Following is the text of a speech by Bob Kennel to be delivered to the General Assembly which meets July 21-25 in Fort Worth, Texas.
PRESENTATION TO FT WORTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON BEHALF OF
BETHANY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
My name is Bob Kennel, and I work on the North Carolina Regional Staff on New Church Development. Six years ago I spoke out at the Kansas City General Assembly on behalf of St. Luke’s Christian Church in Princeville, NC which was destroyed by floods from Hurricane Floyd. They have since rebuilt with great help and honor.
Today I speak out for Bethany Christian Church in Arapahoe NC which burned to the ground four weeks ago. It’s a little harder today because that is the church in which I was born and raised. I am so proud of them in the way they are showing what being church is all about. They had recently completed the “Faithful Planning” process which has helped them deal with this tragedy on a structured and committed basis. They were underinsured but plan to build back immediately. Interestingly, Bethany had just expanded beyond themselves to start a new worship fellowship at a new site the day before the fire.
I am also proud of Week of Compassion which had a starter check in the hands of our Regional Minister John Richardson to meet with the church two days after the fire. If you want to see the anatomy of a tragedy and the response of a faithful people just go to the Week of Compassion website where they have a link to bethanyarapahoe.org. That web site also allows you to send a note of condolence or a credit card donation.
Every year there are Disciple churches which are damaged or destroyed by flood, tornado, earthquake, or fire. It is good to know we belong to a denomination, indeed a latter day brotherhood and sisterhood of churches with helpful arms such as the Week of Compassion and with faithful individuals who pray and share with those in need.