A celebration of life service for Port Elizabeth pastor Alan Keeling, 69, who passed away peacefully on March 8 after a short illness, will be held at the Word of Faith Christian Centre at 11am on Saturday, March 14.
His wife of 41 years, Pastor Joan Keeling, who is the very dedicated prayer coordinator for Tranformation Christian Network in Nelson Mandela Bay, provided Gateway News with some facts about Alan’s life and ministry. Born on Christmas Eve, 1945, in Salisbury, Rhodesia, he excelled at academics and sport at school. In his early teenage years at Mount Pleasant High in Salisbury, he was seriously considering studying medicine to become a surgeon, but when at the age of 14, he met the Saviour, this completely faded into the background and, like Paul – his Biblical hero — Christ became his all in all. He never forgot his early mentors at the Assembly of God in Salisbury and always held the AOG movement in high esteem, crediting them for his solid foundation in the Word.
After matriculating he began preparing for the ministry, initially following his elder brother, Clive into the computer world to give himself time to mature. By 1970, when he moved into full-time ministry of the Word in Cape Town Alan had become a computer analyst working on various systems. During the following two years he ministered in the Eastern Cape, where he met and married Joan — on July 7, 1973. Together the couple ministered in Salisbury, Port Alfred and the Western Suburbs (PE) Assembly. While in the Western Suburbs Assembly, a very close connection was made with the Parkside AOG and lasting friendships were formed.
Alan saw himself as a pastor and a teacher of God’s Word, says Joan. He loved the Word of God and became a concordance to many — who would call him up to ascertain where a particular scripture could be found. Many who listened to him, hailed him as a great teacher, but he was very humble. He just loved God’s Word. He loved the Lord and he loved prayer. One of his greatest joys was being able to give to World Mission and the book, Operation World, was a constant companion.
In 1981 he and two other ministers were asked to help coordinate the AOG Eastern Cape Region. It was at this point of promotion that God challenged Alan to lay down his ministry, as it was and to step out entirely by faith, says Joan. God confirmed this call in many ways and for 33 years this man has walked a life of faith — of total reliance on God.
Joan writes in a eulogy for Alan: “A small house church was started. God blessed. People tithed, but every month God provided in the most amazing way. As the city ministry grew, the expenses rose and God provided. God would tell someone in NMB, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port St John’s, Port Alfred or even someone from overseas to send a love gift and it would arrive just at the right time to meet a particular need. Never was a cent ‘asked for’, God supplied through loving people as they where moved upon by Him. Alan never spoke of these things. He never wanted to ever sound as if he were asking. This was an understanding between him and his God.
“Today, a little church meets every Sunday in a small chapel at Laubscher Park.These people love Alan and he really loved them. He was their under-shepherd and now that he is gone, they are feeling a little vulnerable. But God is the Good Shepherd who looks after His sheep. They will keep their eyes on Him and He will lead and guide them into the future.”