Disciple. Husband. Father. Pastor. The order is critical, and everything that matters about me flows out of these four roles. I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ, first and foremost and have been for since 2001. I am the Husband of Heather since 2002 and the Father of four energetic young boys. I am an ordained Pastor in the Wesleyan Church, serving God and His people here at Linwood Church since February of 2018.
I grew up in Newcastle, WY and have served churches in Casper, WY; Charleston, WV; and Anderson, IN but am excited to be calling Linwood home and am looking forward to ministering in Sioux Falls long into the future. I received a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from the Anderson University School of Theology in 2010 and have traveled internationally for mission trips to China, Peru and Nicaragua. When I'm not with my family or working, I'm probably running along a river somewhere.
I believe God has created everyone for a purpose. Our identities, personalities, and beliefs are challenged and structured at the critical age of middle school – high school. That is why I am so passionate about Student Ministries and developing our rising generation. I am honored and humbled to be the NextGen Pastor here at Linwood Church!
Born and raised in Indiana, I was called into ministry around 16 years old. I was blessed to gain my education from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) with a degree in Youth Ministries and Biblical Literature. My wife, Amanda McConnell, also graduated from IWU. I am crazy in love with her!!
I thoroughly enjoy being “Wild at Heart” and being in the outdoors - camping and hiking. I also am a diehard fan of the Indianapolis Colts and Purdue Boilermakers; I want to be on Survivor or The Amazing Race; and I can be won over with Reese’s and orange soda.
I want to be known first as a son of God in Christ. Saundra and I have been married for 46 years and have three grown sons and six grandchildren who are the joy of our lives. After 44 years of pastoral ministry, we have been serving as missionaries with the Wesleyan Church in Nepal, and currently located in Mitchell, SD. In the past year we have been thoroughly enjoying pastoring responsibilities here at Linwood Wesleyan Church, both as the interim pastor and now in the area of Pastoral Care.
Both Saundra and I grew up in north central Kansas, and both graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University—Saundra with an Elementary Education degree and me (Keith) with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. Since then we have pastored three churches, two in Iowa and the Mitchell Wesleyan Church for 32 years, before spending a year in the beautiful country of Nepal as missionaries. Saundra loves hosting friends in our home, and I have enjoyed motorcycling, reading, astronomy, and chocolate over the years. The path of life God has led us down has been a wonderful adventure, and our participation with the Linwood Church family has added a delightful new chapter to our lives.
I believe one of the reasons that God gives us all different gifts, talents and passions is to help us find ways to connect with Him. I feel so blessed to be able to use my passion for music to serve such a marvelous God. I am drawn to worship ministry because no other person or thing is worthy of our praise, and it is my goal to point to Christ in all that I do. I joined as worship leader at Linwood Wesleyan Church in August of 2018 and am so excited to serve along side this family in Christ.
I am originally from St. Paul, Minnesota and have lived in the Sioux Falls area since 2007. My beautiful bride Katie and I have been blessed with two wonderful children, Serenity and Taylor. Together we enjoy the great outdoors. Gardening, kayaking, and good old-fashioned water fights are some of our favorites. When I enjoy time alone, I am likely fishing or playing guitar under a tree somewhere.
Never in my life did I expect to be working in a church, but here I am! My skills seem to fit the job very well, and I enjoy working with the great staff. However, as I look back over my life, I have always enjoyed working with people. My career began as a medical lab tech, then bank teller, insurance producer both in Minnesota and South Dakota, performance improvement assessor and trainer, and I have long been a computer/iPhone maven to my friends.
My husband, Ron, and I were both raised in northern Minnesota. We knew each other as we attended the same church and were confirmed together, graduated from high school together with honors but never shared a conversation. We both happened to attend our 30th class reunion, and a spark was kindled. God was at work as we found our many connections with each other and then we married at our home church shortly thereafter. I moved to Sioux Falls from Minneapolis in 1997 and have attended Linwood ever since.
My outside interests are genealogy research and any kind of crafting, painting, organizing, etc. I once had a private pilot license and my own plane; I’ve raised some dairy goats, chickens and had two horses; and I even know how to twirl a fire baton! I also have three wonderful daughters and six terrific grandchildren.