Audio Archive

Mesenbring, David

David Mesenbring began teaching at Holden in 1979 after returning home from two years of work among South African churches. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, ordained by African Christians, and an ELCA pastor. David is married to Maria Jimenez, a Spaniard and ordained deacon of the Episcopal Church. Working together, they have developed the world’s busiest maritime ministry at Seafarers’ House in South Florida’s Port Everglades. This ecumenical cooperation among Christians, Jews and Muslims cares for cargo and cruise ship crew who live where they work in order to support their loved ones far away.

David knew Steve Biko, the black South African leader beaten to death in 1978 while held without charge in police custody. In the weeks that followed, David gathered Steve’s banned writings and got them smuggled out of the country for a book that has been published in five languages and called “likely to remain one of the most important collections of political essays in the history of South Africa, if not the continent.” He served as lead consultant for a film on the Afrikaner prophet, Dr. Beyers Naude, nominated for an Academy Award as “Best Documentary.”

David has lectured and preached in more than 100 North American cities; worked in 25 African countries; and traveled widely in Europe as well as Central and South America. He claims that ecumenical priorities make him a poor Lutheran. A fluent speaker of Spanish, he loves aerobics, good rum and fine food. He lacks patience, musical education and a sense of humor. David and Maria will be in the Village for one week with their children, Hugo and Ana Maria.

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