values the opportunity to minister to small groups of dedicated believers who value the Bible as the authentic and authoritative Word of God, and who are endeavouring to order their lives in accordance with its teachings.
It is Michael's practice to offer freely to the Lord's people any personal ministry he is invited to undertake. Any love-gifts received are ploughed back into the Lord's work, including the maintenance of Confidence in the Word.
Michael is also keen to assist others working in the same field as himself by arranging local meetings for public Bible reading, exposition or instruction.
|You may contact Michael here via e-mail.|
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Hopes & Dreams
In addition to his aspirations to authorship and further study, since 1998 Michael has held a vision for a permanent Bible School in Swindon where "ordinary" believers can receive guidance and encouragement to help them use the Bible, both for their personal benefit, and the encouragement of fellow believers. The aim of the School would be to provide practical help with reading and understanding the Bible and applying the Scriptures to everyday life.
Michael sees this as a small contribution towards overcoming the present famine of hearing the Lord's Word in Britain (see Amos 8:11-13).
Michael would be delighted to hear from anyone who shares the
same or a similar vision, whether for Swindon or elsewhere.
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