From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
MORE DEATHS OF PRESBYTERIANS REPORTED FROM
05 May 1996 13:05:03
95147 MORE DEATHS OF PRESBYTERIANS REPORTED FROM
by Alexa Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--According to the Presbytery of Indian Nations, five people
with ties to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are now presumed dead and two
other Presbyterians sustained serious injury.
"There is just no one untouched," said the Rev. Pat Kennedy of St.
Andrews Presbyterian Church. "It's a big city ... but it's like a small
Kennedy said three of the five deaths are confirmed:
* Susan Jane Ferrell, 37, of Oklahoma City, daughter of Don and Sally
Ferrell of First Presbyterian Church of Chandler, Okla.
* Gene Hodges Jr., 54, of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Norman,
Okla., husband of Deb Hodges, and son of retired minister the Rev. Gene
Hodges, also of Norman
* David Walker, 54, of Edmond, Okla., son-in-law of William and
Cordelia Boseman of First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.
The granddaughter of another member of Memorial Presbyterian Church --
a United Parcel Service worker who was delivering a package to the federal
building -- is still missing and presumed dead, Kennedy said, and the niece
of a member of the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City is also
missing and presumed dead.
"There is still a slender strand of hope that a miracle may happen and
they will find more survivors," Kennedy said, while acknowledging that, as
rescue workers sift through debris in the basement of the Federal Building,
many consider that unlikely.
"It seems every church has some connection with the disaster," said
Carolyn Stephens, new executive of Indian Nations Presbytery, who began
work May 1 in the midst of relief work. "I had hoped my first few weeks
could be spent getting to know people. ...
"Now it's going to have to be sharing in people's pain."
Westminster Church and First Church in Oklahoma City each have one
member still hospitalized with injuries.
Kennedy said people impacted by the blast are not limited to those who
grieve the missing and injured. "I can't even begin to think of the number
of people in our congregations who work in the downtown area," Kennedy
said, speculating that 200-300 Presbyterians were employed by downtown
"It's remarkable," said Stephens of those reaching out now to Oklahoma
City. She reported receiving an Internet message assuring the presbytery
of prayers in the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba -- one of many
messages of condolence pouring in. Letters, offerings and prayers are
coming into the city from presbyteries and from ecumenical bodies all over
"It's sad, and yet I see a lot of strength, God-given strength,
helping people focus on the future and on healing," said Stephens after her
first few days on the job.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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