Friday, September 15, 2023

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Bishop Paul T. Veney, Sr.

Minister Chris Green gives the invocation at the funeral service
held at Life Center Ministries for Bishop Paul Troy Veney Sr., 82, of Harrisburg.
September 15, 2023. Dan Gleiter |

Today, I was humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to minister the Invocation to begin a royal Home-going celebration of one the most regal and noble souls that we will ever meet in our lifetime.

Before lifting up words of prayer, I shared the following:

"Twenty years ago, in the summer of 2003, my wife and I were in the midst of a two-year preparation to plant a ministry in Harrisburg, PA. It just so happened that Bishop Paul T. Veney, Sr. was going to be traveling through our home city of St. Louis, MO. 

His daughter, Lisa was a good friend of one of the young women in our church, and this young lady, knowing that we were going to be moving to Harrisburg, contacted us to arrange a meeting with the Veneys. We shared a meal at a restaurant and this mighty man of God, without hesitation, welcomed us to Harrisburg a full year before we ever arrived.

Little did we know that God was making us part of, what I now call the Veney Thread. We’re all here today because of the way God used this great man and his family, like a thread that has connected people across ethnic, social, economic, denominational, and generational boundaries and barriers. 

Little did we know how God was going to use this great man to tie us in to, weave us in, sew us into this community the same way God used Barnabus to connect Paul with the elders of the early church.

If you look across this community, you will see the results of the Veney Thread and the powerful way that The Father has used this man to connect all of us in our various callings, appointings, anointings, giftings, and assignments in such a masterful orchestration of relationships."

Bishop Veney's legacy will be kept alive and well in our STEP Forward Life Institute through the  Bishop Paul T. Veney, Sr. Scholarship.

The Invocation:

Father God, we stand here today in the name of Jesus Christ, and we give You all the Glory for the things You have done.

When we look across this auditorium, we see the true representation of what it looks like when Your Kingdom comes and Your will is done in the hearts and lives of the countless men, women, boys and girls whose destinies have been impacted by Your servant, one Bishop Paul Veney.

We thank You for his life! We thank You for pouring out Your love upon us through his life. We heard Your voice when he spoke. We were flooded with Your wisdom when he was teaching us. We felt Your heart when he embraced us. We even experienced Your joy when he smiled and laughed with us. 

Although we didn’t always recognize it, we look back and we recall Your love when he had to correct us. And we were amazed by Your presence when he would lift his hands in worship with tears streaming down his face.

God we thank You!

And as testimonies and stories are shared throughout the remainder of this gathering, we declare that You are welcome in this place, even as we honor Your servant whom You used to show us the Father’s Heart. 

Let everything that is said and done from this point forward bring honor to Your matchless name. 

And it is in that great name that we pray, In Jesus' name; Amen.