I Corinthians 9:22 – 22 … I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.
All around the world there are opportunities to proclaim the Gospel to others in a non threatening way. Use your imagination. Every community has a Founder’s Day or special event to commemorate their ancestors and you should be there, in character, to remind everyone of God’s hand on history.
Take a look at what others are doing for the Lord.
By Ed Waters Jr.
For many Civil War re-enactors, donning the uniform and accessories is a way of presenting living history. But most have other jobs or are retired.
For Rene Kinard, the part he plays at Civil War events is part of his life.
Kinard, 47, and his wife, Rommi, 44,are evangelists with the Freedom in Christ Ministries of Hanover, Pa.
A frequent sight in the Frederick area, the Kinards often present Civil War church services and have combined period music with everlasting spirituality at Fairview Chapel and Parkway Community Church in Frederick, among others locally.
“I’m doing a World War II service, a Revolutionary War service and a cowboy church,” all in costume and with music from his wife, Kinard said.
Kinard, in the costume of a Union chaplain, recently presented a church service at Rose Hill Manor as part of a Civil War event.
Rommi Kinard sings and provides music with a dulcijo, a combination dulcimer and banjo. “I used to use an electric piano, but a lot of folks said that looked too modern with our service and clothing.”
Rommi Kinnard wears a hoop skirt, hat and vintage-looking shoes as she provides music as part of the service.
“It is really a miracle about the dulcijo,” she said. Although skilled in piano and organ, Rommi Kinard had never played a guitar or banjo. “We were at an event at Cedar Creek (Va.) and I saw it in a shop and bought it. The folks there showed me how to use it (played horizontally on one’s lap) and I just started playing it.”
Kinard, who works at York (Pa.) Wallcoverings, said that while he was always a church-going person, he was concerned that often people take the freedoms in the U.S. for granted and forget it was veterans who often fought and gave their lives for those freedoms. He wrote a pamphlet on that issue, which he offers free to those at the services, and said he then felt the “call” to become an evangelist.
He has been a minister for 25 years and began the Civil War services 10 years ago. He likes to combine what he calls the “religious history” of the nation along with traditional music and a brief message from the Bible.
“My wife was instrumental in my choice,” Kinard said.
The two met through a cousin, Rommi Kinard said. They attended each other’s churches and Kinard was pastor of a church for five years. Their son, Dallas, helps set up and put away their microphones, speakers and other equipment.
There are sometimes humorous incidents, the couple said. While performing in Gettysburg, a dog nearby began “singing along,” but only on “Amazing Grace.” At Rose Hill Manor’s event, a spider got a ride on Rommi’s hat, and later came down on a web and was swinging back and forth in time to the music.
At the re-enactments, Union and Confederate members sit side by side at the church service, something Kinard points to saying that the idea is to bring people together who may disagree, rather than be divisive.
The couple has presented the Civil War service from Georgia to Lake Champlain, N.Y.
During battle re-enactments, Kinard becomes a Union chaplain, helping the surgeons, giving last rites and praying with the injured.
“Chaplains also had to write letters to families when a solider was killed. That was part of the job,” Kinard said. A typical chaplain had as many as 1,000 soldiers in a division to provide services for.
The couple does about 30 events a year, Kinard said, a perfect way to carry the message of history with that of spirituality. “I don’t ask anyone to pay anything but attention,” Kinard said, though donations are welcome.
Call 717-633-6684 for more information.
Parson John Living History Inc.
Dedicated to the study and presentation of early American History
Parson John Living History Inc. is an organization dedicated to the study and presentation of the events that shaped the world during the European settlement of the American continent and the founding of the United States of America.
The characters of “Parson John” and “Maggie Delaney” that are portrayed by Frank and Carol Jarboe were chosen for specific reasons. “Parson John” (his first name is John – John Frank Jarboe – hence Parson John) is a compilation of the Jarboe’s research into the itinerate ministers of the 18th century. Seen as a missing part of historical presentations, Frank’s portrayal of the Parson provides events, schools and churches with the historically correct church services that would have taken place during the colonial period. At different events across a 6 state area, he has provided everything from simple devotionals for re-enactors to a complete 18th century Sacrament Service for the public. In addition, Frank gives history lessons on the religion of the 17th and 18th centuries. As a licensed Minister, “Parson John” also officiates at weddings – both period and modern, and funerals. He has been referred to by some as “a pastor to re-enactors.”
Parson John Living History, Inc.
1785 Old Springfield Rd.
Woodburn, KY 42170