Everybody’s been asking for it, so here it is.
It’s a copy of the invocation Keller Kissam gave at the opening ceremony of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on April 11.
Kissam burst into the tranquil scene at the 18th green of the Harbour Town Golf Links like a bolt of the electricity he works with as a vice president of SCANA Corp. and a president of S.C. Electric and Gas.
We will rejoice in the game of golf and what it teaches us about the game of life, for in neither are we perfect.
His short-cropped hair and bold voice sounded like the cadet who was regimental commander at The Citadel.
His words also seemed to tug on roots in Creston, S.C., population 33, and the Shady Grove United Methodist Church.
I admire him for being an English major who doesn’t have to worry about bouncing checks. Of course, he was summa cum laude. Mama always said her kids graduated thank the lawdy.
Kissam didn’t have any notes, so it took a while to get a transcript.
I got it from Heritage Classic Foundation board member Charlie Rountree III of Columbia with permission to give it to all who asked for it. Rountree was honorary chairman of the tournament this year, so he invited his Sunday school teacher down to do the invocation. Kissam — who lives in Hopkins, near Columbia, where his wife’s people are from — teaches an adult class at Shandon United Methodist Church in Columbia.
Following is the invocation from Kissam:
‘Dear Heavenly Lord’
“Normally when we pray, we bow our heads and shut our eyes, but today is such a gorgeous and beautiful day, I am going to ask all of you to keep your eyes open and your heads up, and let’s look at the gorgeous scenery the Lord has put forward for us today, and let’s pray.
Dear Heavenly Lord,
We thank you for the great state of South Carolina.
From the mountains to the sea Your majesty is on display.
We thank you for this wonderful, unique golf venue
Designed by Pete Dye with an assist from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer,
Developed and marketed to the world by the very special Fraser family,
Challenged by the greatest in golf to include our reigning champion, Jim Furyk.
I said you could look during the prayer; I didn’t say you could clap.
And as his drive thunders into the Calibogue Sound today, we will rejoice in the game of golf and what it teaches us about the game of life.
For in neither are we perfect, but, Dear Lord, your Word is as true today as a faithful caddy’s yardage book.
And with your divine presence, we are able to overcome every buffeting breeze, bunker, bogey and out-of-bounds lie in our life.
And when our earthly round is complete, we don’t even have to come in and attest by signing our scorecard,
Because if your name is etched upon our hearts, then we can be clad in the royal tartan plaid of your Kingdom,
For you have already repaired all of the divots in our lives through your love, your mercy and your grace.
Amen and Amen.”
David Lauderdale: 843-706-8115, @ThatsLauderdale