When Kenneth Trent was still a young boy, his father died during the Great Depression. Kenneth watched his mother, Rebecca Barker Trent, sacrifice on a daily basis to provide for him and his three siblings.
After Kenneth’s father died, Rebecca was forced to close the store they operated. She worked any job she could find, never cringing from hard work. Kenneth remembers watching his mother come home with bleeding fingers after shelling pecans all day or with large blisters on her arms, hands and neck from heat and grueling work of a laundry mat.
And at dinner, Rebecca would refuse to eat to ensure her children received enough food.
“The Depression years were very hard,” said Kenneth’s daughter Nancy Horton. “My dad told me she would prepare dinner for the children and when asked where her plate was, she relied with a smile that she had already eaten. ‘Go ahead sonny boy, you children eat,’ she would say. ‘I’m just fine.’”
Rebecca faithfully taught her children about the love of Christ and took them to Immanuel Baptist Church in Houston. There, Kenneth accepted Christ and was baptized. Later, he became licensed to preach in the same church. For the next 73 years, Kenneth was involved in ministry. From preaching in churches to leading missionary crusades to Africa and Central America, Kenneth boldly evangelized in Jesus’ name.
Today, at 89 years old, he and his wife live at a senior living facility in Houston where he continues to lead Bible study there once a week.
The example of Kenneth’s ministry inspired his daughter Nancy to also be involved in ministry. She married a minister and for over 40 years, Nancy and her husband, Ron Horton, served in churches. Ron now has Parkinson’s disease and is in assisted living, but like Nancy’s father, he also teaches Bible study there once a week.
Nancy always told her children stories about their great-grandmother Rebecca, who lived at the Buckner Orphans Home. The stories were a permanent part of their childhood.
“Even as small children, we always knew our great-grandmother was orphaned and that she was raised at Buckner,” Nancy’s daughter, Rhonda Horton, said. “[Because of that], there was always a feeling of appreciation, love and thankfulness. Since I was a little girl, I knew about Buckner and it always meant the world to me and my family.”
Little did Rhonda know Buckner would play a significant part in her life as an adult. Click here to read her story.