Growing up in a very religious home in Iowa, Keith Cross was always a devoted man.

Growing up in a very religious home in Iowa, Keith Cross was always a devoted man.

“I grew up in a small town called Center Junction,” said Cross. “My mother was a very devout Lutheran and she always had me in Sunday school and worship every Sunday.”

In 1975 he entered the military and was stationed in Clovis, N.M., with his wife, Kathy.

“A neighbor girl had asked our daughters to ride the church bus to Bible class, so we agreed they could,” he said. “Later the following week, some of the church workers stopped by and invited us to come, so we also rode the ‘joy bus’. We ended up studying with some folks and my wife began to obey the gospel of Christ by being baptized. About five months later I also obeyed the gospel of Christ and was baptized.”

Cross became so affiliated with the joy bus, he began working there only a few months later.

“I was a bus captain a few months later and my wife and I worked the bus ministry for several years,” he explained. “I continued learning and growing spiritually and I began attending several Bible studies with people outside the church. Many of them obeyed the gospel too. We eventually got to where we were bringing up to 54 children to Bible class and worship on the joy bus.”

Seeing the positive outreach Cross was providing for the church, several leaders began to inquire about Cross extending his reach.

“Before long some of the church leaders ask me to lead a prayer, but I declined because I could not stand in public and talk,” explained Cross. “They encouraged me and I began hosting several things in the worship assemblies and then they talked me into attending The Sunset Preaching School in Lubbock, Texas. Several members helped support me in my education so my family and I could go.”

Cross and his family would spent three years at the school.

“The first two years was very intense,” he said. “The teachers claimed it is because it is four years of college crammed into only two years. The third year was for some graduate studies, which was a much slower and more enjoyable pace. Later, I took more courses and used some of these credits to obtain my Masters in Bible and a Doctorate in Divinity. My wife, Kathy, has been my biggest supporter through everything.”

Cross has been in the ministry for several years and continues to preach.

“This year will be 30 years in the ministry,” said Cross. “I started in 1984, but my first full-time ministry actually started in July of 1987 in Elwood, Indiana, when I committed to the ministry there for two years. Following that, my family and I came to the Church of Christ in Winfield in July of 1989. We spent just under four years there before moving to a ministry at Turley Children’s Home in Oklahoma. We were there for two years before moving to Douglass in December of 1994. I preached at The Church of Christ in Douglass just short of 17 years before being terminated.”

He is now set to be ordained as pastor of the First Christian Church of Augusta.

“After being terminated, I really didn’t want to preach anymore, but God had different plans for me,” explained Cross. “I tried moving into secular work, but I had no success. I had received a voicemail from the Christian Church of Augusta asking if I’d be interested in trying out or even filling in some as they were in need of a minister. Over two weeks later I returned the call. I decided to become a pastor at the church for six months on a trial basis and I have decided to stay.”

The congregation has given Cross and his family an overwhelmingly warm welcome.

“This is a congregation of the finest and friendliest people I have ever known,” added Cross. “I have received more love and respect than I deserve. I believe we are as true of a spiritual family as possible. Being ordained as their pastor is such a privilege! I know I am right where God wants me. He has orchestrated everything in my life to bring us to this church. She is as pleased and thankful as I am to be here.”

Keith Cross will be ordained to the Christian Ministry during Sunday worship at 10:45 a.m. at the First Christian Church of Augusta on Sunday. All supporting community members are invited to attend and join the celebration. A short reception will be held following the service.

Kari Adams can be reached at