Rev. Michael Keith

I was not raised in a church going family. Though I was baptized at an early age the Church was not a part of my upbringing. It was not until my mid-teen years that I began asking questions about God and the bible. In my late teen years I was given a bible as a gift and I began reading it largely out of curiosity and ended up reading from Genesis right through to Revelation. I recall vividly reading Romans 5:12-21 and seeing how from Genesis to Revelation it all fit together in Jesus. From that point on I became a theological junky.

In the meantime I had begun attending Concordia University College of Alberta (CUCA) with the intention of becoming a police officer. At the same time I was busy exploring churches of many different denominations to see what they believed and how they worshipped and where I would fit in. I began attending an Alliance church for a time largely due to the fact that I had some friends there. However, I was not content. I continued exploring until I visited a Lutheran Church one Saturday morning to visit with the pastor there. He gave me a Small Catechism with Explanation and I went home read the entire book from cover to cover. At the end of it I said to myself: “I am a Lutheran – I just didn`t know it.” I recall attending Divine Service in a Lutheran Church for the first time and thinking: “Now this is what church is supposed to be like!” I recall clearly confessing the Apostles’ Creed at that Service and feeling overwhelmed in knowing that the words I was saying were words that Christians had been confessing for nearly 2000 years. I was home.

Shortly thereafter I began attending a Lutheran congregation and became a confirmed member. The chaplain on campus at CUCA at the time was Pastor Warren Steckelberg and one of the professors at the time was Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin who were both very encouraging and took a great deal of time to answer a myriad of questions and concerns I had as I continued my studies. I began considering studying to be a pastor only after a number of people suggested I think about it.

After receiving my B.A. with a major in Religious Studies from CUCA I then began studies at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton. I recall thinking as I began my studies at the seminary that I was then entrusting my life and future into the hands of the Church. Where the Church sends me from this point on was willing to go. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies at the seminary as I was immersed in the Word of God. There were times when the workload was heavy and we learned a few tricks along the way to deal with the workload – itself good training for the Ministry – but it was a wonderful community where we learned from each other and encouraged each other.

The majority of my education was paid for through government student loans. However, I did receive funding from the LCC in various ways which certainly helped and was greatly appreciated. I worked part time through most of my undergraduate studies and worked in the library part time at the seminary as well.

After twelve years in the Ministry I cannot picture myself doing anything else. I am blessed with the opportunity to bring God`s Word and Sacraments into people’s lives in many and various circumstances. The Divine Service is the chief way in which I do this but also as I go out to visit and interact with people in their day to day lives. It is a joy to serve the Lord and His Church in this way.

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