Another Hero Goes Home

October 10, 2006

by Warren Hopper


There have been a lot of people in my life that God has utilized to teach, mentor, and transform me. While attending State Street United Methodist Church in Bowling Green from about age 6 until I was 23 years of age, there were 4 men who really made a difference in my life through the little things.


The first was Mr. Laird, who always sat in the pew in front of my family. Every Sunday he would ask my sister and me how we were doing, what we had been up to, and he usually said something that made us laugh. I looked forward to seeing him every Sunday. It never failed that he would give me a peppermint candy. Mr. Laird was probably in his late 60’s, and yet he made it a priority to check on this young kid each and every week.


The second man who had a huge impact was Mr. Hild. Mr. Hild used to talk to me at church; however, he took it a step further. He would call me and invite me to WKU men’s basketball games whenever his wife chose not to attend. Which for a while seemed pretty often. He would share with me about the past and we enjoyed a similar passion of basketball. Later the Hilds would pay me to rake their yard or to help move things in the garage/basement. At church Mr. Hild never missed an opportunity to check up on me and my family. Mr. Hild always had faith in me.


The third man was Dr. Scarborough. He was one of the funniest men I ever met. He always had a quick comment to make that would cause my friend and me to crack up laughing. He always checked on us both. Later after his passing I was able to share about him with his granddaughter while at Loucon. It was a very special time; however it was made possible through God and through his work within my life.


All three of those men made a major difference in my life. My parents were divorced when I was 6 or 7 years old. I still had a good relationship with my father; however these men were there in the times that he was not able to be a part of my life. These men took on roles that helped me to grow and develop into the man I became.


Later I took a position at State Street as the youth director while I was finishing up my degree at Western. It was through this position that I got a chance to meet someone else who would impact my life and my ministry from that day forward, Herb.


The Rev. Herb Kittinger retired from official service in 1992; however he took a position as the Minister of Visitation at State Street shortly afterwards. And those who know Herb know that he never retired. He served diligently throughout the conference with his main emphasis being on the shut-ins at State Street and the ministry at Loucon. Herb brought numerous work teams to Loucon. He served as the interim director twice during some difficult times at camp. And Herb was a committee member for 9 years including two as the committee chair for Loucon.


If there was ever a need Herb would bring a crew, find what we needed, or take care of it himself. He was an active servant for the Kingdom. And above all Herb was an amazing friend to each and every one of us at Loucon. Herb was an example of Christ who always knew that it was his place to serve and love all those around him. He shared his passion for people of all races and cultures. Herb was connected to his Father in Heaven.


I feel a great loss in this world without Herb Kittinger. However I know that he is celebrating with Jesus. I know that this is just the next step in their amazing relationship. I also know that my life is much richer for knowing Herb. Herb was a hero to me. He was an amazing example of how to love, serve, and enjoy all God’s blessings. He was a great family man, a loving pastor, and an eternal servant. Herb was the hands and feet of Christ. I thank my Father in Heaven for allowing me to know such an amazing man who was after God’s own heart. I look forward to seeing Herb again someday.


All four of these older gentlemen took the time to step out of their worlds and share with me the love of Christ. Not one of them decided that they had done their part. Not one of them thought for a minute that they could not relate to me. Instead they followed their hearts and loved me like Christ. They taught me what it is to be a real man of God. They showed me the life of Christ through their compassion and service. God used each of these men to help mold me into who God desired.


It is my hope that I will someday be like these four men. And I hope that if you are reading this true life story that you will realize the impact you can have upon a life. It doesn’t matter the difference in age. It only matters that you love Christ and that you share it with those around you! It is my hope that when you leave this earth that Christ is as pleased with you as he was these four men. If that is the case then you will also be a hero to someone.


Rev. Herb Kittinger

Came to Earth January 6, 1929

Went Home September 1, 2006

We will miss you greatly Herb! Thank you!

Contributions may be made to a Scholarship for Children attending Camp Loucon which has been set up in Memory of Herb and Maggie Kittinger.