Monday, October 30, 2017


The Kenney family with Don R. Cooper

The plaque presented to David & Annette Kenney in
dedication of the 2017 WVSOP Lectureship Book

Andy Robison, Director of West Virginia School of Preaching,
Annette & David Kenney, and Donald R. Cooper
October 24, 2017, at 4:30 PM
Moundsville, West Virginia

I want to express my appreciation to Andy Robison, Scott Judge, the faculty, lectureship committee, and eldership for this honor.  When Andy Robison became the director of the school, I did not know him very well, and the same is true of Scott Judge.  I have come to get to know, respect, admire and love these two men. I also want to express my appreciation to the elders at Hillview Terrace for their support and guidance for the school.  It certainly is an honor to be in charge of a school of preaching; however, some elderships would rather not do so.  I salute this eldership and the congregation in this noble and vital work!  I see a very bright future for the West Virginia School of Preaching. 

When Andy Robison told me that they planned to honor Annette and me with this wonderful dinner and lectureship book dedication, I was stunned. In fact, my first reaction was to decline, but then I thought:  “Annette certainly deserves to be honored.” Andy was correct when he likened Annette to the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.  As I reflect on the words: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” (Proverbs 31:23 NKJV), I cannot help but praise her because I would not have been able to do the things I do, as well as I do them if it were not for Annette.  Truly, I am known in “these gates” and among you “elders of the land” because of her love, support, and encouragement. I am very blessed to have two wonderful children, James & Deborah, and they are truly a joy to us both!

Don Cooper, thank you for such a wonderful tribute. I have described Don with the phrase: “If you cannot run with the big dogs, then you had better stay on the porch.” Well, Don is a “big dog” to me, but he has never been satisfied to allow me to sit on the porch! Not everyone is a good mentor. Some do not have the temperament. Don has been a mentor to me for several years. Some time ago, dad was re-telling a story where he pranked his wife Jan by calling her stating he was from the Wadsworth Police Department. He said he was following up on a domestic disturbance call. He really had Jan going! All in the group laughed at the re-telling (at Jan’s request), and I overheard Jan say to someone “I want him to tell that story at my funeral.” Well, my beloved father was unable to fulfill that request, but I am thankful I was able to fulfill that request for Don and his beloved wife Jan.  I am truly grateful that Don is able to be with us tonight!

I am thankful to the congregation of Wadsworth for giving me the opportunity to be a preacher of the gospel! They needed a preacher, and I needed a place to preach. The work that we do together is also financially supported by others for which I am thankful too! The congregation at Streetsboro has also been a great blessing to our lives. They were among our first financial supporters for the work! 

I am truly honored and humbled by your tribute.  I would much rather be in attendance to see others honored whom I have admired.  Such as the previous directors of WVSOP: Emanuel Daugherty or Denver Cooper; or faithful preachers of the gospel who have been doing it for many more years—those who have “have borne the burden and the heat of the day.” (Matthew 20:12 NKJV)  My first preference would be to see my father and mother honored, Warren and Kay Kenney; however, that is no longer possible. All that I am able to accomplish, I truly owe to my parents.  I wish they could be here tonight to share this evening with us.  To quote President Lyndon Johnson, “My father would have enjoyed what you have so generously said of me, and my mother would have believed it.” Dad once asked Mom what he should say in introducing me for a lectureship. She said, “Make sure you let them know that he is my son too!”
I would like to express appreciation to some others. Probably most of you know me through the pages of The West Virginia Christian edited by Albert Farley.  My dad suggested to Albert that I would make a good writer of book reviews.  Brother Farley agreed and insisted I send him some of my book reviews.  He also sent me the “Writer’s Guidelines” and some work in revising to do!  Albert has honored me with printing numerous of my book reviews and other articles. Albert and Nancy Farley are among the kindest and generous people I know. I am also thankful to the late Basil Overton for printing my first article and encouraging me for additional writings.

The idea of interviewing a preaching student and allowing them to present their own lesson was not mine, but I enthusiastically embraced it.  The idea came from Mark Weaver, one of this school’s alumni.  He called me and wanted me to do this with Dale Babinsky.  He was persistently convincing.  Now, Mark Weaver is a great preacher, but he is also a bit camera adverse.  So, I told him I would do this on one condition—that I interview him and he does a lesson too!  Mark Weaver has been a great encouragement to me for which I am thankful to him and the Weaver family.  I am thankful to Andy Robison, Scott Judge, and all the students who have worked to make this happen each year.

I prefer to consider myself more of a student than a scholar.  Another person I would like to mention and express appreciation for is E. Claude Gardner who was responsible for getting me to come to Freed-Hardeman College back in 1987.  I am in the Masters of Divinity program at the FHU School of Theology because of his awarding me the “E. Claude & Delorese Gardner Scholarship.”  Many of my successes are because of Freed-Hardeman University!

To the graduates, students, and prospective students of the West Virginia School of Preaching, let me say a few words. My father is known by many for his sense of humor, but be sure to know he viewed preaching as serious business. He emphasized on more than one occasion that being a preacher of the gospel of Christ required the most serious mind, deepest commitment, and a pursuit of excellence. While others may minimize, criticize, or marginalize your work, remember you work for the Lord and He deserves the very best! You have chosen this noble profession, and I salute your efforts!

I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul–“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14 NKJV) May all that we say and do bring glory to Him! Because without Him we would be of all men the most pitiful!

May God richly bless you all!

David R. Kenney

Book Dedication

David & Annette Kenney

David and Annette Kenney are tireless laborers for the Lord.  First, they take with great seriousness coupled with joy the responsibility of raising their good children, James and Deborah.  They are careful to make sure they receive instruction and guidance in nurturing love. 

Then, Annette supports David in ways that are behind the scenes and sometimes unnoticeable to the outside observer.  She is the definition of a virtuous wife and helper to him.  She is a godly mother and a constantly busy worker.  I’m pretty sure David would say she is the glue of the household. 

David is the son of Warren and Kay Kenney; Warren preached the Gospel for over forty-five  years.  Both David and Annette are alumni of Freed-Hardeman University.  While laboring at the Wadsworth (Ohio) church of Christ, the work has borne fruits in perhaps non-conventional areas.  David has done a great service to the brotherhood with his technological and video work.  He has edited and produced a highly regarded documentary on the life of Alexander Campbell.  He produces a weekly television show, Light from Above, that airs locally in the Wadsworth area, and globally on the Gospel Broadcasting Network.  He has produced videos of Bible Readings and Hymns for GBN and for anyone who would like to just listen to the text of the Bible and enjoy some good singing.  David is active in blogging in The Bully Pulpit and in much writing, including frequent book reviews published in West Virginia Christian.  He is called upon to speak on lectureships near and far.  Frankly, the amount of work he accomplishes is amazing. 

David has always been and continues to be a big help to West Virginia School of Preaching.  Each year, our second year students have the opportunity to be introduced to television work through David’s assistance.  He interviews each student for one Light from Above show, and has them preach a sermon for another.  David frequently helps with our Future Preacher Training Camp.  He is a supporter of us in many ways. 

To David and Annette, we lovingly and gratefully dedicate this 2017 volume of the WVSOP Victory Lectures.  We appreciate you both so very, very deeply.

Andy Robison
9 Aug. 2017

No comments: