Rev. Kelly Bender, 1968 graduate of Southwestern College, will preach on Sunday, Oct. 13, at the 10:50 a.m., morning service at Grace United Methodist Church at 320 College Street in Winfield. The sermon title is “A Dogged Love.” The service one of the final events scheduled for 2013 Homecoming at Southwestern.
Bender, a native of Ulysses, played on the 1964 and 1967 conference champion football teams while at Southwestern. Bender was voted as a Masterbuilder his senior year. The honor of Masterbuilder is given to graduating seniors who best typify the spirit of Southwestern.
“Southwestern College helped shape my core values for my life and for my ministry,” Bender says. “It also fostered a passion for justice.”
That passion led Bender along with other students and faculty to head to Greenville, Miss., in 1965. They worked on behalf of Delta ministry to register black voters following the passing of the 1965 voting rights act.
“I also want to talk about the importance of a liberal arts education that creates critical thinkers. It is very important in this day,” Bender says.
Bender may be best known for his nine years as pastor at First United Methodist Church in Wichita where he preached live to thousands of television viewers across the state of Kansas every Sunday morning.