Pastor Donates Kidney to Church Member - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/29/04

Pastor Donates Kidney to Church Member

Many people give to their church every week, but one church is making an astonishing--and priceless--donation to one of its own members. When Ken Biber's kidneys started to fail last year, he knew he could count on his church for prayer and support, but he didn't expect just what lengths his church, and especially his pastor, would go to help him.

Biber and his pastor share an unusual bond. "How well do I know my pastor? As well, and probably better than, I know my own brother," he said.

"We've been friends for a long time," said Pastor Alfred Banks.

The ties of friendship between Biber, a Sunday school teacher at Daniel Baptist Church in Richmond Hill, and Pastor Banks became even stronger after Biber was diagnosed with serious kidney problems last fall. "Tests showed that there was no hope for my kidneys," he told us. "They don't get better. Kidneys just don't get better."

So, for the past several months, Biber has been spending his days at the Coastal Dialysis Center. "That dialysis machine saves my life. Three times a week."

In January, Biber joined more than 60,000 kidney transplant candidates on the national waiting list. Most people have to wait about one to two years for their transplant. But for Ken, all that was about to change when his pastor decided to become a living donor.

If you would like to help Ken Biber and Pastor Alfred Banks, you can make a contribution to the Kidney Donation Fund at the Bryan Bank & Trust, 9971 Ford Avenue, Richmond Hill, GA 31324. The phone number is (912) 756-4444.

"I never imagined any other human being stepping forward and saying, 'here's life,'" Biber said.

But Pastor Banks calls it an easy decision. "Since God had given me two and both of them belonged to God anyway, I would just let him borrow one from God for a while."

After extensive medical tests, the two men learned they were a match. "It's a miracle," said Biber. "It really is a miracle and I thank God that we have the knowledge to take a part from a human being and put this part over here and have two whole human beings. That's an incredible thing."

"My body belongs to God, according to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, every bit of me, body and spirit," said Pastor Banks. "I'm just glad Ken's going to get a part of it. I can laugh at him now and tell him, we're really brothers."

Ken Biber will get his new kidney from Pastor Banks on May 12 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. The whole church is excited about Ken's recovery.

If you would like to help Ken Biber and Pastor Alfred Banks, you can make a contribution to the Kidney Donation Fund at the Bryan Bank & Trust, 9971 Ford Avenue, Richmond Hill, GA 31324. The phone number is (912) 756-4444.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly