Saturday, May 24, 2003

Soldier shares miracle

Faith matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

MILFORD - Army Ranger Kyle Smith believes in miracles.

Sunday, the Special Forces soldier who was seriously injured in Iraq will tell about his own miracle at a patriotic service at First Baptist Church of Milford.

Smith, 28 , was one of two soldiers injured in the April 3 suicide bombing of a checkpoint near a dam northwest of Baghdad. Three other coalition soldiers were killed as well as the driver of the car with the bomb and a pregnant passenger.

"It was really touch and go for a while. They didn't think (Smith) was going to make it," said Ruth Kelly, a church members.

Smith's wife, Cristina, grew up at the church and the members prayed for his well-being.

Connie Zeinner, Smith's mother-in-law and a member of the First Baptist Church, said Smith has told his story to several churches.

First Baptist Church, which has more than 1,500 members, has made the special patriotic service a regular Memorial Day weekend event.

A church picnic will follow the 10:05 a.m. service at the church, 1367 Woodville Pike in Miami Township.

Christian sounds

The Gospel Grille , a 280-seat Christian entertainment restaurant, is hosting a grand opening celebration this weekend with a series of three free Christian music concerts.

"We wanted to make a place that could break down walls of segregation and racial barriers, and be a place of Christian love and harmony," said Kevin Ellerbee, founder of the restaurant.

Ellerbee, who also manages New Identity, a Cincinnati-based black gospel group, hopes the restaurant will serve as a way to highlight Christian acts.

The grill, 11473 Chester Road in Sharonville, will host El Trio De Hoy a contemporary Christian Latino group, at 8 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday. New Identity, a Cincinnati-based black gospel group, will perform at 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.

A nationally known group, Out of the Grey, will perform at 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Several local artists will perform Sunday.

The restaurant has been receiving reservations for the concerts, and Ellerbee is optimistic about the success of the grill.

After opening weekend, the full-service menu restaurant, will have live Christian entertainment, including local Gospel artists, comedians and a live audience participation game show.

The grill plans to be open from 5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and a family style buffet from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. For information or reservations, call 772-2249.

Belarus group visits

The New Jerusalem Band from Minsk, Belarus, will perform Messianic Jewish Russian songs at Trinity Christian Fellowship on June 1 at 9:30 a.m. The group, which won the Best Song of the Year Award from the Belorussian Music Awards in 1997, performs a selection of rock, rap and pop.

Trinity is located at 3730 Cobb Road between Williamsburg and Mount Orab. For more information, call 724-7729.

Send religion news to or fax to 513-755-4150.

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