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October 13, 2003

Giving the Gospel to the deaf

From: Princeton Daily Clarion, IN - Oct 13, 2003

By RICH AZAR Chief staff writer

PRINCETON -- More than 60 faithful gathered together for "Gospel in the Gravel," a free Saturday evening sing at the Princeton Christian Church.

The event featured Brother Duane King, a pioneer in bringing the word of God to deaf people through his ministry and a soon-to-be-completed series of videotapes and DVDs covering the New Testament, in sign language.

The evangelist team is in revival with church members nightly this week.

"We want to reach deaf people in their own language, English is really their second language," King said. "I know a little Greek, but I sure wouldn't want to try to read the Bible in Greek."

Some deaf people read English well and others hardly at all, he said.

King first ministered to a deaf family around Christmas 1966 and was inspired to establish Deaf Missions, in Council Bluff, Iowa, in 1971. The organization now employs 12 people full-time and distributes its "Daily Devotions for the Deaf" to more than 24,000 addresses in 60 nations.

He noted that 90 percent of deaf people are born to hearing parents, "And a large majority of those parents never learned enough sign language to communicate the language of Jesus to their deaf children."

The video project was launched in 1982 and King said he expects the New Testament will be finished next year. The group has already translated portions of the Old Testament, said the former singer with the Watchmen Quartet, which led revival and evangelistic meetings throughout the Midwest from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s.

Pastor Charlie Dietz welcomed King and his wife, Peggy, who drove from Iowa for the four-day revival. "Where else do we have people from?" he asked and got, besides Princeton, Anderson, Petersburg, Owensville, Mt. Olympus, Patoka and Francisco for answers.

The evening featured a blend of modern and traditional spiritual music provided by Dietz, the Kings, Petersburg's Scott Harvey and Princeton's Randy Scales. And more than a little humor was in the mix.

Referencing the sign announcing the event out front, Brother King said, "I'm sure glad you got the 'l' in 'gravel,' I'd hate for it to be 'Gospel in the Grave.'"

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