Live from Myrtle Beach, It’s “Sunday Night Live”!
By Ashley Daniels
Give your loved one a prayer at 6 p.m. and a kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve, 2023, when the new “Sunday Night Live” church service debuts at Solid Rock Market Common.
The additional nighttime service is led by husband-and-wife care pastors – and newly ordained elders – Bernie and Susan Kenerson. Bernie will be leading the sermon and Susan the music.
“Our lives are a testimony to the absolute direction of the Holy Spirit and His love for people and Him wanting to draw people in through our experience with Jesus, and the way the word has just exploded in our lives over the years of being in His presence,” says Susan.
“We’ll be bringing a lot of that experience as a man and woman of God,” adds Bernie.
Bernie, who plays the ewi (electronic wind instrument) in Solid Rock’s praise band for both morning services, says he just celebrated his 33rd spiritual birthday. For Susan, it’s been almost 50 years.
“I was raised in church and always believed, but on November 10, 1990, I was actually saved, healed, and delivered, and baptized in the Holy Spirit,” says Bernie, who was stationed in Belgium with the army at the time.
“I hit that place in my life where I really came to myself,” he continues. “I realized how spiritually bankrupt I was and my ideas and way of doing things was not good at all. So that was the big change in my life.”
Bernie moved to Myrtle Beach in 1995 to take care of his parents, getting involved with area churches along the way as a member of the praise and worship team and co-pastor staff.
Susan’s testimony and journey begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she grew up and where her mom died suddenly on Susan’s ninth birthday – a traumatic life-changing event for her. She shares that she then lived with her grandmother, who made sure Susan attended church in a traditional setting.
“I told my grandmother one day I wanted to be a Christian, and she said, ‘Well, you just have to go talk to pastor,’” says Susan, “but all they had me do is join the church. There was never any kind of sinner’s prayer or anything, so I wasn’t born again.”
Flash-forward to college in Wisconsin, when Susan began to truly feel lost in a dark world.
“I was surrounded by all this black and no presence of God at all,” she says. “I realized I’m really not anything, which began a search of, if there is a God, I will find Him. And I kept telling myself that all the time.”
During that search, which began in Susan’s early twenties, she started her career as a children’s music educator in public and Christian schools that would continue for decades in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas City. One night, through leaders of her friend’s church, Susan was saved.
“I prayed, ‘Jesus, please forgive my sins,’ and that’s basically what it was,” she says. “I didn’t even know how to pray … I didn’t know much of anything. Even though I’ve memorized Bible scriptures since I was a child, they didn’t stick with me because I didn’t have the Holy Spirit in me. That night, [the church leader] not only saved me, but he filled me with the Holy Ghost. And, for the first time, I could hear His voice. I could hear God’s voice.”
Susan and Bernie met in a praise and worship team at a church in Kansas City.
“But there was nothing romantic, nothing like that at all,” says Bernie. “But then I was leaving the area to come to Myrtle Beach to take care of my parents, we got together before I left to pray, and something happened. The Holy Spirit just did something. And as soon as I got to Myrtle Beach, we were calling and talking to each other by phone and sending cards.”
The Kenersons’ long-distance relationship culminated on December 28, 1995: their wedding day. Myrtle Beach would become the setting for the next chapter of their spiritual lives. Bernie served as a co-pastor at a church and Susan served as an accompanist or choir director at a string of churches in Myrtle Beach over the course of 19 years.
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Bernie was playing a solo jazz gig at a local Italian restaurant, where he ran into Pastor John Paul and Mica having dinner. Pastor John Paul had known Bernie for the last 20 years through music projects, and invited him to check out Solid Rock.
“So I came [to Solid Rock] that next Sunday, and here I am!” laughs Bernie.
He shares that he loves to read and study the Bible all the time.
“I love to glorify Jesus and teach the word and dig into the truth that’s from the scripture, so people can learn more truth and help their relationship with Jesus and with each other,” says Bernie. “Susan and I have always had a strong calling for evangelism and preaching and teaching. We just love to evangelize all the time! When we’re out, we’ll walk up to anybody wherever we are.”
The new “Sunday Night Live” series will kick off Sunday, December 31, from 6 to 7 p.m. Bernie would like to have the inaugural service act as a prayer service, something he would like to schedule quarterly, as well as a praise and worship service. Communion will also be held each Sunday night.
“It’s an additional service not meant to compete with Sunday morning at all,” says Bernie. “It’s going to be in a different format … Some people might use the word traditional, but I like to think of it as classic praise and worship choruses and hymns from the ’90s and some hymns here and there, plus a mix of new songs.”
He says that the sermons will reflect his expository preaching style, teaching the word line by line and verse by verse. He plans to start with the book of Ephesians.
“It’s another time for us to get together as members, as a family at Solid Rock, to praise and worship the Lord and have prayer and hear what the Lord has to say to us out of the word,” says Bernie. “We have a lot of people excited about it, volunteering for the teams, and we’re excited about it, too. We ministered a lot in the earlier years of our marriage, and we’ve always known God had a calling on us to minister together. So now it’s exciting that we’ll be doing this at Solid Rock as part of the vision of Solid Rock.”
The Kenersons are in the process of organizing teams for “Sunday Night Live,” with a meeting scheduled for November 19. Volunteer signup sheets are located at the back of the church at Solid Rock Market Common.