Rev. Kathy O'Keeffe serves as pastor of Kingdom Life Ministries International in Roanoke, Virginia where she was called into the ministry in 1977 under the leadership of Dr. Lorraine Alston. A dynamic and inspiring teacher, an ordained prophet and minister of God’s present truths, Pastor O’Keeffe has yielded her life to fulfilling the vision of developing a mature people “fitly joined together ...unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:16).
She believes in making the Word practical for everyday living as demonstrated through her teaching and through her pastoral, personal, and financial counseling.
Rev. O’Keeffe serves as the international head pastor of Kingdom Life Ministries, Ghana, where she oversees four congregations. Kingdom Life Ministries International has supported the building of three churches in this area and sends mission teams to Ghana several times a year which focus on leadership development, teaching, and demonstrating the power and love of the Kingdom of God. Rev. O’Keeffe has also instituted a microloan program within the Ghanaian churches so members can be empowered through entrepreneurship.
Rev. O’Keeffe holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Hollins University and a Doctorate of Theology from Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary in Tampa, Florida. She has previously served as secretary and Board member of Roanoke Area Ministries, as Vice President of the Board of Total Action Against Poverty, and as a member of the Diversity Initiative Advisory Board at Hollins University. She is currently a member of Rotary International and board member of Community High School.
She was one of the founding board members of Kimoyo LTD., a non-profit organization birthed out of the desire and vision of Kingdom Life Ministries International and St. John’s Episcopal Church, to build a new model for community interaction and shared responsibility which would serve as a bridge across social, cultural, religious, and racially diverse communities. During the last ten years, Kimoyo LTD. has built a 35-bed hospital with pharmacy, lab, and minor surgery capacities in Zebilla, Ghana. It has also established an internet café and business center for the villagers and developed a microloan project to assist local women. Rev. O’Keeffe was instrumental in developing and procuring funding for educational programs on cultural diversity offered through Kimoyo LTD. for Roanoke Valley schools and other organizations. These programs bring African culture to life through history, storytelling, dance, music, and art and help young people of the Roanoke Valley learn to appreciate the uniqueness of their cultural heritage and their position in the world as global citizens. Kimoyo LTD. currently provides cultural workshops in eleven Roanoke Valley schools on a weekly basis.
Rev. O’Keeffe serves as Executive Director of Cultural Arts for Excellence (CAFE), a project of Kingdom Life Ministries International. CAFE, an after-school program in the heart of Northwest Roanoke, serves as a creative center for music, drama, dancing, steel drumming, and many other expressions of the arts for middle-school students. CAFE complements these activities with strong mentoring and tutoring programs. The goal is to develop healthy self-esteem, to equip young people with the tools they will need for success, and to model and develop the character traits that will insure a high quality of life as they make a positive difference in the community and world in which they live.
Her heart lies in seeing all people united and walking in the Kingdom, empowered with the fruits of their full destiny, being witnesses to the light and life of God, good for the healing of the nations.
PASTOR A. LEON FREEMAN, SR.
Reverend Augustus Leon Freeman, Sr. the fourth child of Ernest & Delores Freeman born in Mobile, AL. It is noteworthy to mention that he was born on August 1, 1961 and those who follow the zodiac signs, he is a Leo the Lion. With that said, on a number of occasions, some people have observed Augustus Leon/August Leo with the assumption that his parents derived my name from that association. In actuality, Rev. Freeman was named after two preachers: Dr. Edward Augustus Palmer and Dr. Leon Taylor.
Dr. Palmer who served as the pastor of his family’s church as well as a mentor to his father, had been selected to be Rev. Freeman’s god-father; however, he passed before Rev. Freeman was born. Dr. Leon Taylor was called to serve as pastor who subsequently became my god-father. His parents simply borrowed Augustus and Leon, thus he is Augustus Leon Freeman, Sr.
Dr. Leon Taylor had a profound impact on Rev. Freeman’s life. He vividly recalls at the tender age of six during an evening Holy Communion Service, the spirit of God simply overwhelming him. Of course, he didn’t know at the time what to make of the encounter, but he does recall stepping up and asking to be baptized.
On many given Sunday’s after church, Rev. Freeman would wrap a bath towel around his shoulder (preacher’s robe), setup a cardboard box (pulpit podium) and preach to his sister’s dolls.
In retrospect Rev. Freeman reflects, “I think I knew God had his hand on my life but I certainly tried to “live the life” without that consideration. Love is Patient.”
“I was about 19 or 20 years old when I was reading a devotional scripture: Mark 16:15. “Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel.” The words, Preach The Gospel appeared to enlarge on the page and convicted my heart. I was hungry for the Word of God.”
Shortly after this encounter, Rev. Freeman was pressed to visit his god-father, Dr. Leon Taylor who lived in Mobile, Alabama. During the visit, he asked him to share his story of being called to the ministry. “One evening after church, the Lord gave me a vision in the clouds. I saw the scripture, Go ye therefore, into all the world and preach the gospel,” replied Dr. Taylor.
His brother, Rev. Ernest L. Freeman, Jr. invited him to Roanoke, Virginia to spend some time with him where he was introduced to deeper truths regarding the Holy Spirit. They cleverly arranged for Apostle Lorraine Alston to take him to the airport as he prepared to return to Atlanta, GA.
Eventually, he joined Abundant Life Church and served under Pastor Woodrow Walker, Jr. where he was ordained as a Teacher.
In 1987, he married Cynthia R. Bond and they began their life as husband and wife and God used them as Cell Group Leaders under the direction of Pastor Walker. During that season, they witnessed many wonderful works of God in the lives of the people they mentored.
In 1989, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to the Freemans with instructions to relocate to Roanoke. They joined Deliverance Church in January 1989 where they served under Pastor Lorraine Alston. To their union were added Natasha, Leon II and Jonathan.
Presently, Rev. Freeman serves as one of the Associate Pastors to Apostle Kathy O’Keeffe, Kingdom Life Ministries International.
PASTOR WALTER P. WILEY
Reverend Walter Wiley is serving at Kingdom Life Ministries, International in Roanoke, Virginia under the leadership of Dr. Kathy O’Keeffe. The direction of his life begin to change in 1977 as he sat under the teaching and spiritual guidance of Dr. Lorraine Alston, founder of Kingdom Life Ministries, International.
He was ordained as a minister in 2005. God’s word continues to be proven over and over as an inspiration to others as he teaches, preaches, ministers, supports, serves and is a voice in the prophetic ministry. He is the Church Center lead for Church Missions which includes hospital and home visits as well as intercessory prayer groups.
Reverend Wiley has served on St. John’s Community Youth Program Board of Directors, served as a member of Faith Works, a neighborhood organization focused on community safety, and served as a board member of Kimoyo, a nonprofit organization that has built a hospital in Ghana, established a Micro Finance program in Ghana, developed cultural educational programs in the Roanoke Valley and soccer literacy programs in Ghana.
He has accompanied Apostle O’Keeffe on several trips to Africa to support the Kingdom Life Ministries, International churches in Ghana, the Kimoyo missions, and the Villages of Africa in Roanoke, Virginia, an import/export business whose proceeds enables the development of education programs that focus on African culture and arts. .
Reverend Wiley is married to the former Brenda Divers who serves with her husband as an Elder of the Church. They are the proud parents of one son, Walter Wiley II.
PASTOR JEREL RHODES | YOUTH PASTOR
Pastor Jerel Rhodes was born on October 22, 1973 in Roanoke, Virginia. He is the Son of Jimmy Lewis Rhodes and Joyce Ann Rhodes. He began attending Kingdom Life Ministries at the early age of four years old. Pastor Rhodes attended Roanoke City Schools where he graduated from William Fleming High in June of 1991. After graduation, he attended Norfolk State University where he majored in Sociology and received his BA in May of 1996. During his time at NSU, Pastor Rhodes diligently sought the face of God and His leading for the direction for his life. God honored Pastor Rhodes' desire and moved greatly on his behalf bringing about spiritual growth and insight.
Pastor Rhodes' strong desire to pursue a graduate degree and God’s purpose for his life led him to pursue his Masters Degree at Radford University. Enrolling at Radford also allowed him to return home to Kingdom Life.
Upon his return, he began working closely with the leadership at Kingdom Life as a Deacon. On January 18, 2004 Pastor Rhodes was ordained as the Youth Pastor of Kingdom Life Ministries, International by Dr. Lorraine Alston, Pastor Kathy O'Keeffe, and Bishop Carl Alexander.
Pastor Rhodes truly has a heart for youth as demonstrated by his active engagement with the youth of Kingdom Life, his career choice as the guidance coordinator at Roanoke’s Forest Park Academy and his work as facilitator for The Scholarly Gents Society at Virginia Western Community College. He looks forward to growing in the ministry and leading young people into the light of the Word of God.
Pastor Rhodes is married to the former Rhonda Chambers. The couple has four children.