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  • Writer's pictureTrace Pirtle

Shining Lights: Colleen Keith

Updated: Jan 31

I interviewed Colleen Keith, an On Fire Christian passionate about serving our Lord Jesus Christ, on August 18, 2022, at the “Jesus Bench” in Louise Hayes Park, Kerrville, Texas.

“Believers” are a fascinating and diverse lot. We come in different colors, political affiliations, and educational backgrounds.

We represent the spectrum of blue-collar and white-collar professions, including grey-collar retirees.

We are young, old, and of all ages and life stages.

Some of us are cold to Christ, and others are cool with Jesus. Some are lukewarm, others are hot, and a few are ON FIRE for God. Sister Colleen Keith is ON FIRE for God!

God can use every one of us. He brings us together, broken and bruised, and teaches us how to use our God-given talents to be of service.

Colleen is among God’s bright lights shining in a dark world. She has overcome many obstacles to get where she is today. God uses each obstacle to strengthen her…to prepare her for her role in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.

It’s an honor for me to give you a snapshot view of Colleen’s life as an Off The Bench, ON FIRE, Woman of God.

The Early Years

I asked Colleen about her childhood and if she went to church when she was young. Colleen said she was not raised in the church but was “dropped off at church.” Colleen was raised in an abusive and violent family, with alcoholism playing a decisive role in her life. She says, “my mom and dad used to get into battles before us. First, my mom would yell at us to get out of the house, then my parents would pull out anything they could find that was convenient; sometimes, it would be a knife to battle one another.” That should help you imagine what life was like for Colleen as a little girl.

Witnessing knife fights between your parents will no doubt leave a mark. Childhood’s physical, psychological, and emotional trauma led Colleen to an early life of drugs and promiscuity throughout her 20s.

Colleen is writing a book about her experiences from a Christ-Centered perspective. I look forward to seeing it among the New York Times Best Sellers for 2023!

She has a great story about an art project she did that captured the essence of what God wanted her to do with her childhood trauma. Here’s what she said:

“While attending Cross Kingdom Church, I met a wonderful young lady who invited me to her art class. I had not even thought about art in my life. As a child, I had a journal I would write in, but my mom would find it and throw it away. God had started a creativity gift in me as a child, but my dreams were thrown away. It was only when I started attending this class that my creativity was recaptured. During my worship the night before the class, I heard the Lord say: Heavens Gate, then he told me to draw on the canvas a huge A and turn it over. In my mind, I was imagining a stairway to heaven. But it was completely different when I got to the class and did as He told me. As a matter of fact, I thought it was ugly. Then the young lady looked at it and saw something else! As the A was upside down, it revealed a pencil. As my prophetic friend kept looking at it, she stated the Lord had revealed a pencil for me to start writing. I was shocked and excited at the same time. You see… You never know what the Lord plans for your life; you must trust and believe.”

The Middle Years

Life began to change for Colleen when she was 31 years old. Her daughter was born, and she left the man she was living with. Colleen says, “My older sister helped rescue me from that life.” No more drugs or inconsistent lifestyle with the new life God had in store for her. Colleen started attending church and was baptized but describes her attendance as “hot and cold.”

Colleen decided that she desired a better life for herself and her daughter; she was tired of just making it. So she stepped up, went to college, and trained for a career in Network Administration. She was a newly single mom going to college and searching for a new life. Fortunately, her college provided childcare. God didn’t make it easy, but He did make way for The Way!

With the help of her Heavenly Father and a trusted professor, Colleen secured a Network Administrator internship with a school district in Texas. The training turned into a full-time position that Colleen stayed with for 22 years.

Retirement and a Vow to God

Colleen says, “I made a vow to God: I told him…that if He got me out of the school district that was deteriorating, I would devote my life to Christ.

I thought of Ecclesiastes:

“When you make vow to God, do not delay fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.” Ecclesiastes 5:4

God must have known that Colleen was no fool, that she would make good on her vow. She retired from the school district in 2021, got Off the Bench, and began serving the Lord in various capacities.

While visiting her daughter at a treatment center for women known as the Magdalene House, Colleen discovered Cross Kingdom Church. In this church, her daughter and others at the Magdalen House attended. This unique church was a Spirit-filled, Spirit lead church, something she had never seen, felt, or heard before. She knew this church was special, different, and unique. She knew she belonged there.

Colleen says, “I took a class on prophecy at this unique church, and I started hearing the Lord. He was saying, ‘go to the Cross and set my captives free.’”

This would be her first calling, ministry, and chance to serve the Lord as a servant of the Lord. Through her church and at the Cross, she received expert training from her pastor and the Lord. Jesus had led her there to equip her with the foundations to serve Him.

As a Chaplain/Tour Guide at The Cross in Kerrville, the Lord has walked her through Prayer, Prophecy, Deliverance, Healing, and, most essential, saving souls for Christ, with the Holy Spirit right by her side. As a tour guide for people coming to see The Cross, she takes great delight in baptizing the children of God and overseeing end-of-life celebrations. She has served there for three years, praying for God’s children, healing the sick, and casting out demons.

“Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received.” Matthew 10:7-8

Colleen says she started helping people first with a prophecy over their lives. The Lord equipped her with healing those suffering, including aches, pains, anxiety, fear, and depression. She has now advanced to deliverance in witchcraft and generational curses.

She does not know what is coming next, but she continues to say “YES” to the Lord with an open heart and mind.

“But the one prophesies speaks to men for their edification, encouragement, and comfort.” 1 Corinthians 14:3

Recently, she dealt with something she wasn’t expecting. Here is what she told me:

I saw a man at the Cross. He looked sad and troubled. I asked the Lord if I should go talk with him. God’s response was ‘NO.’ Later, as I was sitting down, I looked up and saw the man towering over me…looking down at me with a scowl on his face.

The man told her he was planning to take his own life. In fact, he had made a rope, and it was in his car.

Colleen’s first reaction was, “I have no idea what to do with this!” But as we discussed earlier, the Lord prepares people using their own challenges and obstacles in life. Although unknown to her at that moment, she was uniquely qualified by God to intervene and perhaps save a life.

Here’s what Colleen said and why she was the Divine Appointment this man needed. These are her words:

My younger brother hung himself, and a family member had found him hanging on a tree. She had to cut him down from the tree. My brother left behind two young sons and the rest of the family, trying to understand why and how this could happen. I remembered how the family had to deal with his death and burial and how they would have to explain to his children how and why this could happen. As the Lord reminded me about my brother, I shared the story with this man about how my family grieved and mourned his death.

Colleen said she spoke to this man for a couple of hours. Before he walked away, she gave him a bible (he didn’t have one) to ensure he had this testament of Jesus Christ, the holy word of God. She said he appeared to walk away with a changed heart and mind.

Finally, I asked Colleen how her life has changed since she vowed to devote her life to Christ. Her response was perfect. She said, “It literally changed from night to day. I now expect the unexpected.”

“I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who STRENGTHENS ME.” Phillippians 4:13

It has been a blessing and an honor for me to share this remarkable Woman of God with you. She has become a valued sister-in-Christ, advisor to Off The Bench Ministries, and friend.

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About Me

Image of Dr. Trace Pirtle sitting on park bench identified as Jesus.

Greetings, I'm Trace!
I'm a retired counselor education professor who spent 35 years in the "helping professions." I'm a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as a Missile Launch Officer with I.C.B.M's during the Cold War (1980's). Today, I'm an "all-in" believer working full-time for our Lord Jesus Christ. I've included my personal testimony if you are interested. 
May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

In His Service,

Trace Pirtle

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"I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:13

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