The Rev. Kenneth V. Reeves, born July 26, 1921, at his grandparents farm in rural Pomona, Jackson County, Ill., passed away on Friday, Aug. 12, 2005, Anderson Hospital, Maryville, Ill.
The Rev. Reeves was born of true pioneer people in a remote area of Illinois, which is now called Shawnee National Forest. When he was 12 years old and a heathen, as he describes himself, an angel came into his room where he was in bed. His family lived in a little log house in the woods at that time.
He said the angel was dressed as a man, but he was very tall - approximately nine feet tall. Being very frightened, Kenneth pulled his covers over his head. After awhile he peeked out, and the angel was still there. The angel was holding out western magazines. They were the kind he and the other kids down in the country were reading at the time. The angel was very disapproving of Kenneth reading these.
Once again, Kenneth ducked under his covers. When at last he had the courage to look out again, the angel was still there. But this time he was extending a Bible, very much like the one Pastor Reeves uses now. Then the angle left through a side wall without breaking the wall or window. He just went through it. Pastor Reeves said he didnít think anyone would believe him, so he didnít tell anyone about the angel. But this was the initial call of God in his life to explain the scriptures. Shortly after that they moved to Granite City, Ill.
At the age of 16, in 1938, he was scheduled to try out for the St. Louis Browns. He was very athletic and a good baseball player. He was telling his mother that if the Browns accepted him, he would buy her a new house with a picket fence around it. His mother, who had been a Christian before Kenneth was born and had given the, then unborn, child to God, said something which made him very angry. She said, "Oh, you might not do that at all, you might get saved." She had stopped going to the house of God when Kenneth was very young. So his mother saying this was very unexpected.
However, a friend of Kennethís, named Robert, had found God while on summer vacation at his grandparents home down in Missouri. When Kenneth would go on his daily runs to keep in shape for his ball playing, Robert would run with him and tell him about God. Then while Bob caught his breath, Kenneth would tell Bob about his baseball aspirations. Finally, Kenneth became hungry for God, went home to his room one cold, January night, after his run, and repented in his own bedroom. He said, "If God will hear any prayer, it will be the one he taught his disciples." So he went through the New Testament until he found the Lordís Prayer in Matthew, chapter six. Some lady had taught it to him when he was a little boy in the country. When he prayed that prayer, God lifted the load of sin from off his chest. He was so excited; he put his shoes on, without tying them, and ran to tell his friend Robert. Robert then told him that he must be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as it says in the Bible in Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, and Romans 6:3, 4. So he went to the next church service at Robertís church and was baptized.
After Kenneth was baptized, Robert told him that according to he Bible examples in Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:38, Acts 10:44-46, and Acts 19:1-6, Kenneth was eligible to receive the Holy Ghost. Robert had received this promised gift (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:39 and Ephesians 1:13) himself, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, just like those in the scriptures had received it. The Holy Spirit is really the presence of God living in one and speaking out through him. It is very humbling to think the great Omnipresent God, would consider flowing into our lives, live through us, and be joined unto our spirits as it says in I Corinthians 6:17. So Kenneth knelt at the altar in the church and in a minute or two began speaking in tongues. This experience continued for quite awhile that night. Around 40 days after he repented, Kenneth began to see visions (Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17) from God. He still has visions, and now is having dreams from God too. God is always showing him things of the future and of Godís will.
At that young age of 16, he felt the fire of God burning so strongly inside of him that he hitchhiked, and later rode busses when he had the money, to tell others about God. He slept in haylofts and the back seats of cars, or any place someone offered him, just so he could travel to villages, cities and country places to tell people about God. He didnít have a tie or presentable clothes, just a desire to share what God had given him. He finally got enough money to buy a Bible of his own. He would stay up all night studying the word of God. God told him that he had called him to explain the scriptures and that He would be with him to help him.
He saw World War II before it happened and his brothers going off to war. He saw a vision of President Franklin Roosevelt who was holding his head. Roosevelt later died of a brain hemorrhage. At the end of 1972, he saw Avril Harriman in a vision talking with the new President of the United States and telling him not to take the smiles of the Russian president as true friendliness. That he must keep his guard up. He also saw when he traveled the world in 1972 that there was much fear of war among the European nations. He asked God about this since we in America didnít seem to have that tension. Then he saw a vision of the United States as though it were a peaceful, pastoral country. Then a huge ball swung toward it from somewhere and broke away the outer covering. Inside this peaceful facade was a gleaming ship of war, at readiness to fight.
After many years of evangelizing, as well as, being the pastor for several different congregations, he returned to Granite City in 1956 and became pastor of the congregation where he started out with God. In 1976, he received the anointing from God to cast our demons in Jesus Name. He has gone around the world and prayed personally for people as well as praying for many, who call him over the telephone.
Over the years, he has probably had at least a hundred visions of me, personally. And he is always seeing visions to help others inside and outside our congregation. Despite this, he is a very meek man. He is always at your feet to serve you as he does God. When he gets into the pulpit, he tells it like it is and is very strong for the will of God in every matter. He does not waver from the Word of God, which he loves. His purpose of serving and pleasing God never flags although next January it will be 67 years since he started living for God.
Although he has always put God first, God has allowed him to study the law. He has several law degrees, including a Jurist Doctorate. However, he has never practiced law, he has always been a minister. He just wanted to understand the laws of his state and country. Our congregation has had the privilege of having him for our pastor for these 49 years and wish it could be 49 more years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Edwin and Elsie Jane, nee Jones, Reeves; a sister, Lowanda Alene Reeves; three brothers, Edward Sylvester, Joseph Charles and Gerald Jerome Reeves; two sisters-in-law, Rita, nee Zolata, Reeves and Virginia, nee Toerper, Reeves; a brother-in-law, Charles Wood; a niece, Monica Cheryl, nee Reeves, Kirman; a nephew, Darwin Reeves; and two infant brothers.
Surviving are his wife of 59 years, Norma Lee, nee Huskey, Reeves of Granite City, Ill.; a daughter, Angela Leigh Reeves of Granite City, Ill.; a sister, Joan Eileen (Bud) Falkenhein of Granite City, Ill. two sisters-in-law, Betty Reeves of Granada Hills, Calif., and Billie Jean Wood of Mountain Home, Ark.; a brother-in-law, Shelby Huskey of Riverside, Calif.
Published in the Belleville News-Democrat from 8/15/2005 - 8/16/2005.