Welcome, Pastor Keith
Please welcome Rev. Keith Turner to the College Avenue family. Rev. Turner has been serving Riverside UMC since 2019 and will begin his 2-point charge as pastor of both churches on July 1, 2021.
Rev. Turner attended Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Muncie, he served as the Asst. Chaplain at the University of Evansville.
Originally from Hurricane, West Virginia, God called him to ministry very early in life. At age 14 he felt a growing awareness of ordained ministry being his life’s vocation. Rev. Turner explains, “God gifted me with a family, church, and school in affirming that call to ministry, giving me opportunities to grow in that call, and in providing early foundations for understanding ministry. Being nurtured in such a supported environment has helped me to embrace my calling and never to look back.”
In his free time, Rev. Turner loves to exercise, read, and cook. He also plays the piano and organ. Recently, he became a proud dog dad to Sidney, a sweet and energetic Australian Shepherd puppy.
Though his formal service at College Avenue begins in July, you can hear Rev. Turner preach on June 6 at Riverside at 9:30 at our joint worship service.
When it was announced that Pastor John Young would be retiring from Riverside UMC, it was a little deflating. After all, he had been there for 10 years, was truly a pastor, his wife was very involved even though she continued to teach, etc. But that is life, and it does go on.
In a relatively short time, it was announced that we had a new pastor–and he was 28 years old!! What? We had approved a “kid” to lead our church! That would require a great deal of training on the part of the congregation!
Pastor Keith arrived in September. That November I was the liturgist. I remember making the following comment: “I had been attending Riverside since the early 1960’s; this was the first time we had ever had a pastor who could deliver a good sermon, play the organ, and sing on key!”
Pastor Keith has been a breath of fresh air full of energy, extremely intelligent, relates well to people, and has a gift for remembering people and faces. We have taken in 8 new members since he has been with us. He is able to cross generational lines and communicate with all. And with the challenges of Covid, we were able to still have church, even though not in a traditional manner.
In hindsight, we really didn’t need to train a 28-year-old pastor; he has been able to lead us.