Granddad’s Healing TestimonyPosted: June 1, 2010
Years of Suffering End in Glorious Restoration
The Personal Testimony of Rev. Thomas Josiah Kinard I
Jan. 26, 1962
In the years 1944 and 1945, I was sick most of the time. I lost quite a bit of time off my job. I was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company [in Baytown, Texas], having been hired the 21 day of Jan. 1922. For over ten years I had been in the Laboratory Dept. as a sampler.
I had been bothered with arthritis for an awfully long time. In fact, my first attack was in Germany during the First World War. I had tried medicines by mouth and shots in my arm, but not much relief. I went to Marlin [Texas] and took a series of hot baths because they had been recommended to me as helpful for arthritis. I had been to Ville Platte, La., to the Attaway Clinic at least twice. Once I took a series of penicillin shots. Another time I had x-rays made. According to some old notes I was off from work from June 1944 till Jan. 2, 1945.
I worked the 2, 3, and 4, and on the 5 of Jan. 1945 I received a message that my mother [Josephine Patterson Kinard] was seriously ill. I went up to see how sick she was, and found her so ill I did not come home. On Jan. 9 at 2 min. till 9 PM, Mother went to be with the Lord. Her service was at 4 PM on Jan. 10 with Rev. Robert Walters and T. M. Puckett in charge. Interment was in the Shultz Cemetery [at Camp Ruby, Polk County] by the side of my father [Anderson Derrick Kinard], who had preceded her several years.
I had taken arthritis during her few days’ sickness, and was so crippled I could hardly walk during the funeral. We got home the night of the funeral at 8:30 PM tired and very hungry. My foot was so sore and swelled till I fell in the kitchen and knocked over a pan of milk, spilling it all over the floor. I was unable to be up the next day. I never was able to work again on my job.
1946 found me still weak, underweight, nervous and unable to be around much. I tried to keep going to church, but on Sunday of Mar. 2, 1946, I gave completely out and had to sit down. Our altar was full of seekers, but I was too weak and spent to help. I was not able to be up much on the 3 following days. On Wed. night my wife [Cecyle Lesley Hutchins Kinard] and daughter Naomi Ruth [m. Hughes] went to Decker Drive [Assembly of God, Baytown, Texas] to attend the Young People’s Service. My son T. J. was home between merchant shipping trips with his friend Quin King, who were to keep me company.
Shortly after my wife and daughter left for church, I began to cramp. I grew worse till one of the boys called Dr. C. R. Waters. When he came I was put to bed and after a shot I soon became more comfortable. About the second day I began to hemorrhage, and this continued for a few days. This so weakened me till Dr. Waters urged me to go to the hospital. I had collapsed on Mar. 5 and on Mar. 18 I was carried to Ilda’s Memorial Hospital. My wife’s brother, W[illiam]. A. Hutchins, put me in his car and drove me up to the hospital, and took me in his arms and bodily carried me into the room and put me on the bed. I stayed about 5 days, and was brought home by Harrison-Logan ambulance on Mar. 23. I did not improve as I should, and on April 1 an ambulance carried me back to the hospital. This time there was a fluoroscope and x-rays made. Dr. and Mrs. Waters first talked to my wife and asked if they should tell me what the diagnosis was. His diagnosis was “cancer of the stomach.” My wife told the Dr. to go ahead and tell him the truth. “He will want to know,” she said.
After two more days, the Dr. came up to tell me. He had difficulty in getting to the point. “There is one thing we can do. We can go in there and move the outlet of the stomach to a new place, if we can find a place that will heal,” he said. “What would that mean, Doctor?” I asked. “Only temporary relief,” he replied. “Well then, we won’t consider surgery now.” I had been suffering something awful and seemed at times I could not live.
Dr. Waters gave us permission to have our church people in to pray. He made only one reservation: “Don’t pray loud enough to disturb my other patients,” he said. We didn’t. Only two besides my wife were allowed in the room at the time. One night, Bro. Roy Cowley with Rev. Lonnie Bowlen (current pastor of the Assembly of God church) came in after church. My wife had not gone home because I was so low it seemed I could not live. When they began to pray softly, I felt the touch of God and then they began to sing, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord, Lead Me Home.” By the time they had finished, I joined in the chorus, not very strong, I’ll admit, but I could sing. God was precious to us at that moment. Those who remember the tender tenor voice of Roy Cowley as he sang with Bro. Bowlen will understand how heavenly their song was at a time when heaven seemed so near. However, I was not healed at this time.
Easter was a trying day for me. I had seemed [to be] resting and my wife had gone home to oversee a Sunday School Easter egg hunt which was on our large lawn on Jones Road. The teenage class picnic was from 2 till 4 PM. During this time I had grown much worse. I had called for the nurse, but for some reason they did not come, although I left my light on for the longest time. I thought I was about to lose consciousness when I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. It was Mrs. Viola Carter of North Dayton, and her daughter Mrs. Carl Parker. When they saw how sick I was, Mrs. Parker hurried after my wife and Mrs. Carter got the nurse. The afternoon of that day, a number of visitors came. They prayed. Later that evening, others came, some from the North Dayton church I was pastoring, others from Decker Drive Church which I had been pastoring since the church had been built.
No one seemed to think I would recover. Mrs. W. W. Hardy contacted the Red Cross to try to locate our son who had gone out on another merchant ship. They radioed a message to him in his ship. In a few days, we received the following reply:
Received at Chatham Mass. 4/28/46
T. J. Kinard, Rt. 2, Crosby, Texas
At sea expect arrive New Orleans May 12 Love, Son
In a few days, Dr. Waters said there was no more he could do, that he would cooperate with any other Dr. we chose to call in. With this we rented a hospital bed and I was sent home on May 11, 1946. From time to time Nurse Bickley would come and start off a bottle of glucose, my wife would watch it till it had fed into the vein, disconnect it, and sent the paraphernalia back to the hospital.
Knowing that “it is appointed unto man once to die,” I was concerned over the welfare of my wife and children. Since my daughter was a minor, and I wanted her protected as well as give my wife a free hand in handling our affairs, I called for Leroy Anderson of Crosby, Texas, to come and draw up a suitable will for us. He came, and the will was witnessed my Mr. and Mrs. J[ohn]. A. Hutchins (my wife’s brother and his wife [Vergie]) on 30 May, 1946. The receipt for $15.00 signed by Leroy Anderson is still in my possession. Also the wills which are void now since new ones have been drawn up.
We lived at Highlands, Texas, on Jones Road. Our house sat a distance back from the road, with a curved driveway. The first few days in June were warm, and my bed had been turned to face the windows. From where I lay, I could see the road and driveway. It was late evening when I saw someone walking slowly up the road with a large object on his shoulder. He turned in on our driveway, and I asked if that was T. J. It was our son. He had had no news since the Red Cross had radiogrammed him earlier. He approached the house in fear. The first one he saw was Theron [Swallows] (my wife’s nephew who was making his home with us then) sitting on a pile of shell which had been hauled to fill holes in the driveway but had not been spread. Theron was drinking a cup of coffee and had his head down, looking somewhat downcast, and [T. J.’s] heart sank as he started on up the driveway with heavy heart. About that time his mother and sister had recognized him and ran out in glad greeting, which made him to know all was well. He did not sail again for some time.
Days went by, and I continued to lose weight and have very low days. Finally, we decided to talk to Dr. Hugh C. Welch, 2715 Fannin, Houston. He made reservations for me, and on June 14 I was entered in the St. Joseph Infirmary in Houston, Texas. The GI series of tests were given to me, and besides my stomach there were other complications which I shall not try to explain. A blood transfusion was ordered. A blood type had to be found, since blood banks were not so widely used then. James Farmer of Highlands was the type we needed, and he gave his blood. This was to precede surgery, though surgery never took place. Just why, I do not know. I do know the operating room was retained, the anesthetist was spoken for, the time was 8 AM Monday morning.
My wife had been staying most of the time in the hospital, sleeping when she could on a trundle bed kept under my bed. I needed constant watching, and she found it hard to leave to go out to a telephone to call friends or our home in Highlands. She began to pray. This was on Saturday. She wanted someone to come in so she could send out word to the churches to pray for me in the Sunday morning service. It seemed that no one was to call on us this day. Finally, someone looked into our room, thinking it was someone she knew, and recognized us. It was Jane Glass Waycott, a lady we had been acquainted with for some years. My wife asked her to call Rev. J. W. McCellan, E. M. Yeates, and anyone else she could think of, telling them to have special prayer for me in the 11 o’clock service. She did.
Late in the afternoon of the next day, Dr. Welch came in to tell us he had canceled the surgery and was leaving by plane for a medical conference out of state the next day, that his associate Dr. Brannon (also of 2715 Fannin) was to care for me till he returned. After a day or so, however, I was no better. I began to ask Dr. Brannon if I could go home. I would think of my own bed and the south breeze through my two big windows, and got so homesick I told the doctor that he was doing no more than my wife could do at home. The noise was awful, since my room was an outside one facing a truck route. The trucks roared past all night and one of the sisters who was old and senile was located in the rear. For hours, she would groan, cry, and pray. These things upset me very much. So on June 28, an ambulance from Palms Funeral Home took me home for the third time. Yet I was still very sick, always thin. By now I was so bony that sores were forming on my back and hips. Things went on this way for a while. I would have less pain some days, but others would seems unbearable.
During my illness, many friends came to see me. Many preachers prayed. Among them were Rev. C. M. A. Cowey, missionary Dick Guynes, J. O. Savell, Lonnie Bowlen, F. D. Davis and wife, J. W. McCellan, O. L. Anglin (who substituted for me at the North Dayton church), Ben Mekalek, N[athaniel]. F. Blanscet, W. F. Roark, and Fred Zarnow. Bro. Zarnow preached for me at Decker Drive some. He would catch the bus at Coady, come to St. Joseph’s Hospital after church, and stay till the last bus for Pasadena was due.
I am not sure of the date now, but after I came home from St. Joseph’s, I performed a marriage ceremony. Two families of Goldens had girls, some of which attended the Decker Drive church. This wedding was performed in our home from my hospital bedside, making 4 Golden girls I had officiated at their weddings.
During the month of July, I suffered almost constantly. The nights seemed endless, and I would long for morning to come. Then when morning came, I would dread all day to see nightfall. On one of these days when pain was so unbearable, I began to sink into what I thought was unconsciousness. Thinking death to be near, I called my wife to say goodbye with a parting word before crossing over, for I thought I surely would. Then came my son and my daughter. After them, Theron came also to say goodbye. It was a solemn day at our house. But death did not come. I revived after some time and new strength was given.
On Aug. the 11, I felt like I could not endure another night like the night before. I called my wife and asked if she knew anyone she could call to come pray who would not have to hurry away. After thinking a while, we called our daughter Naomi Ruth (who did not have a driver’s license yet). We told her to travel the Tributary road and go for Sisters Badgett, Moler, and Firth, and to tell them to come prepared to spend the night if necessary. They came in after a while. Sis. Firth left a note for Bro. Firth as he had not come in from work yet.
When they got there, they soon saw how sick I was, and we started to go to prayer. We did not think of [anointing] oil. We only thought we were prepared to pray all night if necessary. But as we knelt, our knees had hardly hit the floor when a spirit of praise took possession of us. We praised God till we wept, then we continued to praise Him. God’s power came in increasing waves, till we did not know when Bro. Firth came in and joined us. The presence and power of God was so strong till I would be lifted from the mattress. Such was the glory and praise that none of us knew how long we were occupied in this manner. Finally, we realized that God had done a wondrous thing in our midst. We began to talk of God and His wonderful ways till late that night.
The ladies returned home with Bro. Firth, and I went to sleep and slept like a child the rest of the night. From March 5 till Aug. 11 I had been unable to rest on either side. That night while I slept I turned on my side, and was still in that position when my wife waked up next morning to exclaim, “You are on your side!”
I began to eat soft food that morning. In the afternoon while everyone was out of the room, I raised up, and holding to the bedstead, I slid off and tried to stand up. After a bit, I began to take a few steps learning to walk again after 5 months. My joints were stiff from so many months in bed. They did not work very well. After a few steps, my wife came in, and seeing I was up, motioned for T. J. and Theron to come. They came in from the backyard where they had been sitting, and when they saw me, they were startled to see me on my feet once more. T. J. remarked later, “Now I can go to sea again, for I believe Daddy will live for a long time now.”
After a few weeks, I was out and began to pick up the ministry that had been interrupted. In Nov. 1946, we bought a small farm in Scott County, Ark., and we moved within 2 miles of Waldron, the county seat. The pastor of the Waldron church, Rev. Boyd Scott, resigned in April 1947. In May 1947, we were called as pastors, a church we enjoyed for about three years. We have often talked of how God spared Hezekiah and added 15 years to his life. At this writing, it has been over 15 years since God so mercifully spared my life for me and my family, till I can now say, “Whatever life I enjoy after Aug. 11, 1962, will be more than the `good king’ was granted.”
Epilogue by the Editor
Granddad, born in 1889, was a poor East Texas farm boy. His family received the Pentecostal message very early, and Granddad was called to preach in a brush arbor erected beside the Bluewater cemetery. During World War I, he served in the Army in France and Germany. Afterward he began looking for greener pastures, and settled into an oil refinery job he kept for 22 years until forced by his illness to retire. Meanwhile, he had married, had 2 children, and pastored or planted several area churches.
All those years, he never pastored a church that could support his family. Remarkably, his illness served to free him to retire with a company pension so that he could pastor two more churches full-time in east central Arkansas, then plant a third in Crosby, Texas (1954), during the added quarter century of his life.
© 2001 Paul A. Hughes