Niemann Nuñez, Henry (1928–2005)

By Yerko Samuel Viana

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Yerko Samuel Viana Moreno has a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Viana serves as executive secretary of the Southern Bogotá Conference, Colombia. He has served the church for 32 years as a district pastor and departmental director. He published a book entitled History of Adventism in Bogota, as well as other articles. He is a fourth-generation Adventist and is married to Blanca Patricia Hernández Díaz with whom he has three children.

First Published: November 21, 2020

Henry Niemann Nuñez was a pastor and administrator from Chile. In addition to his pastoral and administrative work, Pastor Henry Niemann contributed to the development of the church in the territory of the Southern-Colombian Union with the purchase of important buildings and estates.

Early Life

Henry Niemann Nuñez was born February 9, 1928, in San Andrés de Pica, a town in northern Chile. He was the fourth of six children of Ernest Niemann, a German immigrant who arrived in Chile, and Rosalía Núñez, a Peruvian immigrant.1

Education and Marriage

In his teens Henry moved to the coastal town of Iquique, about 120 kilometers from his hometown, where he studied at the high school at the Lyceum of Men (now Bernardo O-Higgins) and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1943. After completing high school, he studied architecture at the State Technical University, and in 1952 he graduated as an architect.2

As an architecture student at the State Technical University, he became acquainted with a fellow student belonging to the Seventh-day Adventist Church who taught him to study the Bible. He fell in love with the book of Psalms which he studied with great devotion. As a result of this spiritual experience, he decided to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and he made a covenant with the Lord by being baptized by immersion in 1948. While an architect, Henry felt a burning desire in his heart to prepare to be a preacher and dedicate his life to pastoral ministry. However, he resisted by arguing that as an architect he could still preach the Word of God. Having no peace in his heart, he decided not to fight with the Lord anymore and he traveled to the United States to study theology.

While studying, he met Hannelore Fuss Breyther, daughter of German missionaries based in Mexico (Pastor Max Fuss and Dora Breyther), with whom he began a relationship and eventually married in Washington, D.C. on August 14, 1955. Five children were born from this union: Ernst, Heinz, Erika, Rosalie, and Fritz.

Career and Ministry

Henry began his pastoral work in the United States as an evangelism assistant in 1956, a work he carried out until January 1957. While doing this work, he received an invitation to work in Caracas, Venezuela, as a missionary. Without thinking twice, he moved to that city with his wife and children and worked as a minister for nine years. He was ordained to the ministry on January 25, 1958. In the 1960s he devoted himself to raising funds and advising on the construction of the Vocational Institute of Venezuela,3 located in Nirgua, Venezuela. At the end of this task he returned to the United States, taking with him beautiful memories of his ministry in Venezuela.

While in the United States he received an invitation from the Upper Magdalena Conference to work as pastor of the Central Church of Bogotá D.C., Colombia. He was then elected president of the Upper Magdalena Conference, a position he held from 1972 to 1981, the year he retired from ministerial work.

Later Life

After retirement, he remained in Colombia where he continued to contribute to the development of the church. He died on the grounds of the Adventist College of Llano on October 24, 2005, at the age of 77, and he was buried there. His wife still lives at the age of 84.

Legacy

In addition to his pastoral and administrative work, Pastor Henry Niemann contributed to the development of the church in the territory of the Southern-Colombian Union, with the purchases of the Adventist Vocational Institute of Llano4 located in Puerto López, Meta; a spiritual retreat estate located in the municipality of Cachipay, Cundinamarca; a five-story building in Bogota, Colombia, which includes the offices of two associations, a restaurant with a vegetarian food shop, and the IADPA bookstore; and an Adventist Evangelistic Center with capacity for 500 people in the city of Bogotá. During his time in Venezuela he built the Adventist church, El Paraíso in the city of Caracas.

Notes

  1. Since there is no written source, some data from this biography is based on reliable oral sources, as follows:

    Hannelore Fuss Breyther, wife of Pastor Niemann. She provided all the information about the pastor in a personal interview, conducted by the author on March 20, 2016, at the Adventist College of the Plain, Colombia. The pastor’s employment information and legacy are corroborated by the following people: Miguel Angel Sánchez, whom I consulted on March 27, 2016. He was a co-worker and connoisseur of Pastor Niemann’s ministry and was also the first rector at Llano College founded by Pastor Niemann. Raúl Cárdenas Pérez, personally consulted on March 29, 2016. He was treasurer of the Upper Magdalena Conference.

  2. All dates relating to their academic and labor affairs, delivered in the interview with his wife, have been corroborated in the Adventist Church’s service records.

  3. INSTIVOC, boarding school built on a farm of 133 hectares. Information provided by Kinohy Rodriguez de González.

  4. INSTIVAL is an institution with an internship purchased in August 1975, with an area of 850 hectares. He began work in 1976 with a primary validation course for 17 adults. In 1977 he continued work with the high school. Initially, classes were taught in a shed that was part of the farm. Today it has comfortable facilities where it currently operates. Information provided by Miguel Angel Sánchez, first rector of INSTIVAL.

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Viana, Yerko Samuel. "Niemann Nuñez, Henry (1928–2005)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 21, 2020. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6B03.

Viana, Yerko Samuel. "Niemann Nuñez, Henry (1928–2005)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 21, 2020. Date of access February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6B03.

Viana, Yerko Samuel (2020, November 21). Niemann Nuñez, Henry (1928–2005). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6B03.