Keith Green Biography

Review The Artist (31)

Keith Green-photo
I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus! — Keith Green

Keith Green was 15 the first time he ran away from home. He started a journal that ran for years as he looked for musical adventure and spiritual truth. Keith had a Jewish background, but he grew up reading the New Testament. He called it "an odd combination" that left him open minded, but deeply unsatisfied. His journey led him to drugs, eastern mysticism, and free-love.

When Keith was 19 he met a fellow seeker/musician named Melody. They were married a year later -- but his spiritual quest continued. Then when he had nearly given up hope, Keith found the truth he was looking for. He was 21 and he never looked back.

What once confused him now made sense as he proudly told the world, “I'm a Jewish Christian." As soon as Keith opened his heart to Jesus, he and Melody opened their home. Anyone with a need, or who wanted to kick drugs, or get off the street, was welcome. Of course, they always heard plently about Jesus.

Not only did Keith's life take a radical turn, but as an accomplished musician and songwriter, so did his music. His quest for stardom ended. His songs now reflected the absolute thrill of finding Jesus and seeing his own life radically changed. Keith's spiritual intensity not only took him beyond most people's comfort zones, but it constantly drove him even beyond himself.

Somewhat reluctantly, Keith was thrust into a "John the Baptist" type ministry—calling believers to wake up, repent, and live a life that looked like what they said they believed. Keith felt he would have met Jesus sooner if not for Christians who led double lives. He made audiences squirm by saying, “If you praise and worship Jesus with your mouth and your life does not praise and worship him, there's something wrong!"

The radical commitment Keith preached was also a desire of his own heart. He said, “Loving Him is to be our cause. He can take care of a lot of other causes without us, but He can’t make us love Him with all our heart. That’s the work we must do... Anything else is an imitation.”

Keith's songs were often birthed during his own spiritual struggles. He pointed the finger at himself, penning honest and vulnerable lyrics—but he left room for God to convict the rest of us too. He knew the journey to heaven often winds through muddy valleys, and saw no value in portraying things as otherwise.

With Keith's honesty, he would have chafed against a glossed-over reading of his own life. After all, Keith was in the spotlight as he grew in Jesus. He made mistakes. We miss something essential when we overlook the frailty and humanity of those who've gone before us. Keith was far from perfect, but he honestly hungered after righteousness—constantly asking the Holy Spirit to, "change my heart, convict me of my sin." And when he was convicted, he took action. If he needed to repent, he repented. If he needed to phone someone to ask forgiveness, he did.

For Keith, meeting Jesus was one thing. Becoming more like Him was another. After striving for years to measure up to God's holiness, at times questioning his own salvation, Keith came into a deeper understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross—both to forgive his sins, and to clothe him in His own righteousness. It wasn't that Keith became less concerned with purity and holiness. But he was now motivated more by love and less by fear in His pursuit of Jesus.

While on earth, Keith struggled with the same things we do—discipline, deadlines, problems crying for attention. He had music to write and a growing family. And he was also discipling the 70 believers who had come to be part of Last Days Ministries—the ministry he and Melody expanded from the outreach that began in their home. But he learned, in the midst of it all, the importance of pausing simply to behold the glory of God and to enjoy His presence. That is perhaps, more than anything, the legacy Keith would have wanted us to remember.

In seven short years of knowing Jesus, the Lord took Keith from concert crowds of 20 or less—to stadiums of 12,000 people who came to hear only him. His recordings were chart topping—and when he began to give his recordings away for whatever people could afford, some misunderstood. His views were often controversial but never boring. Television and radio appearances became the norm. Still, Keith's heart was to please the Lord and build His kingdom, not his own.

And in the last few months of his life, the Lord turned Keith's heart once again toward the lost. He wanted to go back out into the streets, the prisons, and the nations to reach those without God. He wanted to sing to them. He wanted to tell them how much Jesus loved them. However, it was not to be.

On July 28, 1982, there was a small plane crash and Keith went home to be with Jesus. The crash also took the life of his three year old son Josiah, and his two year old daughter, Bethany. Melody was home with their one year old, Rebekah, and was also six weeks pregnant with their fourth child, Rachel. Keith was only 28 years old.

Although Keith is now with Jesus, his life and ministry is still making a huge impact around the world. His songs and passionate delivery are still changing lives. His writings are translated into many languages. Keith once said, "When I die I just want to be remembered as a Christian." It's safe to say he reached his goal, and perhaps, a bit more.

Keith Green was simply a man of conviction. When his convictions led him to an eternally worthy object in the person of Jesus he sold all that he had—ambitions, possessions, and dreams—to possess His love. In so doing he became a man of devotion. He also became a man remembered, and still missed, by millions around the world.

The only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal! — Keith Green

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A blessed brother | Reviewer: Paola | 11/6/14

Today is my birthday and I decided to listen to Keith Green's music. I think that He was one the most sincere christian I have ever heard. he sang with all his heart to the Lord and that the reason why the Holy Spirit continues to use his music in order to touch and convince hearts to look for the Lord Jesus. thank you Lord for Keith Green.

Not at all forgotten | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/9/14

What a blessed brother! His extraordinary talent was wholly given
to the glory of GOD!

Such a blessed brother! His extraordinary talent was wholly given to the glory of GOD!

Song for Josiah | Reviewer: mike | 12/31/13

Keith's fire for Jesus really convicted/inspired me as a new Christian in 1985 Montana Bible College and led me to become a missionary. His Song for Josiah always jolted a raw nerve in me. After waiting 45 years God graciously gave me a wife and two kids and now a little baby girl in Vietnam! God is so awesome!!!! Keith's passion for Jesus and his great love to protect his little boy from the world always touched me and has now inspired me to start writing a devotional for my children that is theological and evangelistic. I hope and pray God will use it to save my family from a Buddhist/Catholic background. While many great Christian singers of the 80's ended up remarried 6x and caught with other Christian singers in adultery, Keith Green was a wonderful relief! He was real! He was in it for JESUS! God used him in a great way and still uses his music and life today unlike any other Christian singer I have ever heard of. May God's grace abound in my life and family so I will follow hard after God as Keith did and hopefully my family will follow Jesus to heaven one day as well. My wife in Vietnam thought I was sick when she saw tears streaming down my face...i had just heard another Keith Green song on youtube and once again Jesus tore up my heart!!!! I will forever praise God for what He has done and is doing in my life by this one man, a Jew, who was converted to Jesus Christ!!!

thank you keith | Reviewer: mahongo | 11/23/13

frst of all wish to say thank to my parents and siblings who introduced me to keith's songs..growing up listening to KG's songs really has been a privilage.when am driven away by the things of the world,am always lifted by hez song"oh lord you are beautiful"and your love broke thru,"i wonder why God had to take him so early!!there are very few teenagers nowadays who take time to listen to his songs and lyrics,but God bless thoz who have kept on listening an supporting him..thank you for your songs are greatly missed..

Gods child | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/2/13

Reading his biography makes me feel like I have known Keith Green in his life time. i came to know his music from my parents who are his funs. His music takes me places in the spiritual realm,it makes me find myself. His songs talk of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and centerd on the kingdom business. God speaks through this man's Music.

Springs of living water! | Reviewer: Julian | 9/16/13

Thank you Lord for the springs of living water that still issue from this man's ministry. I am tangibly aware of You Lord as I listen to the lyrics in Keith Green's songs. The words make me want to be a better man. My lord Jesus, You are the rock but I thank you for Keith Green is who has been a milestone for so many people.

If only we hav musicians lik him.. | Reviewer: LiL phantacy | 9/12/13

I really wish i cud see him in concerts performing his passion n holdin onto the old rugged cross until death....i heard him whn my dad played his songs n i was younger but now i really feel he is missed vry funny i wonder how his wife wud hv felt whn she heard if his depature but God knws i hv wantd to mk ppl come see me free @ concerts sharing free album delivery..i am an aspiring musician....i knw i wish i cud a little of his passion n his zeal for the gospel n the people!! KeitH evnthough i nvr saw u i love u n i feel the gap cuz i miss u lik u hv always been there

Glory2God4Ever:):):):):) | Reviewer: Milagros Gracehopper | 8/24/13

I Thank God for Keith Green's obedience to the Call of Christ Jesus in spreading the Gospel of Christ in song, music and most importantly, by his life with his wife and children Living it when he was here on earth in his bodysuit.

I was delightfully blessed by a brother in Christ named Anthony who is also sold out to Christ with one of Keith Green's song on youtube entitled:

"Oh Lord, You're Beautiful". It ministered to me at a low point in my life and expressed what i know to be true and it became a part of me.

Yes, Lord help us to demonstrate Your Love in our lives; in thought word and deed. Thank You Lord for allowing me to hear, feel and taste the Beauty of You through Keith Green's songs, music and life on earth. His labor was not in vain. Help me Lord as Your songwriter Keith wrote:

And when I'm doing well
Help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving
Glory to You

his lyrics strengthened me in the struggle against sin | Reviewer: Adeyemo Adebayo | 12/11/12

I was born 2 months after his departure into glory. I first listened to his song in the early 21st century after purchssing the album ' Songs of the Shepherd' from a christain store known to sell inspiring songs. I was trilled being alone in the night listening to the track - until the final day. Until recent times his song do awaken God's consciousness in me. I cherish Keith through his songs as if I knew him in his life-time. His biography made me to love him more especially turning to God's love rather bothering over his weaknesses in his quest for perfection. I desire also to be known only as a christian and for the expression of the person of Jesus Christ in me. We'll meet again at resurrection morning when we will unceasingly sing the praises of Jesus.

God's vessel | Reviewer: Foster | 10/16/12

I first heard of His name in a massage preached by my bishop, Dag. The massage entitled HURRY UP MY BELOVED. Since then i've loved him than any musician and don't even care if his song are 'colo' i know what his song does to me. I can't live a without his songs... I hope to accomplish much as he did in my small world.

Lord, put this love in my heart | Reviewer: Philip Amankwa | 10/11/11

He loved God with all his heart, soul, might and spirit. Lord, help me to love you the same way. To please you alone and none else. To die and be remembered as a Christian. God, keep his family till we all meet at that SUPPER in our eternal home. Amen.

I was a fool | Reviewer: Dwight Greene | 4/30/11

When I first heard of Keith Green I immediately dismissed him as "hippy" just using Jesus to make money. I even spoke against him. How wrong I was! Now I know that God used Keith and worked in Keith to bring a needed message to the churh of his day and today. May God be pleased to use me in some way to lead others to love the Lord Jesus.

Thank you GOD for Keith Green | Reviewer: Solomon | 2/6/11

What can I say? What more can I say, whatever I say is not going to add up to the awesome miraculous musical ministry that GOD has been STILL doing through Keith Green even after calling him home to be with HIM. Set apart by GOD HIMself to carry out his word & work through songs by giving all glory to GOD alone as the words are given by GOD Himself through HIS Holy SPIRIT to Keith Green.

My personal opinion : - To my knowledge no man has ever or will ever be able to have such an impact on people the way the songs of Keith Green does. All those who listen to his songs were convinced and convicted of their sinful, lurk-worm Christian ways and was motivated to repent and reconcile with GOD for the rest of their life. I found songs of Keith Green more convicting than songs of Solomon and David in psalms.

As Keith Said :- “The only music ministers to whom the LORD will say, “well done, thou good and faithful servant”, are the ones whose lives prove what their lyrics are saying and the ones to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy one should be most important.

Keith Green’s songs have helped me a lot in my early stages of my walk with the LORD to worship GOD through his songs. I also thank GOD very much for {Sandy} Santhoesh Cheriyan who first introduce me to the songs of Keith Green and his life by which he brought glory to GOD. From that day onward to this very day the songs of Keith Green has helped me immensely to revive my spirit and soul to that went astray from the LORD’s way due to my flesh desires and the struggles I had during my formative days.

There were times during my walk with LORD that many times I have backslide and taken the grace of GOD for granted and never had the time to open up the bible to read GOD’s word coz I know if I have to read GOD’s word then His word will provoke and convict me due to the sin I wish to do and by that I have to give up my pleasure.

But GOD had HIS own way of dealing with me through songs of Keith Green, since I already listened and memorized the songs of Keith green like Asleep in the light, my eyes are dry, I don’t wanna fall away from you, make my life a prayer to you, holy holy holy, create in me a pure heart and the LORD is my shepherded, those songs kept coming to my mind always even when I gave up listening to his songs.

Only on 6th February 2011 as I was browsing through the web to get few lyrics of Keith green I came across a page in it which said

I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus! — Keith Gree.

True to his prophetical word by which he said his songs has “provoked me into GODLY Jealousy” and I thought of writing this for the glory of our LORD who has done this awesome ministry and chose only Keith to do so and still so many souls have been touched by the songs of Keith Green coz Keith had the heart of GOD and thoroughly understood the fact of conveying the heart of GOD by the words which were put by HOLY SPIRIT through songs which GOD gave him as a tool to reach out the hearts and minds of people then, now and forever.

missing keith | Reviewer: dave | 11/10/10

Like a lot of us i have fallen and back slidden hard many times and its Keith music that always helps bring me back to god. I miss keith so much evan now I wish so bad he was still with us i always wonder why god took him, but then i am sounding unfair becasue there in no other place Kieth would rather be.

The Power of Keith's Music Still Lives | Reviewer: Cyndi Snokhous | 7/31/10

As a fairly new Christian in the late 1970's, a friend introduced me to Keith's music and testimony. Blessings, strength, hope, help. All this, and more, have I received from Keith Green. Recently, as I was writing the latest in a long string of letters to a young man I know who is incarcerated in Maryland, the Lord Jesus impressed upon me to send him the lyrics to a KG song. It is that song about "how I love you, you are the one, you are the one; how I love you, you are the one for me. I was so lost, but you showed the way, cause you are the way...." You know the song I mean. Well, today, I had a letter from that young man. I've been writing to him for months and months, but he never was moved and spurred until I wrote him a bit about Keith and told him about Keith's struggle to know Christ, and then I sent him those words to that song. So, Keith, even though you are in heaven, you still reach down to help those who are struggling and hurting and lost. It was definitely Jesus Christ who told me to send those words to this young man. And, it was definitely Jesus Christ who used those Keith Green lyrics to speak life to Kamar. In fact, Kamar has had no way to hear the melody of the song, but he told me in his letter that he was going to "sing" that song every morning. What a Mighty God we serve!!! Thanks, Keith, for I feel I know you and have known you. The power of Jesus Christ, expressed through your songs and testimony, still lives. Love you and thank you. Cyndi S.

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