Born in Brooklyn, New York Mel, grew up in a loving household with his mother Patricia as well as his grandparents, Melford C. & Laura J. Keyes. At seventeen he entered in the United States Air Force where he spent ten years on active duty stationed in Texas where he met his lovely wife, Kendra F. Keyes, now married for 29 years. They have three children and two grandchildren and for the past thirteen of those years, Mel has continued to grow as pastor of The Joshua House of Worship, located in the heart of the west side of San Antonio.
Mel has authored two books, “Hell To The Know” and “7 Keyes For The Best of Your Life,” both based on bible based principles pointed at personal development. As an entrepreneur Mel has created conferences, inspirational radio programming & even played a role in a personal development based reality TV show called “The Keynote.” He and Kendra enjoy building their “Joshua Generation Travel” business as work from home travel agents creating additional income for themselves and to fund their support of other their passion in orphan ministry and other kingdom causes.
As a community leader and an adaptive parent himself, Mel served as a charter member & vice chairman of The Community Clergy Advisory Board (CCAB), a state mandated group promoting the adoption of and provision of services to minority children through consulting with churches and other civic organizations. After his work with the CCAB he was requested as a board member of the Texas “Advisory Committee on Promoting Adoption of Minority Children.”He’s the founder of his own grass roots work in that area, named “Project 50,” which he launched on his 5oth birthday.
Mel’s studies include an associate degree from the United States Air Force in instruction methodologies, an Associate of Arts in Cross Cultural Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from The Baptist University of the Americas; as well as a Master’s of Arts degree in Christian Ministry from The Dallas Baptist University.Academically, he’s also served as a founding board member of the student advisory council for The Baptist University of The Americas.
As a certified life coach with 48 Days and founder of “Master Keyes Coaching & Consulting” Pastor Mel is focused on helping others unlock the vision inside of them in the three fold areas of:
Ministry, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
- – Minister Sandra Evans
- – Minister Ethel Molder
- – Minister Carol Brown
- – Pastor Eli Saul Rivero
- – Pastora Rita Quinonez De Rivero
- – Deacon Wallace Sheridan Jr.
- – Deacon Michael Duhon
- – Deacon Wayne Sheridan
- – Deacon Trenton White
- – Deacon Kevin Trent Sr.
- – Deacon Daniel Delgado
– Pastor Mel Keyes – Leadership Tribe
– Lady Kendra Keyes – Joshua Generation & Membership Tribe
– Sister Lillie Stevenson – Tribe Of Administration
– Deacon Wallace Sheridan Jr. – Deacon Tribe
– Minister Sandra Evans – Tribe of Worship
– Minister Ethel Molder – Prayer Tribe
– Minister Carol Brown – Tribe of Pastoral Support
– Deacon Select Trenton White & Sister Whitney Stevenson – Young Fire Tribe
Statement of Faith
The Articles of Faith:
The Articles of faith are printed in their entirety in the New National Baptist Hymnal (copy right 1977, 37th printing –July 1990.) A copy of this hymnal is maintained with the official records of JHOW.
II. THE SCRIPTURES.
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.
III. THE TRUE GOD.
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
III. THE FALL OF MAN.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgressions fell from th at holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that Holiness, required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
IV. THE WAY OF SALVATION.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Saviour.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeempter’s blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
VI. THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving holy disposition to the mind that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith, and newness of life.
VIII. REPENTANCE AND FAITH.
We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also
inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all- sufficient Savior.
IX. GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE.
We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means especially the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
XI. PERSERVERANCE OF SAINTS.
We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
XII. THE LAW AND GOSPEL.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arise entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.
XIII. A GOSPEL TRUTH.
We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
XIV. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in Church Covenant which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self- examination.
XV. THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred for religious purposes.
XVI. CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the Kings of the earth.
XVII. RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED.
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.
XVIII. THE WORLD TO COME.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave for final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
For The Advancement of This Church
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, doctrines, and discipline.
As Christian Stewards
We engage to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
Alone and At Home
We also engage to maintain family and individual devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.
Before The World
To be just in our dealing, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to use influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
Toward One Another
We further endeavor to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
When We Move
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s word.
Polity and Relationships (Affiliation)
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. JHOW will be fully autonomous in the government of its own affairs, exercising and retaining sole and complete control of all property, which will be in its name by appointed leadership. Fellowship and cooperation may and will be sought with all true believers, congregations and associations, but control of JHOW is independent from all such outward associations.
All internal groups created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is feasible and practical, this church will cooperate with and seek to support the association, the state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Church Membership General
JHOW is a sovereign church under the leadership of Jesus Christ, led by the biblical guidance given by her officially appointed pastor, fellow elders and officers. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of the church. This membership reserves the right to use biblical guidance as the means to determine who shall be members of JHOW and the conditions of such membership.