Things looking ‘perfect’ for pastor to give kidney to his new friend
By Mark Wineka
SALISBURY — After spending last Monday and Tuesday undergoing various tests at Duke University Medical Center, Pastor Tim B. Jones of Mercy Independent Baptist Church has received word that everything looks good for him to give a kidney to friend Don Herbert.
“I am a perfect match, so Don will be getting a kidney,” Jones said. “God is so good.”
Because of sickness, Herbert also was at the Duke University hospital for a spell last week, but he’s home now and doing better, Jones said Monday.
The way things are shaping up now, Jones added, the transplant could occur as soon as late January. The men were hoping Herbert could stay well enough at least until next March.
“Everything is kicking into overdrive here,” said Jones, who lives in Salisbury.
Jones and Herbert, a tenor with the gospel-singing trio The Parables of Christ, first met each other Oct. 25 when Herbert and his wife, Belinda, stopped by the church’s craft and bake sale. They have become best friends since.
The men still plan to host a fund-raising revival from 7-9:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Southeast Middle School, where The Parables of Christ and another gospel group will be singing and Jones will be preaching.
Jones didn’t know his new acquaintance Herbert had stage 4 kidney disease until reading a Facebook post from Belinda. The prospects of Herbert’s finding a kidney donor were slim, unless someone such as Jones stepped forward.
Herbert had been removed from the waiting list because he needed a heart catheterization first, and he was told the dye in that procedure would destroy his already diseased kidneys, forcing him onto permanent dialysis.
Jones said he prayed about it and discussed with his wife, Sherry, the idea of donating a kidney to Herbert.
Jones and Herbert jointly announced the pastor’s proposed gift during a Nov. 20 revival at Mercy Independent Baptist Church.
Some people in this area may remember Herbert as professional wrestler John Savage, who was on the wrestling circuit from 1978 to 1992. Herbert began gospel singing in earnest in 1986. Today, the Parables of Christ perform 150 to 160 dates annually over six states.
Jones founded his new church three months ago at 1390 Pump Station Road in Kannapolis. He also works as a surgical technologist in the operating room at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast.
Several more stories about Jones’ gift to Herbert will be coming out over Christmas, Jones said.
“Again, that just goes back to God and how everything, piece by piece, has worked into place,” Jones said.
Duke University Medical Center also has asked permission from Jones and Herbert to share their story on the hospital’s website and with media in the Triangle area.
“I think that’s a good thing,” Jones said.
The mean have made only one request.
“You have to give God the credit,” Jones said.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
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