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Donor - Sam Hornish Jr.

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Brethren Sam Hornish Jr. Wins Second-Closest Race in Indy 500 HistoryIndy 500

A few years back -- May 28, 2006 -- Sam Hornish, Jr., member of the Poplar Ridge Church of the Brethren near Defiance, Ohio, won the 2006 Indianapolis 500. That day he was making his sixth appearance in the Indianapolis 500 race—and won it all! Although the day had its share of setbacks and obstacles, Sam and the Penske racing team toughed it out with careful strategy and perseverance.

After starting at the #1 pole position and occasionally leading the race, Sam edged ahead again at the finish line to win the second closest finish in Indy history, just .0635 seconds ahead of Marco Andretti. “I thank God for giving me a lot of talent,” Sam said, “not so much the fact for what I can do driving, but the fact that I didn’t want to give up. And then He also put me with such a great team and gave me great parents and a great wife to support me very much.”

Only two weeks before the race Sam’s grandmother, Helen Hornish, had died. It was indeed a day of mixed emotions as he spoke to reporters at the close of the race. The Bethany community and many friends in the wider church extended both their congratulations and their sympathy to the Hornish family in that time of victory and of remembrance. Bethany has appreciated the financial support provided by the Hornish family, including Sam Jr. and Crystal, parents Sam and Jo, and grandmother Helen.

Elizabeth Keller
Master of Divinity '08

ElizabethSaying “YES” to God can get messy. It did for me. In all my defiance and resistance to God’s call (maybe you can relate?!), I made a mess--and while I learned along the way to revel in the messiness, I give thanks to God who can make any crooked path straight. May my personal story resonate some with our universal story as the emerging generation of the church for the 21st century.