This is a blog I did not want to write. This year (2023) has been a very difficult one for our Kentucky Mission Service Corps Family. Since January 29 three of our KY-MSC Missionaries have passed into eternity.
When I began serving with the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 1999, one of the first persons I met was Keith Decker, President of Cedaridge Ministries in Williamsburg. I made a dear friend that day, a friend I came to love like a brother, and one I will never forget. Last week Keith Decker, who had served as an MSC Missionary since 1997, went home to be with the Lord.
Keith Decker was a gentle giant. He loved the Lord and wanted to make sure all he met knew Him as well. He was such an encourager and made you feel special just being in his presence.
Keith was such a humble man, and appreciated anything you did for him, no matter how large or small. He could not do enough to help others, which is evident through the thousands of families he served through Cedaridge, a non-profit Christian ministry that provides food, clothing, shelter, furniture, and spiritual guidance to the poor and homeless in the Southeastern Kentucky area.
For his faithful service, Keith was chosen as the 2014 Kentucky Missionary of the Year. He was so overwhelmed with such recognition that he could not talk for crying.
Janus Jones, former Director of Missions for the South Union Mount Zion Baptist Association, has been with Keith from the very beginning of his ministry and shared the following tribute: “I watched the Lord use this man to build a ministry that reached out to the world. He never intended to start a ministry. He started having yard sales to raise money for his youth group that lasted 31 years. I am not sure when the ministry became ministry. He did not find ministry, ministry found him. From simple beginning God was always one step ahead. Another soldier has gone home.”
Bro. Keith, thank you for committing your life to the Lord and for sharing Him with all of us. May we follow the example you set for us to love Him, serve Him, and share Him with others. We loved you and are sure gonna miss you, buddy.
Please pray for Keith’s wife Joyce, his family, Cedaridge Ministries, and Black Oak Baptist Church, where he served as pastor.