As I write this, I am somewhat numb. Anyone who has followed my ministry for a while knows that until 2018 my family and I lived in Uvalde, Texas.

When I moved to Uvalde, I was fresh out of college. My whole life was in front of me and I was ablaze with the fire of youthful zeal and enthusiasm. I had answered the call of God to preach just a few years prior to attending college, and had served as a youth minister at a couple of churches in central and southwest Texas during and prior to college, then God called me to minister to the youth of Uvalde full time.

Shortly after I moved to Uvalde, my wife and I were married, and began our life together in Uvalde. Our children were all born in Uvalde, four of whom were born in the very hospital you have seen on the news. I made pastoral visits to many people in that hospital.

I know the school too. As a young man just starting out and newly married, I substituted at Robb Elementary and other Uvalde schools.

As I watched the news reports, I recognized familiar places and familiar faces and I have to say it is all sort of surreal. Like it’s a bad dream.

Uvalde is a place that I love and it is still the home of many of the people I love, and yet Uvalde has become synonymous with terror and indescribable grief. This makes me both very sad and angry.

I do not want to hear any more political speeches regarding this tragedy. I do not want to hear people who have never been to Uvalde try to describe Uvalde. People have their opinions, but this preacher is of the opinion that all of our national woes go back to the same root problem: we have turned away from God as a people, and it is killing us. And that is not a Uvalde problem, that is a worldwide problem.

We can never set things aright. We have messed this old world up beyond our ability to set things aright. We cannot make America great again without God’s guidance and help, and we need to stop telling ourselves that we can. We need to get on our knees in humble repentance and go to the one who can, and we need to do it now.

—Rev. Dr. Kenneth C. Kemble,
Capac Bible Church