Jul 28, 2012
Keith Green was best known for his strong devotion to Christian evangelism and challenging all believers in Jesus Christ to the same.
As a gospel songwriter, Green's confrontational lyrics made him a controversial figure in both worldly and Christian circles.
Keith Gordon Green, born on October 21, 1953, started performing for audiences at the age of 8.
Green's live theater performances in The Time of the Cuckoo in Chatsworth, California and The Sound of Music in Woodland Hills, California were reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, which referred to the 3rd grader as "a show stopper."
At age 11, Green had already composed 40 songs. He signed a 5-year recording contract with Decca Records, was the youngest person ever to join ASCAP, and was covered by TIME magazine at age 12.
After his teen idol ambitions were spent, Keith Green turned to drugs, mysticism and "free love" until he came close to losing his mind on a bad drug trip.
The Jewish newlyweds converted to Christianity in Los Angeles, then joined Southern California's Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
In 1975, Keith and Melody Green began an outreach program in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, ministering to drug addicts, prostitutes and the homeless. Two years later, the outreach was officially named Last Days Ministries, which continues today.
Keith Green was signed to contemporary Christian music label Sparrow Records in 1976. His first album, For Him Who Has Ears to Hear, was released in 1977.
More successful albums followed, as Keith Green adopted a policy of refusing to charge money for concerts or albums.
His music, carried by Christian bookstores worldwide, included a second free album to give away and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1979, Last Days Ministries relocated from Los Angeles, California to Garden Valley, Texas, where Keith Green and 11 others died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff on July 28, 1982 - exactly 30 years ago today.
Melody Green lost her husband Keith, her son Josiah, and her daughter Bethany in the plane crash. Her best-selling book, No Compromise, is one of the most intimate and personal Christian biographies ever written.
Over the last three decades, many Keith Green albums have been released posthumously, including unreleased material, compilations, live concerts, artist tributes and greatest hits albums.
Keith Green was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001, and Green was honored with the ASCAP Crescendo Award at the ASCAP Christian Music Awards in 2006.
Years of Keith Green's personal journals were published as excerpts in three books, A Cry In The Wilderness, If You Love the Lord, and Make My Life a Prayer.
Today, 30 years after the singer's earthly death, Christian believers now celebrate Keith Green's 30 years of limitless life with the Lord.
Keith Green truly was one of the greatest blessings to ever come out of California.
"It's time to quit playing church and start being the Church."
K E I T H G R E E N