ROCK Ministry grows after sign from God

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Keith Smith, better known as “Killer,” among the Burnet community, stands beside his sign planted in his front yard along County Road 330 in Burnet. Throughout his life, “Killer” has made a great effort to bring God into the lives of individuals in need and continues to make a difference through The ROCK Ministry, which gathers informally every month.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Like a rock thrown in a creek, one individual has the potential to change his or her surroundings with a single action.

Burnet resident Keith Smith, known to his friends and community as “Killer,” since his days on the Florence High School football team, has been given a mission to be that change in his community. Smith recently established The ROCK Ministry in hopes of providing a safe place for troubled individuals to gather and talk about God.

Smith says The ROCK Ministry did not appear overnight; different events in his life have shaped who he is today, and as time has passed, the concept has slowly turned into a real thing. In 1988, Smith survived cancer, and in 2009 was involved in a crash resulting in a serious head injury which left him homebound. Smith's faith grew stronger during these times of trouble, and he is now spreading his beliefs and values to those around him.

In 2015, Smith gained recognition from many community members who passed by his house on County Road 330 in Burnet by placing a sign in his yard which read, “God's Not Dead.”

Smith placed this sign in his yard for people to see and remember to stop and think, pray, or help others to make the world a better place.

“I would be walking around somewhere and hear a lot of negative conversations that ended negatively, maybe about a relative with a drug problem or something like that, and the person would say 'I wish I could do something, but I'm only one person,'” Smith said. “Growing up, I was always taught by all the old-timers here in Burnet County and my grandparents and mom and dad that one person can make a difference. That is as easy as smiling at somebody and saying 'hello.'”

Smith began praying and asking God how he could help others make the difference they wish to see.

“If He could touch my life, He could touch their lives the same way, if they would just open their heart,” Smith said. “Besides God making a difference, every single person on this earth can make a difference; I prayed about it for a long, long time.”

Slowly, Smith began to understand how he can help his community and decided to put the sign up in his yard, reminding friends and strangers alike that they are not alone.

Today, Smith is reaching out to troubled individuals through The ROCK Ministry, a gathering at his home in Burnet.

When he was younger, Smith's grandfather explained to him the meaning of the ROCK. Redemption, Obedience, Caring, and Kindness, are the words that make up the essence of the ministry, and they are the words Smith lives by every day.

“I didn't understand it until my cancer and then my wreck, but the old-timers in my life were teaching me how to live my life, and I was learning all along,” Smith said.

Smith hopes to pass along this value to his community and emphasizes the easiest way to see what is good in the world is to just slow down.

“Take the time to visit, stop your work for five minutes, stop and look around you,” Smith said. “I was sitting outside the other day and the leaves started falling. Do you know when the leaves fall off of the trees like that, it makes a sound? I never noticed it before, and I just cried and thanked God for letting me hear it.”

Smith likens the ROCK Ministry gatherings to old-fashioned ice cream socials he and his family used to attend in Florence when he was growing up.

“We would just have a good country get-together,” Smith said. “That's what I want these meetings to be like.”

Smith says the ROCK Ministry is his calling, and he is doing what God told him to do by bringing people together to talk about Him.

“I've got to give God the credit first, and also the community and the newspaper for getting the word out,” Smith said. “Words are the most powerful thing we've got.”

The ROCK Ministry is not only Smith's way of encouraging people to talk about God, but his way of honoring his grandfather, who taught him what it was all about in the first place.

“Throwing that rock in the creek is honoring my granddad in my heart,” Smith said. “That is where it has grown from and it is going to continue to grow and God is going to continue to bless it.”

The ROCK Ministry does not have a date set for the next gathering, but Smith plans to have another one in the near future.

Individuals looking for a friend to talk to, or seeking more information about The ROCK Ministry, are encouraged to call “Killer” at 512-755-2501

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