A pastor is known for looking after his congregation's spiritual health. But one Coastal Empire preacher is going above and beyond that duty. He's helping give one of his flock a new lease on life by donating a kidney to a church member and friend.
When Ken Biber found out he needed a kidney transplant, Pastor Alfred Banks heeded the call, not just from Biber, but from heaven as well. "The way I see it," he told us, "God's just going to take one kidney out of me and put it into a brother who needs it, and we'll both have great kidneys."
It was a prayer Biber believes God Himself answered, through Banks, his friend and mentor. "A man of god, a man I love as a personal friend, and as my pastor, says, 'Here's a part of me to help make you whole.'"
Even though the week of the surgery is upon them, both Pastor Banks and Biber know that the support of the church is behind them. "The biggest thing is just to pray," said parishioner Janie Carter. "We know God is in it, from the very beginning, we know that he's been in everything that's been going on."
"We are very proud of our pastor, and thankful to the Lord that it was a good match and that he is able to do this," added fellow church member Judy Anderson.
With heartfelt prayers from miles away, neither Pastor Banks nor Biber are worried about their surgeries. They know a higher power will see them through. "Just going to trust the Lord that Ken and I will have great surgeries and speedy, speedy recoveries," said Pastor Banks.
"The big week ahead of me, I hope, is testimony to other people," said Biber. "The love that a pastor has for the Lord and his congregation."
It's a love that has brought them together, not only through faith, but also by blood. The men are in Jacksonville tonight. If all goes well, doctors will do the transplant Wednesday. We'll keep you posted on their progress.