By: Vernon Welkner, VP KSSSAR
Compatriots, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Vernon Welkner and I am currently the Vice President for the Kansas State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. My wife, Linda, and I have been married since 1976 and we have four children and twelve grandchildren. We live in Leavenworth, Kansas. I am the past president of the Henry Leavenworth chapter and currently serve as the chapter’s chaplain. I am a member of the SAR’s National Chaplain’s Committee and the National Society’s Membership Committee. Linda is a member of the Captain Jesse Leavenworth chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution where she serves as the chairwoman of the chapter’s membership committee.
I grew up in Miami, Florida where I received a calling from the Lord to follow Him into church ministry, so I studied at the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. I attended graduate school at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and received my doctorate from the Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary in Daytona Beach, Florida. I have served full-time in pastoral ministry since 1980 and in churches in Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and now Kansas. In my ministry I have traveled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Belize, and Mexico. I have preached at Native American church on the Navajo Reservation and summer camps in Juneau, Alaska. I currently serve as the Senior Pastor of the High Prairie Church in Leavenworth, Kansas.
I became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution through the efforts of my mother, who was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mom said that when she was a young girl she remember her aunt telling her that she had ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. She spent several years tracing her ancestry back to her Revolutionary War patriot and discovered his name was Joseph McReynolds who served with the North Carolina militia. He was wounded in action and captured by the British at the Battle of Camden (South Carolina) and spent several months as a prisoner of war. As soon as my mother became a member of the DAR she began urging me to join the SAR. After several years of her encouragement, I logged onto the national SAR web site and located the Henry Leavenworth chapter. I found out when the chapter met and showed up for a meeting. Barney Ellis became my sponsor and I received my membership on July 8, 2010.
I found chapter meetings encouraging and enlightening. My favorite aspect of the chapter meetings was and still is the historical presentations of the patriots and battles of the American Revolution. The Henry Leavenworth chapter is privileged to be located close to Fort Leavenworth and many of the instructors from the Fort have given presentations at chapter meetings. Many of our members have also given excellent historical presentations that I have found to be a real treasure.
I look forward to continued service at the national, state, and chapter levels. I have enjoyed attending a national congress and the spring and fall leadership meetings and I urge you to get involved as well. I hope to see you at the state conference this March and upcoming Board of Governors meetings.