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Church Plant in Chicago
Leader: Kevin Kelly

                                                                             

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                                                                                                Kevin and Jennifer Kelly

3041 North Monticello
Chicago, IL 60618
Kevin: email tenacidad@gmail.com cell 817-564-4415
Jennifer: email russiajen@yahoo.com cell 817-578-6467
 
Our Passion is to Love God and Love Others (Matthew 22: 36-40)
Kevin born December 20, 1977
Jennifer born March 17, 1978
Married on August 16, 2008
No Children
 
Moved to Chicago to start a church August 14, 2009
 
EDUCATION
   Kevin
            Baylor University, Waco, Texas
                        Juris Doctor 2005
            Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
                        Master of Science 2002
Specialization: Park Management & Policy
                        Certificate in Business 2002
                        Bachelor of Science 2000
Emphasis: Park & Natural Resources
            R.L. Paschal High School, Fort Worth, Texas
Valedictorian 1996
   Jennifer
            Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
                        Master of Arts in Missiology 2008
            Oklahoma Baptist University
                        Bachelor of Education, Music and English 2000
 
 
MINISTRY
Testimony and Call to Service-Kevin
As a young child, I privately came to the decision to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I did not share this decision with my parents, and I did not ask them any questions. Because I was a young child, I do not remember the exact dates of the decision.

Over time I came to realize the need to make a public profession of my faith. One Sunday during the decision time of the service, I walked down the aisle at South Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas to tell Brother Reed that I was a Christian and wanted to be baptized. He later met with me to make sure that I understood the decision I was making.

I do know the date of my baptism because a few years back I wanted to know when I had been baptized and contacted the church. I then recorded the date of July 2, 1989 in my Bible.
 
The call to Christian service has grown within me over time and through a series of different life events. The desire has been gnawing at me for a long time, but I will mention two specific high points. One day about 2 years ago I was sitting in my car when I came to the realization that all that mattered in life was to bring glory to God. I prayed while I was still in the car that God would provide me with the opportunity to serve Him. He immediately answered my prayer by providing me with the opportunity to serve in 2 ministries in my church. About 3 months ago I was walking down a major street in Fort Worth, and I saw the building where the Texas Girls’ Choir rehearses. The building looked like a church, and I saw a plaque that said 'Gideon Baptist Church' on what looked like the former doors to the church. There was also a quote from Psalm 118:23 that said, 'This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.' And it just did not seem right to me. In that place there had been a church, and now it was no more. At that moment I was hit with the sense of urgency that I need to be doing more to reach the world for Christ.
 
Testimony and Call to Service-Jennifer
I, too, began my relationship with Christ at an early age. I was four years old when God first started speaking to me. As I was attending a Sunday evening service with my mother, I told her that I wanted to talk with the children’s pastor. We made an appointment to meet with him, and he explained the gospel to me. I did not make a decision at this time. I know that people felt that I was too young to understand, but instead I made a decision to do nothing. 
 
Four years later I was listening to a testimony on the radio. The story was about a man who heard God’s call from an early age but chose to ignore it. Throughout his life he had many opportunities to turn to God, but he did not do so until he was an elderly man on his deathbed. His eternal destiny was secure, but he lamented how he had wasted his life. I realized that I was about to become that same story if I did not act upon God’s call. I prayed right there in my bedroom and began my relationship with Christ.
 
A little over a year later while at a mission camp, God impressed upon me the need to spend my life in service for him. At the time my only paradigm of understanding was a foreign missionary. In fact, I narrowed it down to foreign missionary doctor because it seemed that people who served God were pastors, pastor’s wives, and doctors. I could not be the first and did not want to be the second. During college I wrestled with whose plan would govern my life—mine or God’s. Over time God helped me to understand how he has designed and gifted me to serve in the way that he intends. With that realization, I surrendered my will back to his and returned to the path he intended for me. My heart still desires to work among the international community, but at present, that international community is around our home in Chicago.
 
Service-Kevin
Activities at Texas A&M University 1996-2002
            Member of Fightn’ Texas Aggie Band
            Member of Corps Center Guard
            Member of Gen. O.R. Simpson Honor Society
            Leader of adventure team
            Leader of Recreation, Park & Tourism Society
 
Activities at Baylor Law School 2002-2005
            Member of Christian Legal Society
            Member and Leader of Delta Theta Phi
                        Blood Drive
                        Food Drive
                        Clothing Drive
                        Test-taking skills class
            Helped tutor children at local elementary school
 
Activities at Highland Baptist Church 2002 - 2005
            Did Sunday morning set-up of college ministry
            Usher
           
Activities at Hulen Street Baptist Church 2005-2009
            Greeter
            Prepared sanctuary
            Upward Soccer coach
            Upward Soccer referee
            Upward Soccer leadership team
            5th and 6th grade Sunday School teacher
            Developed and lead Mission Camp
            Youth prayer team
            Member of singles group
            Organized singles camping trip
            Organized singles trips to volunteer at the Agape homeless meal
 
Service-Jennifer
Activities in high school 1992-1996
Partnered with an apartment ministry church plant: tutoring, Bible clubs, block
parties, clowning
            Designed and Implemented Bible camp curriculum
            Served on state mission council for teen girls
 
Activities in Russia 2001-2005
            Taught ESL and lead a team of American teachers for three years
            Served as a church administrator for one year
            Partnered with YWAM in outreach to street children
            Praise team member
            Lead Bible studies
 
Activities at Hulen Street Baptist Church 2005-2009
Greeter
5th and 6th grade Sunday School teacher
            Developed and lead Mission Camp
 
Mission Trips-Kevin
            January 13-21, 2007
            Managua, Nicaragua
            Jody Kennedy International
            Helping with English language course
 
            August 6-10, 2007
            Waco, Texas
            Hulen Street Baptist Church
            5th and 6th grade Missions Camp
 
            January 12-20, 2008
Managua, Nicaragua
            Jody Kennedy International
            Helping with English language course
 
            June 15-20, 2008
            Austin, Texas
            Hulen Street Baptist Church
            5th and 6th grade Missions Camp
 
Mission Trips-Jennifer
            Summer 1993
            Los Angeles, CA
            Champion Forest Baptist Church
            Lead Backyard Bible Clubs, Music
 
            Summer 1994
            San Antonio, Texas
            Champion Forest Baptist Church
            Lead Backyard Bible Clubs, Music
 
            Spring 1995
            San Pedro Sula, Honduras
            Champion Forest Baptist Church
            Worked with Children, Music
 
            Summer 1995
            Baltimore, Maryland
            Champion Forest Baptist Church

Happy Valentine’s Day.  We pray that you were filled with the knowledge of God’s love today.                                    February 14 2012

We just returned home from our Tuesday Night Kid’s Club and were so encouraged by how God worked this evening.  We talked about God’s love from 1 John 4—about how God loves us first and loves us most.  That there is nothing we can do to change God’s love for us.  We could see in the face of one little boy named Bud that God’s truth really resonated with him tonight.  Bud has been bothered by something that he has not shared with any of the adults in his life, but we do know that he is being bullied at school.  His parents have shared with us that the highlight of his week is to come to Bible study.  Please pray for Bud—and for us as we encourage him from God’s Word.

 

To plan our spring curriculum, we decided to ask the kids to write down any questions about God, life, the Bible, etc.  We didn’t have anyone sign their name, and we told them they could safely write down any question and that we could discuss them during the Bible times.  We were amazed by some of the questions. Here’s list for the next few weeks of study:

  • Where’s God at?
  • Are the Angels real?
  • Who makes us to be nice or bad?
  • Why are we all different?
  • Is it magic you use to answer our prayer?
  • Even though you don’t love us any less or any more, do you still get really proud of us?
  • Can bad turn into good?
  • Why are there different Bibles?
  • How was the Bible made?
  • Is the Bible true?
  • Did God really say these words?
  • What is the purpose of this Bible?
  • Why are there different religions?
  • How do people really know exactly what happened (in the Bible) if we weren’t alive then?
  • How did God make us?
  • Was the Devil and God brothers?

Wow! What a list. Please be praying for us as we tackle these questions.

 

Job update: Ahoy Mates! It looks favorable that Kevin will be a deckhand on the Tall Ship Windy this summer.  The summer before last, Kevin volunteered once a week on the ship to learn how to sail—and the captain had encouraged him to work last summer, but he had a contract position and it wouldn’t work with his schedule.  But Kevin called Captain Larry, and the Captain remembered Kevin and is putting in a recommendation for this summer season.  That would provide employment from April to October, and typically commuter deckhands only work 3 full days-with possibly a half-day, so Kevin would have the benefit  of having more free days for ministry. (Plus Jennifer is looking forward to some free evening sails!) Not everything is certain, so please pray for all of the logistics to work out.

 

Finances: We are still praying for God to provide all that is needed in the next few months.  But we have been very encouraged by the ways that God has surprised us with unexpected blessings...even things as small as meals being provided that we didn’t expect.

 

Mission teams: We have several mission teams who are planning to come this summer.  Pray for us as we work through logistics that everything will be coordinated and that we will follow God’s direction.

 

Pray also for Jennifer’s father, Greg, who is currently in the hospital.  He was admitted yesterday, and this morning 2 stents were placed in his heart.  Pray for a speedy and full recovery.

 

We’ve had  glitches with our internet connection would be improved.  Service has been problematic in our area, and the internet has been going down nearly every night.  Though it isn’t a crisis, it is a frustration as we try to complete tasks (such as sending this letter).  Please pray for full connection to be restored.

 

Here are some significant upcoming dates:

  • February 17: Zoning appeals meeting for a high school meeting.  Jennifer has been asked to speak at this meeting as a member of the community—which is expected to be unpleasant and will more than likely receive media coverage.  On a positive note, the Avondale Neighborhood Association had its first community social—which was a great success.  Kevin and Jennifer were introduced to all in attendance by the Avondale Chamber as “movers and shakers.”
  • March 3: Service in the City.  Students from Moody Bible Institute are partnering with us at Lamon Avenue Baptist Church (LABC) for community outreach and facility maintenance.  In the morning several teams will go throughout the community to pass out flyers, talk with people, and share the Gospel.  In the afternoon the church will host a spring Carnival.  Another team will be working to finish the floors and other projects to the 3rd floor of the education building so that we can host summer children events.
  • March 4: Kevin is preaching
  • March 20: Elections.  LABC is a precinct location for the elections and we are praying that we will be able to connect with neighbors as they come to vote.
  • March 23: Family Night at Lamon. We are hosting a family night for the community at LABC as an outreach.  We are exploring the possibility of beginning regular community nights a couple times a month on Friday nights.
  • March 24: Partnering with Pilgrim Lutheran church to serve a meal to the homeless in the community