by Cathy Neece Brown
Fort Worth has been blessed with a plethora of gifted community leaders and volunteers who have given their time and treasure unselfishly. Among those was the Rev. Floyd Kinser.
Fort Worth was indeed fortunate that Rev. Kinser’s career in newspaper advertising did not meet his expectations. That pivotal moment in his career moved him into ministry and a lifetime of serving others.
Rev. Kinser served as a Presbyterian minister for 44 years, first in Menard and then Wichita Falls, Abilene, Bowie and Nocona before arriving at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth in 1970.
A servant of the church, he was also a servant of the community! Rev. Kinser elevated the word “service” by cultivating a passion for identifying, discovering and meeting community needs wherever he served.
His vision for his personal ministry was expansive as he focused on community needs and intently on the needs of the senior population. This vision helped launch two of Fort Worth’s most treasured nonprofits: the James L. West Center for Dementia Care and Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County.
A precursor to today’s West Center, Rev. Kinser and his ministry staff at First Presbyterian Church established a Senior Adult Day Care Program at the church to support the needs of families with loved ones diagnosed with dementia. Since that time the church has played a defining role in supporting persons and families in their walk with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Today, his legacy can additionally be seen across the community from the Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association.
The seed he planted in First Presbyterian Church’s outreach efforts in support of dementia has grown to become Fort Worth’s very own James L. West Center for Dementia Care. At its founding the West Center was one of only three facilities of its kind nationwide and today continues to hold that recognition.
What began as a facility focused solely on residential and Adult Day Care now offers comprehensive free education training for caregivers through its acclaimed dementia education and caregiver education programs.
In addition, his vision to serve homebound residents – mostly seniors – has been quite fruitful, with over 5,200 caring volunteers giving of their time and personal resources to deliver meals, engage in conversation and make daily safety checks as part of our community’s Meals On Wheels nonprofit!
Under Rev. Kinser’s leadership, First Presbyterian Church joined hands with 11 downtown Fort Worth faith-based organizations to provide relief and solutions for the hunger prevalent in the central city. Meals On Wheels served 25 meal recipients within the focused delivery area on its first day and today serves more than 1.6 million meals per year.
His passion for the community and especially seniors was evident throughout his years of service. “I am truly amazed at the insight and energy that Rev. Kinser poured into his ministries, and into the West Center in particular,” says James L. West Center CEO Cheryl Harding. “Even in these most recent years, he served the West Center as the weekly preacher for chapel services and was a voice we could rely on for solid advice on how to serve our senior population facing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Long before the national trend of support for caregivers Rev. Rev. Kinser recognized that caregivers themselves needed a break from the stresses of caregiving.”
What a blessing he has been for thousands of lives touched through the James L. West Center for Dementia Care; Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County; Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging; and the North Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
All of Rev. Kinser’s achievements, and the many ways his ministries served others in Fort Worth and beyond, are a result of his passion for the world of ministry and service… what a loss for the advertising world.
A mighty oak has fallen.
In later years, Floyd and his wife Dorothy traveled extensively in Europe. He enjoyed playing golf, and a highlight was getting to play the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. In retirement he was a docent at the Amon Carter Museum of Art.
Rev. Kinser is survived by his wife of sixty-nine years, Dorothy; three sons, Glen Byron Kinser of Hurst, Kevin Bruce Kinser (Judith) of Fort Worth, and Owen Gilbert Kinser of Fort Worth. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Shea Coleman Kinser (Austin Powell) of Washington D.C., Owen Harris Kinser of Fort Worth, Emma Jane Kinser of Austin, Azelie Marie Dugas of Denton.
A private family service is planned for later this month with a public memorial service in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County or First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth.