World Methodist Council Remembers Rev. Dr. Kenneth Greet

12477889485_fec100087a_zFormer President of the World Methodist Council, Rev Dr. Kenneth Greet, died today.  Dr. Greet served as President of the World Methodist Council from 1976-1981, and was known for the visionary leadership he gave his home church, and the global church, particularly through his advocacy for social justice and peace.

Born in 1918, Kenneth Gerald Greet entered presbyteral ministry in 1943. After training at Handsworth College, he held early appointments in Herefordshire and Ogmore and in 1947 was appointed to the Central Hall in Tonypandy. This attracted one of the largest congregations in Wales and became well known for its extensive programme of social work.

After seven years, Dr Greet was taken out of this appointment to become Secretary of the Christian Citizenship Department (DCC). For the next thirty years his base was at 1 Central Buildings, Westminster. In 1971, he succeeded Dr Eric Baker as Secretary of the Methodist Conference, a post which he held until 1984. During this time, he was also elected President of the Conference 1980-81.

Dr. Greet’s tenure as President set the stage for the worldwide expansion of the body, which began at the 14th World Methodist Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. His desire to explore and challenge his audience and himself was both a driving force and a conscience for the World Methodist Council.

Dr Greet has held a large number of key offices during his ministry: Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, Chairman of the Executive of the British Council of Churches, member of the Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Chairman of the Temperance Council of the Christian Churches, Chairman of the European Methodist Youth Council and President of the Methodist Peace Fellowship. On his retirement, Greet became Chairman of the Governors of Southlands College, seeing the college through its transition to become part of Roehampton University.

He traveled widely during his ministry, preaching and lecturing regularly. His most notable appointments include delivering the Beckly Lecture, the Willson Lecture (Kansas City) and the Cato Lecture (Sydney).

Dr Greet wrote a number of books on subjects ranging from ethics and morality to marriage, love and the Spirit as well as contributing a monthly article to the Methodist Recorder for over 25 years. He broadcast frequently on radio and television and held doctorates from the universities of Surrey and Ohio.

Dr. Greet’s service to the World Methodist Council is one part of a lifetime of ministry and mission, illustrated at the 1981 World Methodist Conference: “There are certain things to which I am irrevocably committed; to the cause of peace, to justice, and goodness and reconciliation, to Christian unity, to the gospel of redeeming love. I confess the way is harder than once I thought, the warfare long and the battle fierce.But I can go on, on to the end, provided I can be sure that my side will win. And I can because it is the Lord’s side. “

“Though Dr. Greet’s time with the World Methodist Council predated my own by a number of years, the work of his generation of leaders continues to inform and inspire my own initiatives and vision,” said General Secretary Ivan Abrahams. “We honour one of our patriarchs, a man of visionary leadership and passionate commitment to causes central to the Methodist people.”