My name is Austin Keller, and I’m proud to be a Central Saint! God has shaped and molded me at Central Christian College of the Bible.
I was born and raised in the small Michigan town of Argyle. I grew up in a Catholic home, attending mass every week, but still knew little about Jesus and His kingdom. By the age of 17, my family and I started attending a new church, called Novesta Church of Christ in Cass City. Soon after my father was baptized, I made the decision to make Jesus my Lord and Savior on March 20, 2011. When I got plugged into the National Bible Bowl program, my faith grew and I developed a deeper relationship with God.
Before I knew Central Christian College of the Bible even existed, I was attending a community college and planning to take over the family farm. Additionally, I worked at a plastics factory. Since my senior year of high school, I was dating Sarah, a girl from my church.
Various circumstances during this season of life led me to reconsider my future plans in order to have more of an impact on the kingdom. After I felt compelled to look into ministry, I wasn’t sure where to continue my education. I considered a Christian college that I was familiar with through Bible Bowl and a high school choir program. However, the cost to attend was too high, and I didn’t want to end up with the debt it would have required. So, Sarah’s mother and I visited the Bible Bowl website to see what scholarships were available from various colleges. Of the few that popped up, I saw that CCCB offered the Full-Tuition Scholarship. That day, I made up my mind to take the first step and apply.
Having never visited Central’s campus before, I really had no idea what I was getting into. Separated from my family, I focused my attention on forming new friendships and preparing myself for ministry. I met three of my closest friends and joined the soccer team. The connections I made are still strong, even after I left Missouri for my internship. I also took over the student-led nursing home ministry, which I remained in charge of for three years. Additionally, I landed a role in a musical production at the college. Living on campus was an experience I’ll never forget. Placed in the dorm unofficially termed “the purgatory” – because nothing ever happens there – my new friends and I turned it into a lively hall of fun and fellowship. Overall, the environment was very welcoming and engaging at CCCB and I quickly adapted to the rhythm of studying God’s Word.
Attending CCCB opened a world of opportunities that I may not have otherwise considered. While attending Central, I have been a part of many different ministries. Multiple nursing home ministries enriched my life to value elderly Christians and to witness their love of Jesus Christ. Supply preaching helped me develop my preaching ability. Eventually, I ministered at Gifford Christian Church, where I learned how to become a strong church leader and how to prepare to preach the Word of God weekly. (A special shout out to Jason Poznich, our preaching professor. Jason’s philosophy is that whatever he pours into his preaching students, they will pour into God’s kingdom. I believe this to be true.)
Currently, I am taking my final year of classes through Central’s online program. Sarah and I are now married, and I am the Associate Minister intern at my home church in Michigan. I have already had the opportunity to officiate several weddings and preach on Sundays, which ties in with my goal to be a preacher at a church. I am open to God’s leading in my life and I am excited about the doors that have opened up to me as a result of my education at CCCB.
I’m so thankful for how Central has challenged me to become a servant-leader for the church. I have gained so much wisdom and knowledge from the professors and staff. They have taught me how to give my life fully to Jesus and His kingdom. Without the Full-Tuition Scholarship, I would not be where I am today. Thank you, Central, for everything.