2012 CCM Network International Songwriter of the Year AND 1st Place Song for ‘Made for More’. 2014 and 2015 WAMMIE for Gospel Vocalist of the year, 2015 WAMMIE for Gospel Album of the Year ‘Our Hope[Live]’, and the list goes on.
Keith Elgin, who serves as the worship pastor at Vine Church, has a heart for ministry and music. Not only is he a talented singer/songwriter Keith has a wonderful sense of humor which shows in a recent tweet of his which reads…”I love cereal, shoes, Jesus and @emilyelgin. Not in that order. I also sing sometimes.” @emilyelgin referring to his loving wife Emily.
It may surprise you to know that Keith grew up in a family who were involved in the Emmaus Community, his parents having walked in the mid 90’s and his brother walked on Chrysalis C39 in high school. Because of the family’s involvement, Keith knew everyone involved in the Community, and of course, the Community knew him. Year after year invitations would be given for Keith to walk on Chrysalis, and year after year there was always something more important to do. Football and basketball seemed to take priority over Chrysalis, and the invitations kept getting turned down.
Finally, 2 years into College the invitation to walk was accepted, and in 2002 Keith walked on C48. As we all know, people have different experiences and leave their walk with varying emotions and Keith readily admits that, while he enjoyed his walk, it was not a life changing event for him.
During his time at College something happened that would shape Keith’s professional as well as his spiritual life. A brother’s spare guitar, the internet as a tutor, and the rest, they say, is history! That was the beginning of Keith as the musician we see today.
It was during this time away at JMU that Keith went home for a weekend and felt restless, distant from God and unable to sleep. He remembered the friend and team member who gave the prodigal talk and wondered if that may somehow relate to him. Taking time to meditate and pray, Keith asked God what His plans were for him. God’s answer….It’s time come home.
When God tells us to do some things, it isn’t always easy! So many obstacles needed to be overcome. Keith had to figure out what credits he could transfer, sub lease an apartment, and had to do a 5th year at George Mason – the logistics were a nightmare, but everything worked out as God had planned.
Keith began attending Christ Church and continued to learn how to play guitar and sing. He offered to help out with the technical side of the services. Their music director saw the heart that Keith had for music and challenged him to write a song, which he did, followed by several more. Up until this point Keith hadn’t sung in church since 5th grade, he’d never played guitar in front of an ‘audience’, and never lead worship before. However, one fateful Sunday the Worship leader at Christ Church was out sick and asked Keith to lead Worship, and from that point there was a shift from the technical side to worship music. Keith was so led by the Spirit that he started a youth band and choir.
Keith has teamed on Chrysalis several times and has been Agape Cha, Head Cha and MD.
Keith married his sweetheart Emily in 2008 but sadly 2 weeks after the wedding Emily diagnosed with MS. The first year or two, Keith said, was chaos. Emily couldn’t walk for months at a time, she was unable to drive and her speech was affected amongst other things.
In 2013 Emily had a bad episode in a wheelchair which led to her being accepted into a clinical trial in Chicago. The treatment, in short, tricked Emily’s body into thinking that it never had MS and, praise God, leads a normal life today (whatever normal really means!!).
In 2012, Vine Church, a new church plant in Tysons opened. Vine asked Keith to join, but he couldn’t leave Christ Church because he needed healthcare as his wife had MS. Very excited about this new church plant, Keith and Vine kept close contact until Keith was able to join them as Worship pastor. Vine church has a goal to plant multiple churches.
Emily’s parents have a recording studio that Keith is able to use whenever he needs and he is grateful for everything that God has given him. Keith does not want to squander the opportunities that he has been given.
Worship is a way of life for Keith and he uses his music to speak to people all around the world. He also has a burning desire to serve wherever he is needed and currently works as a Compassion International artist. Keith and Emily have visited Ecuador for Compassion International and more recently spent 2 weeks in South Africa with Gap Community to work in the township of Kayamandi spreading God’s vision as well as upgrading classrooms.
Keith Elgin leads a busy life …. Worship, writing and recording songs, speaking or singing at conferences and events and taking time to teach the love of God to others around the world less fortunate than us. With all this going on Keith remains down to earth and humble, he has taken the opportunities given him in life and used it to bless others.
Keith just started 360 Collective, a non-profit ministry that centers around using music and relationships to impact the world. It includes donating instruments to people and churches all over the world, training churches on how to plan and lead worship, playing live music, and much more. He is pumped to see how God will use this. If you would like to support this mission please email Keith at email@example.com
While Keith’s Chrysalis weekend maybe didn’t have an immediate impact on him – the seeds were planted and God found people to water the seeds and grow Keith’s faith in an amazing way.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Keith for taking time in giving this interview and we pray that the Lord has even bigger plans for His faithful servant – to bless his work and those people he comes into contact with all over the world.