calendar February 28, 2022 in Bishop, Bishop messages, Communications, Vitality

Pastors Suah-Dennis, Penman Appointed Co-Directors of Evangelical Mission

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis and the Rev. Bryan Penman as co-directors of evangelical mission.

Dr. Suah-Dennis is pastor of Faith-Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Lansdown. Rev. Penman is pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohoken. They will continue to serve their congregations in this new synod role.

“Both Pastor Bryan Penman and Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis are gifted innovative leaders totaling 25 years of rostered ministry,” Bishop Patricia A. Davenport said in announcing the appointments.

“Dr. Suah-Dennis served as a mission developer and pastor moving a congregation to organization. Pastor Penman has grown his congregation numerical and spiritually, impacting their community with good change.”

Rev. Dr. Moses Shah-Dennis

Rev. Bryan Penman

“Our ELCA Future Church Design calls us to being newer, younger, and more diverse, which is also reflected in our new team members. We were intentional in contracting with these two leaders and their congregations to maintain the stability in these two vital congregations as we currently have many congregations in pastoral transitions, Bishop Davenport said.

A native of Liberia, Dr. Suah-Dennis was an evangelist in Africa in the Lutheran Church in Liberia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ghana before coming to the United States. He earned the M.Div from the former Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 2005 and the next year was ordained to serve as pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and as mission developer to plant Faith Worship Center serving the African community. He led the two to merge and be organized as a new community, Faith-Immanuel Lutheran Church, which was received in 2012. Today, Faith-Immanuel is a vibrant growing congregation -multi-generational, economically diverse, and expanding ministries.

In 2015 he earned the D.Min. at the former LTSP, now United Lutheran Seminary. In our Synod he has served six years on the Candidacy Committee as well as the Committee on Discipline planning team for the Rostered Ministers Equipping Event. He is married to Helena Johnson, his partner in ministry. Together they are the parents of Denise, Serena, Aliyah, Jadon, Jordon “and counting.”

“I am excited about this call and the opportunity to bring my earned experience in church-planting and evangelism on two continents, three church bodies and countries to this innovating holy experiment of shared-DEM responsibilities to our missional synod,the ELCA and beloved community,” Dr. Suah-Dennis said.

Pastor Penman has served St. Mark’s, Conshohocken since 2013. During that time he has served as the chair of our synod’s Vitality Team, dean of the Lower Montgomery Conference, delegate to the 2019 churchwide assembly, synod council member, chaplain for our South Dakota Servant trip and as a member of our synod assembly worship planning team.

He earned his M. Div. in 2012 from the former LTSP with certificates of studies in Metro Urban Ministry and in Youth and Family Ministry. Bryan and his husband Matt live in Conshohocken with their adopted son Paul.

“I am excited to see how this new structure will help keep me both grounded in a congregational setting, while at the same time focus more specifically on what I love doing – helping congregations discover their love of Jesus,” Pastor Penman said.

“Over the last two years I have been watching many congregations bravely step into this new landscape of doing ministry. We need encouragement now more than ever to love like Jesus, to discover ways that we can follow Jesus into the community to nurture life changing relationships with God, each other and the world,” he said.

“I hope that in the coming years we can instill a deeper sense of vitality in all of our congregations and communities of faith as we emerge from this pandemic stronger and a more vital part of our wider community,” Pastor Penman said.