Friday, February 8, 2008

Messages for Matt

Hopefully, this blog will become a place over the weeks ahead whereby friends, family, and others can relay messages for Matt while he is recovering in the hospital and at home. If you are visiting this site, it is likely that you know Matt was injured in the destructive tornadoes of February 5, 2008 on the campus of Union University in Jackson, TN. Matt and several other students were trapped for several hours beneath several tons of debris on the campus of Union University. At this time, the Kelley family and medical staff believe a minimal amount of visitation will be most conducive to a more rapid and complete recovery for Matt. However, they are most appreciative for all prayers that have been and will be lifted on Matt's behalf. Please know they look forward to the opportunity to visit with friends once Matt's recovery has made significant progress. Please leave Matt a message wishing him well and a rapid recovery.


Sharon Harrison said...

Hi Matt,

We are Kevin Furniss' Aunt and Uncle...we are praying diligently for you and the other guys. We know that God has big plans for all of you!! We met your mom and dad on Tuesday night and are so blessed to be able to pray for you.

Tim and Sharon Harrison

Susan Stitch said...

I am a mother of another Union student who wasn't on campus. Matt, please know that our church is praying for you in Florissant, MO.

Susan Stitch

LJ said...


i love you so much!! i have always looked up to as a big brother. you are a amazing person and everyone can see that! God has a great plan for you this is just a task... you will get through it!! i love you

Debra Owens-Hughes said...

I am the mom of Mikaela, another freshman survivor at Union. I want to assure you of our prayers for you as you recover. Our family and many like ours around the world are lifting you up hourly! we are missionaries in Colombia, and Many of our friends here are also praying with us for you. God is hearing a lot of Spanish right now in your favor. God bless you real good!
Debra Owens-Hughes
Ps. The verse in your Union planner for the week of the tornado was romans 8:18. have someone read it for to you!
Missionary to colombia, South America

Donna Tucker said...

Hi Matt,

I am Donna Tucker. My father is JD Tucker,a Sheriff's Deputy in Somerville TN. He told me the story of what happened to you and I just wanted to post a message to let you know that me and all of my friends at UT Martin are praying for you. God Bless.

Jack Webb said...


My mom and your grandmom have been good friends since they were both little girls. I also teach at ECS, so I know some of the other guys who were with you. My whole family is praying for you all and for your families.

Jack Webb

Camille said...

My brother, Scott Marksberry, is a soccer coach at Union. We have been praying for Matt since we found out about the storm. We will continue to pray for him! Our church and the Young Life family in Collierville, TN is praying for him, too!

wcrowder said...

We have prayed for you each morning in our classroom. The kids ask for updates everyday! Know that you and your family are being prayed for! We are sure that God is and will be providing for you each step of your recovery. Know that your family at Fayette Academy (and a fellow Unionite alumni!) are praying for you everyday!
Whitney (Culver) Crowder

james said...

Matt, again I find myself on the sidelines admiring your courage under pressure. I have seen your heart and drive. You will be the inspiration and light that brings that community and school out of the darkness of this disaster. I have no doubt you will be back on the links hitting that little white ball again soon.
Praying for you,
Coach Haas

sscates said...

Hey Matt,
We love you and are praying for you. You and your family have always meant a great deal to our family and we are here for anything you need.
We love you
Mrs. Scates, Cat, & Cory

Ellen DeFoor said...

Hi Matt -

The DeFoors are sending you our love and prayers today and every day for the days to come. Please know that your Somerville First Baptist Church family and your family of friends from Fayette Academy and the Somerville community love you and are remembering you in our daily thoughts and prayers. We Love You!

The DeFoors - Ellen, Bubbie, Amy, JoJo, Ginnie, Robyn & Cami

Kalynn Thomas said...

Hey Big Bro,
I am so happy to hear you are going to be ok. I have called the hospital a couple of times to check on you! I told your grandmother to pass the word to you but I am gonna say what I told her again anyway. I am so proud of you and the bravery and faith you showed. You have showed a lot of courage and I truly know that God is going to use this experience in your like in your testimony. I also wanted to let you know how much you have always meant to me. You have always been such a great friend to me and you have always been there for me! Thank you so much for always being my friend! Just wanted to let you know how much I care and how much I love you! Stay strong! I'll see ya soon!----Love Kalynn

Joy English said...

My name is Joy English. I know your parents (wonderful people), and you and my daughter (Jessica Snell) stayed at Moma Jean's together. I just wanted to send my love and prayers to you. You have grown into a fine young man and I thank God for his miracle and wish you a speedy recovery!

Adrienne and Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrienne and Jim said...


You may or may not know us because we are much older than you are, but we graduated from Fayette Academy in '99 and '96 and have made our home in Nashville, TN. We watched as the tornados made their way through Jackson and as the damage unfolded on Union's campus. As we prepared to take cover, we prayed for those who were trapped and for everyone who was being affected by this storm. What a testimony you will have to share when you are better! We will continue to pray for all of you and will lift up your name with special prayers for your healing.

Many Blessings,
Jim, Adrienne (Peterson), and Owen Fleming

Charlie said...

Hey Matt,

Charlie McConnell here, so what to say, what a deal. I can not imagine what you had to go through. We like to think that things happen for a reason and they do. In God's world I believe they happen for some good that we may come to know and sometimes we may not. I believe that your experience will be something that God will use through you for a greater purpose that will be revealed in His time. I have known you and your family for a long time and all of our faith in God is what, even in times of confusion, makes sense of our time hear on earth. Just want you to know I will continue to pray for you. Remember, that whatever is ahead, God has brought you this far and He will gladly carry you forward.

With God's Grace & Peace
Charlie McConnell

Jean said...

Hi Matt,

Just wanted you to know that Jamie and I all the members of lst Methodist in Somerville have kept you and your family in our prayers this past week. Sometimes when we slow down, due to illness, etc., I think God uses that time to show us patience and give us time to seek his direction for the task he has for us to do. Just remember he picked you for his mission.

Emily B. said...


I am so glad you are ok. I know you are strong. I wish you all the best and a great recovery. And i just wanted to let you know that we are thinking and praying for you!! we love you!!

Emily and Justin

Lucinda German said...


As I received word from my sister, Allyson Hauss, that Union had been struck by a tornado, she said we have talked to Kimberlee and she is OK. I immediately said then we need to pray for Scott and Matt Kelley. I had no idea that you were one of those trapped until Wednesday morning. Prayer is a powerful thing and you are certainly being prayed for back at home in Somerville. I hope each day finds you a little stronger and closer to a full recovery. KEEP THE FAITH! Love from

The Germans: Lucinda, Willie, Jeremy, Jeff & Jacob

sgrant said...

Hey Matt:
We just wanted to let you know we are praying for your recovery. Our church here in Covington, First Baptist, is also praying for you. You & your family are very special to us. Love,
Joe,Sherry,Beau & Laura Anne

Melinda McKibben said...

Morning Matt,

Sending a hug this morning.
I am honored to raise you
and family in prayer daily.
You are a present day miracle and a testament to the amazing God
we serve. Hang in there guy.
You have come so far.

Melinda McKibben

Mrs. Joy said...

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor Me." (Psalm 50:15)

Mayor Bob said...

Hey Matt, We just want you to know we love and are praying for you daily. It's gonna be tough over days and weeks ahead, but I know the son of "Wildman" David Kelley can handle it and you'll be back on the course before you know it.

Ms Bette said...

Hi Matt,

We are praying for you and your family daily. Our church family at FBC Fisherville is also lifting you up in prayer. Mr. Bill and I feel blessed to know you and all of the Kelley Family. God is faithful. Jeremiah 29:11

Mr. Bill & Ms Bette

Shirley A. Redfearn said...


Jerry and I are praying for your peace, comfort and healing every day. You are Christ's beloved - His Joy - remember this and have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Jerry and Shirley Redfearn

Elizabeth Henry said...

Matt, my class and I pray for you each morning during our devotional.. Today is Valentine's Day and I have worn the special heart necklace you gave me when you were one of my students in third grade. Your family and I are very close, and they have helped me through soome difficult times. Prayer helps so much as well, as trusting in the Lord.

Loyd_Pickett said...

I know you will have the strength and endurance to make this trek. Go with God and God will surely go with you. Kay and I are praying for you and know that He is answering our prayers. Parks Chapel UMC is praying for you and your family. All of us are also standing by to be of any help to any of your family or you.

Charlotte K said...

Hey Ya’ll,
I’m doing as Potch instructed – praying specifically!! Great song this morning on XM – The Great “I Am” Still Is. What a powerful statement. When we don’t/can’t understand – it’s ok – He does & loves us still. What a mighty God we serve!!!

Praying specifically!!
Love ya,

Amy, Kimberly, & Courtney said...

We are praying for you. You are a strong young man and my faith in God says you are going to get better and be stronger than you were before. We are thinking of you and are here for you and your family if you need anything. Look forward to having you back in Somerville before you know it.
Love Ya,
Amy, Kimberly, & Courtney McClure

Brian Coley said...

Matt, My name is Brian Coley and I am a Paramedic that had incident command for the Medical side of the Union scene that night. I am so sorry that I didn't get up there to see you before you were transfered to your hometown. I am truly amazed at the miracle that God performed that night. You all are a LIVING miracle and testimony that GOD is a wonderful GOD. As I told Bob and Kevin, GOD is the only reason you all are here. What we did was not us but GOD giving us the wisdom, strength, and him working through our hands to get to you all in a timely fashion. I want you to know that you, your family and the other guys and families are in my prayers. May God's hand stay upon you and heal you. I recently finished a book that my wife got me for Christmas that you would love....90 minutes in Heaven. Hope to talk with you soon.

SueRhea said...

Hey Matt,
This is "Aunt" (cousin) Susan. I just wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you and praying for your peace, comfort and strength (and that of your family) while you are on God's road to recovery. You truly are a living miracle and a testimony to God's awesome mercy and grace. I know He has something incredible planned for your life. You are an exceptional young man and I'm so proud to call you "family". Hold on to your Faith in Him and Hang in there!
Love & Prayers,
"Aunt" Susan, "Uncle" Paul, Megan & Joey :)
P.S. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

John Carroll said...

Matt, we are praying often for your recovery.

I never met you before, but we heard your story and will be meeting together in prayer for you tonight.

- john carroll

Grant said...


Hey buddy. Potch has been keeping me and others updated on your recovery. I am confident in God's care and plan for you and want you to know that I am praying for you and your family often. Stay strong brother and know that you have many praying for you. Our God is a great God. Love you man.

Grant Taylor

Ms. Mary said...

Hi Matt! It's Ms. Mary. I just wanted you to know how much Mr. Andy and I love you! We are praying for you everyday. We really miss having you hang out with Linsey at our house. I know Linsey misses you something terrible. The other night she just stared at my screen saver picture that you two made together for my computer. When you get home I will fry you up some chicken and Mr. Andy will make you some Rice Krispie Treats. Oh, by the way Emma misses her hide-n-seek buddy!

shabreece said...

Hi Matt,

We are keeping up with your progress through this site and through your Aunt Evelyn,also Sharon and Tim. We are Tim Garrington's in-laws and wanted you to know that we care and wish you the best and a complete recovery. Our prayers are with you each day.

Mac & Sherry Breece

sheila rogers said...

You don't know me or Allen, but we know David and Candy. We will be praying for you every single day! I will be praying also for your parents as I can only imagine how they felt on that terrible night and how they are wanting to help their "baby" right now and cannot do very much. But prayer is the answer anyway! All our love, Allen and Sheila Rogers

Donna said...

dear matt, the bowen family are praying for your recovery. may the lord bless you with his peace and may he wrap his everlasting arms around you. bless your family. we love you all. lovingly and prayerfully, donna bowen and family

Joe's Mom said...

Dear Matt,
David, Joseph, Jessica and I continue to pray for your recovery daily. May God continue to heal and strengthen your body. Joseph was happy to hear you can shoot "hoops",however, we know you long to be back on the greens. Hang in there and remember we are thinking of you always. Joe's Mom

Alan said...


My prayers are with you and your family and I wish you a quick recovery. With him all is possible.

Tina, Kenny, Blaine & Chelsea said...

Matt, just wanted to let you know that EVERYBODY is praying for you. I read an e-mail this morning that I wanted to forward on to you.....'The will of God will never take you where the Grace
of God will not protect you.

See you soon

Suzette Gripp said...

Dear Matt & Family,

I am Joseph Wentworth's aunt, Suzette and hubby is Michael Gripp.

We have kept up with your progress through 'the grapevine' and am so glad to now have this blog to read about your daily triumphs.

Our prayers have been with all the families and friends affected by the tornados. We hold a special spot for you in our hearts since you are a part of the Fayette Academy alumni that Joseph is.

I know from personal experience how emotionally and physically grueling the days can be on you and your parents. I pray for all of you to have continued strength and for your full recovery.

Keep up the exercise of your mind and body!

God has a plan...we just don't always know what it is.

Suzette Gripp

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired,and success achieved."

Wendy said...


Marcus and I think about you and pray for you everyday. We hope for your full recovery. Marcus says you need to get better so you guys can go play golf together.

We love you
Wendy, Marcus, Cheyenne, and Palmer

Lynn R. said...

Just wanted you to know your in our thoughts and prayers all the time. I know this time is really hard for you but know that thru this God must have something really special planned for you. I cant wait till your better enough for us to come back and visit. I want to see that "Thumbs up"!! Dont let Scott pester you too much!
We Love You!
Rodney and Lynn

Kathy and Terry Davis said...

Hi Matt,
We are keeping up with you through this website. We are praying for you, your Mom and Dad, as well as all of your family. I am printing out your daily progress and taking it to Taylor Auto Parts so Mom and Dad can read it. They are also praying for you!

Sunflashed said...

Hi Matt, we are using my brother's blog. Aaron and I want to wish you the quickest recovery possible and we are praying for you and your family.
Aaron and Stephanie Carson

Laina said...

Hi Matt:
Our prayers are with you every day, every hour for your full recovery. You know how special you and your family is to us and we are here for anything you need!
I know God has a reason for this and you will know his reason one day. Stay strong!!May hope and faith be your hearts companion today and always.
Laina, Nick & Lauren

Rachael said...

Just wanted to let you know that we have been praying for your recovery. Tyler wanted to let you know that he and his 4th grade class have been praying for you and your family as well.
This verse jumped out at me when Corey was in the hospital.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)
"No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He'll never let you be pushed past your limit; He'll always be there to help you come through it."

We love ya!
Corey, Rachael & Tyler

Shirley A. Redfearn said...


Jerry and I pray for you daily. You, Candy, David and Christen are always on our mind, hearts and in our prayers. Just yesterday a man and woman from FEMA were by my office asking about agriculture damage in the county. They ask if I knew you and how you were doing. You are precious to many and especially precious to Somerville and First Baptist. Many prayers and praises are being lifted. I am glad to hear you are in a room now!
Love ya forever always.
Shirley R.

cheryl said...

Dear Kelleys, We are so glad to hear that Matt is progressing and eating better! We lift prayers for your entire family as this takes everyone's strength. Please, if there is anything at all that we can do to help, we are just a phone call away.
Cheryl Haas <><

Cat Cocke said...

Hi Matt,
I am so thankful to be able to check up on your journey to recovery. I had been asking my mom about you often, and she has been keeping me updated on ya. You are a very strong person, and I know that God will use this awful tragedy to show you exactly how powerful and gracious He is! God is guiding you through this, and you are in our daily prayers. I hope to be able to come visit very soon. You are in my prayers (specifically)! If there is anything I can do for you or the fam, please let me know.
We love you,
Catherine Cocke

Grant said...


Still praying for you and the family. Stay strong brother and heal quick so you can start swining those clubs again. Much love in Christ our Lord.


raymond said...

Messages FROM Matt::::

This note is from Raymond and Matt. Matt wants to thank everyone for your notes on this blog and for all your prayers and encouragement. He also wants to tell everyone to please keep praying for him. It has been a few days since I have seen him and he looks great. Mimi and I have been blessed to spend time with Matt over the last few weeks. He is an amazing man. I have told people that he is my hero and he has made me a better person. Matt is getting better and his kidneys are slowly starting to work. Please keep his kidneys in your prayers because the doctors say that this will help his legs go down. We are about to start some PT. HE IS WORKING VERY HARD. I will try and send some reports from Matt as he moves forward. His spirits are great and his faith is AWESOME!!!!!!He has ups and downs but he has the guts, strength, and faith to fight this fight.


This message has been approved by Matt Kelley....

The Hunt's said...

Dear Kelley's,
So glad to hear some really good progress!! We pray for you every morning in the car on the way to good ole FA! My 4 yr old, Caroline (who doesn't know you) speaks of you often in her prayers, "Dear Lord, please be with Matt AND Kelley". I'm certain that the Lord knows exactly who she is talking about! Keep on doing what you are doing, the Lord will take care of the rest! God Bless!
Janet (Montague), Joel, Emily and Caroline Hunt