My name is Howard N. Kenyon. My passion in life, to put it simply, is to live out what I believe to the fullest. I love communicating that passion through mentoring, speaking, and writing. This website is about the writing – my books and my blogs.
I also communicate via social media, particularly on Facebook, which is as much about listening as having something to say. The listening can be exhausting at times, disparate as my friends are in their directions. In this I follow a saying I learned while living in China that loosely translates: If you want to get someone to follow your path, you first have to understand something of theirs. At the least, I hope I am able to spur people on to think.
Through my calling I have been involved in university student outreach, pastoral leadership, intercultural ministry, direct service to those in need, public policy advocacy, teaching, and mentoring – oh, and also having turns at being a janitor, landscape caretaker, shoe store clerk, gas station attendant, library book shelver, art gallery receptionist, census enumerator, respite foster parent, and weekend relief manager at a Ronald McDonald House. Over several decades, I have spoken at hundreds of universities, seminaries, conferences, and local congregations throughout the U.S. and in numerous other countries.
As a follower of Jesus, I have learned not to be afraid of the hard questions, of doubt. Doubt is not the enemy of faith; unbelief – not asking the hard questions – is. In pursuing my Ph.D. in ethics at Baylor University, I asked some of those hard questions. My dissertation, “An Analysis of Ethical Issues in the History of the Assemblies of God,” is now contained in my newest book, Ethics in the Age of the Spirit: Race, Women, War, and the Assemblies of God.
There has been a dark side to this bright life. I moved to Portland, Oregon, because of my therapist, as I spent time working through abuse from my childhood and a long journey through depression. Sometimes now I write about what it means to walk through that dark side as a person of faith.
A lifelong Pentecostal, I am vice president of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, a statewide network of faith communities living out what they believe through learning, advocating, and serving 50,000 people in need every year. I started at EMO running a food pantry during the Great Recession, where those in need became a host of mentors for me. A thousand people with a thousand stories.
Outside of that day job, I am connected with several individuals in different parts of the world, providing mentorship or dissertation oversight. Meanwhile, I love being a part of my home church, Mosaic Portland, and, during Covid, a zoom-based home group, gatherings where iron sharpens iron and I can take in as well as give out.
That is all in my public world. More privately, I am a devoted husband to a wonderful wife of 33 years and dad to four amazing young adults scattered along the Northwest’s I-5 corridor. My wife and I live in Portland, where I thrive on gardening, woodworking, hiking, and soaking in grand vistas, of which we have an abundance.