Shorter College recognizes Dr. Mike Keown of Coolidge, Ga., as its 2007 Minister of the Year
Dr. Mike Keown of Coolidge, Ga., a 1977 graduate of Shorter College, received Shorter’s 2007 Minister of the Year Award. The award was presented at the Shorter College Luncheon held Nov. 13 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention in Augusta, Ga.
Shorter College President Harold E. Newman (left) with 2007 Minister of the Year Dr. Mike Keown and his wife, Dr. Kathy Clements Keown.
Dr. Keown has served as pastor of First Newark Baptist Church in Thomasville, Ga., since 1996. During his tenure, he has led the church in its growth from 40 senior adults to an average of more than 200 in worship and more than 300 members, has seen the church’s original debt of $240,000 paid off in three years, has completed construction of a Family Life Center and renovation and expansion of a worship facility, and has seen tithes and offerings increase 400 percent.
In addition, since 2004, Dr. Keown has served as the District 173 Representative to the Georgia House of Representatives. He serves as vice chair of the Special Rules Committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services, Natural Resources, and Education committees. He has a tradition of public service, having served as mayor of Coolidge, Ga., from 1986 to 1990 and as a member of the Thomas County School Board from 1990 to 2004.
Dr. Keown earned his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in social science from Shorter College in 1977, his Master of Divinity from the Southwestern Baptist Seminary in 1983, his Clinical Pastoral education from Baylor University Medical Center from 1985 to 1986, and his Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in evangelistic church growth from the New Orleans Baptist Seminary in 2003. He was ordained into the ministry in August 1974 by Hopewell Baptist Church in Cherokee County.
Dr. Keown served as a chaplain, chief counselor, deputy warden, unit manager and superintendent with the Georgia Department of Corrections between the years of 1988 and 1996. He was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Thomasville, Ga., from 1990 to 1995; director of pastoral services at the Greenleaf Center in Valdosta, Ga., from 1987 to 1988; pastor of Coolidge Memorial Baptist Church in Coolidge from 1983 to 1987; and pastor of Calvary Church in Calvary, Ga., from 1977 to 1979.
The Canton, Ga., native lives in Coolidge with his wife, Dr. Kathy Clements Keown, who serves as Title One coordinator for the Thomas County Schools. She is also a 1977 graduate of Shorter College. They have two grown sons, Michael and Matthew.