Funeral Services to be held for Slain Rhode Island Missionary

( [email protected] ) Feb 25, 2004 11:38 AM EST

Iraq - While the shooting and killing of Curtis Corner Baptist Church Pastor John Kelley by unidentified gunmen in Iraq on Valentine's Day is attracting much attention, several people are beginning to discover the late pastor's principles of unwavering faith and passion in doing God's work. These messages give inspiration to many while there are currently missionaries struggling to set up churches in Iraq even after the tragic incident.

The ambush near Baghdad resulted in the wounding of three other pastors who were with John Kelley, 48. Kelley along with 10 other minsters were on a two week Christian missions trip in Iraq when a white sedan pulled alongside their vehicle and opened fire on them. One of the wounded was Reverend David Davis of Grace Bible Baptist Church in Vernon, Conn. Other missionaries reported wounded were from New York and Massachussetts.

The funeral for Pastor John Kelley is to be held Tuesday, February 24 at 11 AM at the Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple in Johnston. Burial will take place at Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Center in Exeter afterwards. The South Kingston Honor Guard will attend the funeral services as well.

Kelley is survived by wife, Jane, and four children: Jennifer, 15, Jason, 17, James, 21 and Julia, 23. Contributions to the Kelley family can be made to the Pastor Kelley Benevolent Fund. Donations to the missions organization Kelley was traveling with in Iraq can be sent to the Global Resource Group. Checks can be sent to Curtis Corner Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1810, Charlestown, RI, 02813.

Parishioner Roland Vukic who has been managing all of the publicity since Kelley's death broadcasted the devastating story to 237 Christian radio stations across the U.S. Vukic emphasized the enormous amount of missionaries who at this moment are still ministering in life-threatening nations around the world. Curtis Corner Baptist Church itself is currently supporting 19 global missions. Over the radio Vukic asked "Do you realize that there are men and their families risking their lives every single day?"

Pastor John Kelley along with several other ministers were in progress of establishing a church with Iraqi Christians in Baghdad. Members of this group are still working to establish this church in the hostile territory of Iraq. Kelley was a pastor for Curtis Corner Baptist Church in Wakefield, Rhode Island for 19 years.