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Fred Kinzie- 2007 Inductee

Early Sunday morning, February 8, 2009, Fred Kinzie, my father-in-law, entered heaven’s paradise, although he had many previous glimpses.  I’m sure he stopped and looked down the long walls and up the storied corners to see if they were straight.  He may have even tried to count the number of angels circling around the throne.  With his compulsion to know the facts and details, one would think him austere.  Just the opposite.  He was the most magnanimous, generous, forgiving soul who walked in shoe leather.  He assumed legendary status among us long ago, and much of what our church and our entire organization is today reflects his influence, values and force of personality.

In 2007, the United Pentecostal Church, International, inducted Fred Kinzie into the Order of the Faith.  Here is his story in his own words.

Reverend Fred Kinzie Biography

A news item in the February 7th 1914, issue of the Bremen, Indiana newspaper, “The Inquirer” stated: “If you noticed a fluctuation in the stockmarket this past week it was probably due to the birth of a son, Frederick E. to Mr. & Mrs. William Kinzie on February 4.”

Our nation was emerging from the horse and buggy era to the Model T Ford at the time I came on the scene. I’ve lived through six wars, the cold war plus the Great Depression. All of these events made a profound impression on our lives. At the time of this writing I’m93 years old.

When I was five years old our family moved to a farm near Lapaz, Indiana. There, playing with the next door neighborhood kids, I met Vera Berger who later became my wife. We both graduated from Lapaz High School and in 1934 married. On December 16, 2006 she went on to meet the Lord. It is impossible to convey what she meant to me and thousands of others we ministered to later.

We began life together as farmers fully expecting to do that the rest of our lives. In 1936 things dramatically changed when we yielded our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We became active in the Plymouth, Indiana ‘Old Time Religion Tabernacle’ ch urch pastored by Walter D. Mangun. I became an elder and Vera ministered asa musician in the church. We led many ofour neighbors and friends to the Lord, including two girls, Pat and Pam McQueen whose father’s farm adjoined ours. During that time I was superintendent of a non-denominational Sunday school for three years. The girls attended there and we taught them in our classes.

In 1941 I felt the call to the ministry. Fearful and lacking confidence I was indecisive, vacillating between ‘yes and no.’ In the winter of 1944 we took time off from the farm to help Evangelist Earl Gamblin, preaching and singing in meetings in Miami and Pensacola, Florida. Suddenly, rheumatic fever began its throbbing pain in me while driving betwen the two cities and I ended up in a hospital in Pensacola, Florida with a sever case. Gripped by extreme suffering, our future in the ministry was resolved in that hospital room. Finally, in earnest prayer I committed myself to the ministry asking the Lord, ‘to heal me and get me out of the hospital.’ That day Vera wrote letters home informing our folks we were leaving the farm. The next morning I was a healed man. Only God knows what that healing did for us. It poured strength, courage, confidence and the ‘get up and go’ into us. There is no way to adequately measure the importance of that experience in our lives.

Two months later in July 1944, we began evangelizing. The girls Pat and Pam McQueen went with us making a musical team. We sang, preached, and were known as the Kinzie Evangelistic Party throughout the United States and Canada. We did that for the next nine years. In 1950 we added another member to the party with the birth of our daughter, Cassandra. We were honored to be a part of the merger Conference in 1945. I was also privileged to attend fifty-seven consecutive General Conferences.

Many opportunities to pastor churches from California to Florida, and a number in between, were offered us while traveling, but the Lord impressed me to ‘keep on doing what you’re doing.’ None of those churches were in the will of God except Toledo, Ohio. My call to Toledo was so definite that doubts never crossed our minds. We came in May, 1953, built three church buildings during our pastorate, moving twice. The privilege of pastoring the Toledo church has been greatly rewarding. Many ministers have gone out from here to pastor or become missionaries.

Thirty years later we turned the church over to our son-in-law, J. Mark Jordan and family. They added a beautiful sanctuary and a commodius Family Life Center. The church continues on a spiritual course, awaiting the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I serve as pastor emeritus.

After retiring I began writing. Four books were published by Word Aflame Press and many articles printed in the Pentecostal Herald and District magazines.

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January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEarl H. Zimmerman

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