Saturday, January 17, 2015

Remembering Warren Kenney by Robert C. Veil, Jr.

by Robert C. Veil, Jr.

 Warren F. Kenney was born in Sardis, Ohio on July 11, 1944.  He was baptized by C.W. Rock in 1958, married Kay on May 26, 1965, and graduated from the Nashville School of Preaching on May 22, 1970. I first met him when he came with his family to work with the Central congregation on August 27, 1989. He would come to our monthly preachers meetings. He did not say very much at those meetings, but what he did say I always appreciated. I found myself wishing that he would say more.

Warren visited at our home back in 1990, and was interested to look at my study and library. We talked about the church, and the general state of the brotherhood. I always appreciated his insights, and, again, found myself wishing that he would say more.

I learned that Warren understood the importance of keeping the church free from error through doctrinal, biblical preaching, and by careful cooperation among the various congregations. He also understood the importance of staying abreast of brotherhood happenings on a larger scale, and being vigilant for erroneous trends and unscriptural practices, as they can be so easily imported into the local congregation.

I learned that Warren had quite a sense of humor. Almost every conversation began with some unexpected twist, often uttered with a straight face. He was good at throwing people off guard, and getting the “jump” on people with humorous, strikingly unconventional comments. His public introductions of visiting preachers were legendary, and most of those preachers came to realize they could never prepare for or expect what Warren would say next.

I remember when he held a meeting at Coalmont (now Broad Top) many years ago, he joked about the setting of the thermostat. He said, “For those of you who are cold-blooded, it is set at 80. For those who are warm, it is set at 60.” 

He was a good speaker, with an interesting and distinctive delivery. He appreciated good, sound preachers, and he scheduled preachers for gospel meetings at Central for years in advance. He never failed to compliment my sermons—every time he had something warm and encouraging to say. It was never the same, and I could tell it was from the heart. He was above pettiness, competition, and jealousy.  He didn’t mind seeing others get credit for things. He was always orderly, well spoken, grammatically correct, and did not take himself too seriously.

He loved his wife children and grandchildren, and never shrunk from speaking highly of them. He spoke highly of friends and brethren from years ago, and was a loyal friend. I believe he was sincere, and was genuinely interested in the eternal welfare of others, including me. I will miss Warren.

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