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Bethel announces interim VP appointment

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College President Perry D. White has announced the appointment of Weldon Martens, Henderson, Neb., as interim vice president for Student Life.

The appointment follows the resignation earlier this month of Chad Childs, who will be leaving to take a director position at Youthville in Wichita. He had been Bethel VP for Student Life since 2009.

“Our plan is to fill the vacant VP role with an interim director of Student Life for the next 6-12 months,” said White. “We have already begun forming the committee that will search for the person to fill the permanent position.”

Martens, who begins July 18 as interim VP, was most recently pastor of Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson, a position he held from 1995-2010.

He is a 1977 graduate of Bethel College and earned his M.Div. degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., and a certificate in clinical pastoral care from Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

Martens was on the staff of Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA from 1980-83 and also served as Bethel’s campus pastor, 1982-83. He was pastor at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper, from 1984 until he moved to Henderson and Bethesda Mennonite Church in 1995.

“I am honored to be invited by President White to serve this vital role,” said Martens. “Even more, I am delighted to support the mission of Bethel College in providing students an academically and spiritually enriching experience.”

Martens is married to Jenny (Harms) Martens, also a 1977 Bethel College graduate. They have two adult daughters, Laurel Martens and Michaela Martens.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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