Dear Grace Church Family and Friends!

Recently my Mother, Hollie Ruth Kelly went home to be with Jesus. As most of you know, Cheryl and I, and our family members took care of her at home for the last two years of her life. What a joy to know that Mom is at home in heaven with Jesus. As you might guess, as a pastor I either conduct or attend many memorial services. This one was different, it was my Mother. I am deeply grateful for the wonderful privilege I had to share at her service. I rejoice with certainty that she is with the Lord. She made it clear that she was ready to die, to live eternally in heaven. As I said at Mom’s service, death is not the end! I know that one day I will see Mom and Dad again. Pure joy sweeps over my soul, because I know whom I have believed and am sure that He is able to keep that which has been committed unto Him. There is a peace that accompanies the home going of those close to us. This peace rests in the work of Jesus on the cross. Without Jesus no one goes to heaven. Thankfully, knowing Jesus covers the great divide between heaven and hell. If you have are not saved, if you are not a believer, come to Jesus today. Is He speaking to you right now? If so, cry out to Him in repentance and faith and be saved today! Jesus was with Mom when she faced death. He longs to be with you when you face death. Truth Him now!!!

John 6:47 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.

Cheryl and I have been overwhelmed by the cards, calls, emails, texts and by the many ways you have loved us over the past few days and weeks. Your kind words and prayers have sustained us. As I prepared to share the Gospel at Mom’s service, I was strengthened by your love and prayers. I know that God is real because He loved us through you. Having a church family, pastor friends, and believers in our family blessed us over and over again. We love you and will always remember how you cared for us in our time of loss and grief. As I left Wilmington Wednesday, I knew that things were forever changed. But one thing had not changed, your love for us! I could hardly wait to see my church family and to be with you again. That’s special!!!

I want to thank Pastor Jamin, Pastor Chuck and Vicki for their loving and thoughtful support. They cared for you in our absence. I appreciate so much their faithful friendship and ministry among us. Our deacons have also encouraged us with their prayers and support. With everything that has happened over the past two weeks, Cheryl and I are so thankful for you as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

God bless you… see you Sunday! You are loved!!!

Mike and Cheryl <><