Prayer’s power

Persistent mom helped lift pastor from downward spiral


Elder Abraham Kenner stands in front of the Greater Christ Temple Church, 616 W. Chillicothe Ave. He is retiring after 44 years of preaching. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Prayers are powerful, just ask Abraham Kenner.

“My mother always told me, ‘Prayer changes everything,’” he said. “And my mother kept praying for me.”

It also helped that she planted the seed of attending church after her son left Kokomo, Ind., for Lima in 1959. She went as far as to give him an address for a church in his neighborhood.

Now 83, the retiring elder for Greater Christ Temple Church, 616 W. Chillicothe Ave., readily admits he was sowing bad seeds in Lima, or “Little Chicago”, as it was known in those days.

Wine, women, song and fighting were getting out of hand and his mother’s words kept coming back to him, especially when he passed the little church.

“My life was going down fast ... fast,” he said. “But I had enough insight to remember what my mother said.”

So, he stopped by the church and dropped off a note asking for prayer. After a while, he began attending sporadically.

During prayer announcements, they mentioned his note and prayed for the then unknown stranger sitting amongst them. It surprised him they had continued to pray for him weeks after he left the note.

By February 1965, Kenner decided to turn away from the street life and told his wife, Janice, they were going to regularly attend church.

“I haven’t missed but a couple Sundays since,” he said, sitting in the Bellefontaine home of the congregation he founded in the early 1980s.

Read complete story in Monday's Examiner
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