More Memories from Kenneth Kuenning '52

I had several interesting experiences while at Mission House/Lakeland. Here are a few of them:

Track: In my sophomore year (1949-1950), Mission House College had two students from Africa, Alex Ababio and Bill Agble. Alex ran track and on a hot day he was outstanding. On a road trip our team was refused service at a restaurant because Alex was black. The track team's response was, if Alex doesn't eat here, none of us will. None of us did. For me, that was an early experience in racial prejudice.

Basketball: The team traveled to away games in several cars and the college station wagon. The station wagon had a governor on it, limiting our speed to 65 or 70 miles per hour. Our student driver was John Hanlon, a football player. We were playing some team in Chicago. It was winter and snowing hard. The snow banks were high and the road and street signs were covered in snow. We missed a turn and, suddenly, we were going down a steep grade. The street was bumpy! Then there were signs--"Release Break!," “Sound Bell!"--we were going under the Chicago River on a street car track! Fortunately, no street cars were running. And the other team members in the cars behind us were glad to see we made it. Needless to say, that got our attention!

Drama: The Thespians put on several one-act plays that were directed by students. It was the first time "theater in the round" was tried on campus. The play I was in was entitled “The Forgotten Man" and Lillian Raisch was the student director. The one line my character (a preacher) had made all the students laugh, which puzzled me. The line was, "My sermon this morning will have nothing to do with the text." When I became a seminary student, I found out why the students laughed. In seminary, one is taught to develop one's sermon around the text or be reprimanded!

As a student at Mission House/Lakeland, I was inspired not only by the professors, but also by the other adults on campus. All of them--the cooks, the custodians, the business manager, the librarians, the professors and the college president--had a genuine concern for students.

After college, I went to Eden Theological Seminary. After graduation I had four pastorates of 3, 6, 4 and 26.5 years in duration. I organized two church-based community organizations, traveled to the Holy Land, Europe, and the South Pacific (Philippines). I was also a cowboy for Heifer International. I have traveled to most of the states, except Alaska, and I have been involved in a variety of continuing education programs. In retirement I have been a minister of visitation, an interim pastor and have filled in for others when they were on vacation. I was a delegate to four general synods and have been honored with a Pastor Emeritus standing at the Church of Peace in Rock Island, Illinois.

I have friendships from college that have lasted through the years & to the present day.



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