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Much to Be Thankful for on the 4th By the Rev. Jim Kinsler


“This Bible has been our secret consolation in the course of long interminable years of suffering, humiliation and suppression. The mere possession of a religious book meant death – if discovered. I dedicate it as a token of deep respect and profound gratitude to the chaplain of the victorious XIth USA Army who brought us liberty.”


Every year on the Fourth of July I read these words from a Bible my father, Chaplain David E. Kinsler, received during World War II. He was in Patton’s Third Army, and a Chaplain of the 11th Armored Division. Following the Battle of the Bulge the 11th Armored Division swept into Austria and was involved in the liberation of Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The following are some of the recollections he recorded of the events:


The shouting was over and we were moving along in a convoy toward an uncertain objective. There were rumors about a Concentration Camp ... we turned off the main route and started up a secondary road twisting up a hill. As we made a turn someone shouted, ‘There it is.’ On the hill above us was a gray stone fortress- like structure. It looked like a prison with walls topped with barbed wire. As we came nearer there was a stench that seemed to cling to everything. It was not a familiar smell but definitely permeated the atmosphere. (Later we learned this was the smoke and ashes from the furnace where the bodies of inmates were burned.)


Along with the horrific images he carried with him till his death, were stories he told of faith, courage, and the strength of the human spirit that were displayed by those


who endured a literal hell on earth. One story centered on a service of thanksgiving that was held by the 12,000 freed inmates. It was reminiscent of the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. He told me he had never been so inspired as when the former inmates sang together in 17 different languages. The words and music blending together in a harmony that overcame their differences and the difficulty of their situation.


The second focused on a flag the inmates had sewn together. I’ll let you read it in my father’s own words:


A most touching and moving incident was the occasion when the inmates sent a delegation to ask if they could raise an American flag on the main flagstaff. Permission was granted and they


of cloth they had scrounged. Some parts were faded but “Old Glory” never unfurled in a more honored surrounding than she did that day as tears filled the eyes of former inmates and the liberators. The Stars and Stripes spoke the true message of freedom and equality that day to people who had been liberated from aggression and given a new hope for freedom and life. The Chaplain thanked God that day and thanks God today that we are a free people in a land of plenty. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”


SCHEDULE OF SERVICES Sunday


9:45 a.m. Sunday School 10:45 a.m. Worship/Kingdom Kidz Church 6:00 p.m. Worship/ Royal Rangers & Mpact Girls*


Tuesday 6:30 p.m. Celebrate Recovery


May we all be mindful this Fourth of July that we have much to give thanks for and celebrate!


24 • July 2014 • ShorelinesMagazine.com Wednesday


6:30 p.m. Radical Youth, KCO (Kids Community Outreach), Kidz Choir*


7:00 p.m. Bible Study 8:00 p.m. Sanctuary Choir Practice*


*Contact church office for summer schedule CO-PASTORS


Lanis J. Lewis and Terry K. Bonds FAMILY MINISTRIES PASTOR Chip Woodall


328 May Avenue  P. O. Box 457  Lincolnton, Ga. 30817  (706) 359-7237 www.firstaglincolnton.orgoffice@firstaglincolnton.org


raise a flag they had made, it was made


The Rev. Robert Sayer, pastor 3:30 - 4:30


every


7 pm


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