Title: (Retired) Coordinator, Program Director
Company: Mennonite Central Committee
Location: North Newton, Kansas, United States
Vern Preheim, Retired Coordinator and Program Director for the Mennonite Central Committee, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership.
The only son of a farmer in Hurley, South Dakota, Vern Quincy Preheim grew up under the assumption that he would eventually take over the family farm. The faculty of Freeman Junior College, a Mennonite academy in Freeman, South Dakota, encouraged him to pursue work in the church; however, he was deeply involved in agricultural arts, with plans to teach the subject following graduation. A viewing of the film “A Man Called Peter” invoked a revelation in him, and Mr. Preheim was called to become a pastor. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, in 1957. In 1996 the college honored him with the Outstanding Alumnus Award. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1960.
In 1960 Mr. Preheim began serving Mennonite organizations when he and his wife, Marion Keeney went to Algers, Algeria where he was Program Director for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for two years. Two children were born there. From 1965 until 1980 he served in MCC offices in Akron, Pennsylvania, when he directed the work in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The family lived in Kinshasa, Congo 1972-1974 while he directed the MCC work there.
In 1980 the General Conference Mennonite Church appointed Mr. Preheim as General Secretary of the denomination with offices in Newton, Kansas. He retired from this position in 1996. His ultimate goal was to unify the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church. A merger of the two denominations occurred in 2002.
From 1996 until 2002 Mr. Preheim coordinated resource generation for MCC out of the regional office in North Newton, Kansas. Throughout his life he has devoted time and energy to various charitable causes. He served on the first Habitat for Humanity Board for six years. He was a member of the first Foods Resource Board now called Growing Hope Globally. Since 2006 Mr. Preheim served as a volunteer at Book ReViews, a not-for-profit store selling donated used books in Newton, Kansas. Profits are given to local charities.
Mr. Preheim married Norma Johnson in 1998. They live at Kidron Bethel, a retirement community in North Newton, Kansas, and are very active at Bethel College Mennonite. As a testament to his success, he has been selected for inclusion in the fourth edition of Who’s Who in Religion, as well as multiple editions of Who’s Who in America.
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