‘We need to keep the truth alive’: One Springfield man’s quest to provide Constitution pocketbooks to Missouri State University Students | Campus Life

Rain or shine, windy or clear, the man stands outside the Plaster Student Union. Under his arm are multiple copies of the Constitution, ready to pass out to willing takers.

This is the story of Allen Kemper and his quest upon the Missouri State University campus to converse with and encourage students.

Kemper passes out small pocket-sized books containing the Constitution and Bill of Rights up to three times a week. They also contain Christian scriptures connecting to the Founding Fathers. Kemper said he plans on passing them out up to three times a week.

“As long as the weather holds decent, and as long as they are still available because they are going fast,” Kemper said.

Kemper said he started around five years ago by passing out the pocketbooks near the Bear Paw. Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed him down, Kemper said he and his team of six volunteers were “more than earnest” to pass them out in 2021. He and six colleagues summarized passing them out this February after winter and are hoping to get up to 10,000 copies of the pocketbook to pass out to takers.

Kemper said on average he passes out 200 pocketbooks in an hour.

He produces the books through Independent Printinga Springfield-based publishing company.

Kemper has two versions of the pocketbook to pass out. One is a smaller 31-page publication designed to be carried in a pocket. The larger, 48-page publication is designed to be placed in waiting rooms.

“The (48-page pocketbooks) definitely seem to put things together in a better format,” Kemper said. “More like a book. And people can read it, it’s a larger print and it has the full Constitution including all the amendments.”

Kemper’s goal is two fold as well: He wants to provide the literature to students and to create a unique club. While he hasn’t decided on a name for the organization, he said the club’s main goal would be giving Biblical-based encouragement to the campus as a whole.

“That’s what we’d like to see is a lot of students being able to welcome us,” Kemper said. “We could meet once a month, advertise it and we’d be able to share what we’ve been able to share and hear how they’re doing and encourage them.”

Kemper says he feels it is his calling from God to pass the pocketbooks out, to encourage and teach students about the Bible.

“It keeps me busy, and it certainly is something that I feel like really scratched the surface,” Kemper. “I believe that the main purpose of these small ones is for students to pass them out among students, whether they be high schoolers or college university, let it be a student-led organization.”

One of Kemper’s colleagues is Bob Mundy, who has been a part of the team for years. While he cannot make it out to personally pass out the pocketbooks due to health issues, he is Kemper’s “professional accompanist.” Mundy’s role in the team is to secure funds for the publication of the pocketbooks.

Mundy called Kemper “remarkable” and commends his drive to share with college students.

“I guess you could call him my hero,” Mundy said. “He’s seven-days-a-week about the Gospel.”

Another part of the team is Damian Eisold, self-proclaimed soul winner and spiritual firefighter. Eisold met Kemper several years ago in The Tabernacle in Branson and has helped with Kemper’s mission to spread the Gospel ever since. He has helped Kemper with street preaching, volunteering at the Tabernacle, passing out pocketbooks on campus and singing hymns on the street to passersby.

Eisold said the activities are “much needed,” and “count it all a joy” to help with them.

“It’s a joyful sacrifice,” Kemper said. “I just like to see more people seeing the vision that this would be a great way to help our young people.”

Follow Tinsley Merriman on Twitter, @merrimantinsley

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