119 Years


And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee; fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Yesterday was a very important day in the life of the ministry of America’s Keswick. 119 years ago tomorrow William Raws, his family and a small group of staff gathered on these grounds, and after a short Bible study, pooled their resources and discovered they had $1.87 and that was the beginning of the America’s Keswick story.

119 years later, the vision of William Raws is still very much alive and well. His passion for investing in the lives of men and now women was a baton that was passed to his son, Addison, the his grandson, Pastor Bill, then to Roger Williams, John Bryant and then to me.

Last week we gathered at Shady Maple, America’s Keswick and Dock Woods Community to celebrate God’s faithfulness to this ministry.

From its very inception the plan was that God would get all the glory, the Word of God would be preached to the men (and now women) and that pray would be a driving force of all we do.

While the buildings don’t look the same as they were in 1897, the program has been through many changes, the core message has never changed. The message we share today is the same one that William Raws taught when God allowed him to see the birth of his vision.

119 years later and 20,000+ men and now women who have graduated from the program, we are even more committed to share with men and women that life-transforming truth that Jesus Christ is the ONLY answer to addiction, and that through Christ, a man, woman, teen or child can live a life of victory.

Thirteen men who have graduated from the program now serve on our full-time staff which is 20% of our staff. And who knows – somewhere down the road I can see a graduate of Barbara’s Place serving full-time on our staff.

The need for the ministry of addiction recovery is greater now than it was in 1897. Heroin is talking our country by a storm. By the end of this calendar year we may see more deaths to heroin overdoses than what we experienced during some of our wars.

Addiction is tearing apart families. Addiction seems to pass down from a parent to his kids and grandkids. Addiction is not only impacting kids in non-Christian homes – it is happening to Christian kids.

The sad thing is that the enemy is going after our kids and grandkids. The average age right now is 8 years old!!! That is frightening to a man who has grand kids are close to that age group.

With your prayers and your financial support, we will continue to do what God has called us to do. Thank you for being a part of the Freedom Fighter blog family. As God brings this ministry to your minds, please pray for us. May God bless you. Happy 119 year anniversary to America’s Keswick.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 118; Proverbs 26

Daily Quote: Not only does honest confession of sin lead to fresh experience of His forgiveness, but it also helps you let go of the chains and walk in greater freedom in the future. From Living the Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. ~2 Corinthians 4:8-11

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Core Value #3 Biblical Christian Living

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

I have been sharing with you the Core Value statements for the ministry of America’s Keswick so that you can have a better understanding of WHO we are and WHY we are doing WHAT we do.

Our third core value is our commitment to teaching BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING which is the foundation of the teaching we have been presenting since 1897 from the founding of the Colony of Mercy to the present.

Our roots go back to the Keswick Convention in England and the “Keswick Message” is based on a sequence of messages that was presented at the their conferences.

In the late 20’s the Victorious Christian Testimony became a part of the Keswick ministry and our first conference was held in 1924. The rest is history.

The core message is summed up in this statement that was crafted by the late Pastor Bill Raws: The core message of America’s Keswick (Victorious Christian Life) is for an individual to personally trust Christ as Savior, embrace what it means to live a life of sustained fellowship with God, live a life of obedience and holiness, experience victory over sin, and use their gifts for His glory.

Over the years this has been some big misunderstandings of the “Keswick Message.” For instance, one of the biggest concerns is that the Keswick message teaches “sinless perfection.”

Well that can’t be further from the truth! After all, I am President/CEO and you are reading this – so we already know that we can’t possibly be teaching this as a ministry.

It is true according to Romans 6 that I don’t have to sin! I CHOOSE to sin! But that’s another Freedom Fighter 🙂

The point is this – through Christ, I can live a life of sustained fellowship with God. I can live a life of obedience and holiness. I can experience victory over sin. And I get to use the gifts God has given me for His glory.

As I look around the landscape of Christianity, too many brothers and sisters are living discouraged, defeated and in bondage to the world, the flesh and the devil. We have allowed sin to have dominion over us rather than walk in victory.

We are searching for everything to fill the aching, longing holes that are in our hearts rather than filling that aching and longing with God and God alone.

We don’t have to live this way. We can live in victory. We can be on the winning side even when everything around us is crumbling.

If you’d like to find out more about the message we teach, I would be happy to send you Pastor Bill Raws’s pamphlet, SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE.

May prayer for you today, brother, is that you will walk in victory! I am thankful that you are joining me and the other men writing Freedom Fighter blogs. Thanks for being my friend.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 116; Proverbs 25

Daily Quote: 


This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name. ~Psalm 33:20-21

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