Rev. Brian Kemp-Schlemmer

From an early age Brian Kemp-Schlemmer has struggled with the grey areas of life. A cradle Christian and native Tempe-tian, he grew up with a Biblical imperative to love his enemies and welcome the strangers in his midst.

Brian’s life journey included working as an actor, working with special needs folk through his local high school and area Lions Club camp, working with the homeless community in Tempe, and into his bachelors program in Social Work at Arizona State University, with his commitment to those less fortunate.

Finally, in his Junior year at ASU, Brian traveled to South Africa to study the principles of Peace-building and Reconciliation in the aftermath of the Apartheid era. It was there that Brian learned the Xhosa philosophy of Ubuntu which taught that our humanity (which he extrapolated into our reflection of the divine) depends upon our humane treatment by and toward all those around us, or more succinctly, that he could not fully be the person God created him to be unless his sisters and brothers were allowed to be the people God created them to be.

This philosophy deeply shaped Brian’s theology and led him to pursue a seminary education at Drew Theological and ordained ministry within the United Methodist Church. It was also this understanding of Ubuntu which allowed him to truly love and serve the people of his first appointment at Desert Skies United Methodist Church and which taught him how to be a work-in-progress husband to his lovely, talented, and grace-filled wife Summer. City Square is the the next step in a process that Brian has dreamed about for years and he is proud to be a part of the innovative, hard-working, caring community that is thriving in Downtown Phoenix.