Sunday, January 8, 2017

30 Years of Preaching by Warren F. Kenney Remarks by David R. Kenney

The event was held in Inwood, WV on July 31, 1999.  Family and friends gathered to pay honor to my father, Warren F. Kenney, for preaching the gospel for 30 years.  I was one of the speakers that evening.  Dad is seated to my left next to my mother.  It was a wonderful day for him and for us. 

As I continue to search through files, pictures, and records, I came across dad's copy of this photograph and my remarks.  Dad passed away on January 8, 2015, two years ago.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday but in other ways it seems like years ago.  Precious memories are indeed precious, but memories fall short.  Honor and cherish the ones who deserve such, and be sure to make sure they know you love, honor, and cherish them while you have the opportunity.
Jesus illustrating the value of the kingdom stated:  "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field"  (Matt 13:44, NKJV.)
Our proximity to the great treasure has been due to various factors.  Some of us were born into a family that owned such a field and were blessed to live with the truth all of our lives such as Hazel, Sherry, and I.  Some of us married someone who had this great treasure and reaped the benefits of it.  Others had friends who possessed this treasure and shared it with us.  Finally, some of us had the treasure shown to us by those willing to proclaim it to all who would listen.  Tonight, we honor my father who has shared this treasure in all the ways above.  We will have remarks from some who have labored to share this treasure with him over the past 30 years.  Tonight, we honor his 30 years of service and his ten years of service at Martinsburg as well.
My father was born July 1944 in Monroe County, Ohio.  He is a 1970 graduate of the Nashville School of Preaching.  Over the past 30 years he has labored with congregation in Linville, TN; Barbour County, WV; Barnseville, OH; New Philadelphia, OH; Weirton Heights, WV; Centralia, IL; and Martinsburg, WV. 

There have been good times and bad times along the way.  He has taught children and seen them grow to be Christians.  He has taught adults and seen them grow to become Christians.  He has counseled when asked.  He has performed several wedding ceremonies.  He has been called upon to visit the sick even till death, and then he has been called upon for words of consolation for those of us who remain.  He has traveled far and often for the purpose of preaching the gospel.  He has seen people fall away from the faith and has tried to bring them back.  He as appointed elders and deacons and supported the same.  He has received words of constructive criticism, not so constructive criticism, praise, adoration, and love.  He has seen his family grow and struggle to grow.
My father has been a gospel preacher for 30 of my 32 years.  That is almost 94 percent of my life and 100 percent of my recollection.  I have seen him go through this life as a preacher who always wanted what was best for the church.  There has never been a time when I wished he was anything but a gospel preacher.  I am thankful to God for both of my parents who gave to us the greatest of treasures--a Christian home.

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