Pastor's Corner

​Dear Friends in Christ,

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My dad has been a pastor in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for 44 years; so, I grew up going to church every Sunday, every Wednesday, and pretty much every other time that the doors to the building were open. 

I first gelt God calling me into the ministry when I was 14, at a youth conference in Nashville, Tn called "Acquire the Fire." Initially, I was very excited about this call and eagerly began telling everyone in my church that God had called me into the ministry. However, as I got older and more aware of everything that is involved with being the pastor of a church, I became less enthusiastic about the call. By the time I got to college, I had stopped attending church and began trying to run away from the call that God placed on my life. This running continued for about a decade, during which time I received my bachelor degree, in Public Relations from Murray State University in western Kentucky. Then, I met Karla and her daughter, Halley, in 2013. When Karla and I began talk about getting married, God used both the love I felt for her and Hailey and the fact that I needed to be able to provide for them to lead me back to His call on my life. Pretty soon after we married in June 2014, we moved from Tuscaloosa, Al. to Marietta, Ga. and I was enrolled in seminary to obtain my Master of Divinity degree.

During my time in seminary, God led me to the ECO movement through one of my professors; we began attending his church and God called me to see ordination in this denomination. The other two major events in my life that took place during my time in seminary was the birth of our daughter, Ella, in October of 2015 and my getting diagnosed with a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. This type of arthritis causes my vertebra to try to fuse together, and it has already caused some significant damage to my neck; as you will be able to see in the fact that I can't turn by head or look up very far. Satan used this diagnosis to try to discourage me and knock me off the path of following God's plan for my life; however, I kept my eyes on God and He has taken care of providing me with medicine to control the disease and acceptance of the damage it has already done. I have refused to allow Satan to use my disease to tear me down or slow me down; I continue to put my faith in God and move forward trusting in Him.

I graduated with my Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Marietta, Ga, which is a suburb of Atlanta in May 2019 and immediately began my first call at Church of the 49ers in Columbia Ca.   During our time in California, we experienced all of the ups and downs that life and ministry bring from celebrating the birth of our son, Travis, in 2019 and to me surviving a bout with testicular cancer. we witnessed some long-time church members either leave the church for varied reasons or pass away, but we saw even more new faces start to attend. There were many joys and sorrows but, by the grave of God, that little church in the Sierra foothills grew and flourished in ways beyond what I could even imagine.

My time in California was special and truly helped me develop my skills as a pastor; skills that I know are the reason that God brought my family and I to you all at this time. I wouldn't have left my previous church for just any job, but I truly believe that Franklin Presbyterian is ready to take off and truly flourish. I believe that God is going to accomplish great things through this church and our ministry together. My promise to you is that I will seek to follow God's will in all that I do in my position as your pastor; that everything I do will be for His glory and not for my own; and that I will do all that I can to serve you well by serving you in His strength in not in my own. I am sincerely looking forward to getting to know all of you, ministering and worshiping with you, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us!

May the blessing of the Father and the peace of the Son be with you,

Pastor Keith

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