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About Us

Senior pastor:


Apostle Raymond J. Keith, Jr., is the founder and Bishop of Refuge In Kentucky, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky. He is a Teacher, Visionary, Builder, and most importantly, a Pastor, who is best known as“Pastor Keith”. He embodies all the qualities of a Pastor that the Lord promised in Jeremiah 3:15, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” He has served in this capacity for forty-three years as an example of servant leadership and a sounding voice to uphold the standards of holiness. Apostle Keith is a compassionate and practical leader, with God-given gifts for ministering to the whole man.

Apostle Keith is an effective communicator of God’s Word. His leadership is positively impacting lives and enhancing the community through the work of many ministries offered. He is the President of the Refuge Community Development Corporation(RCDC), 501©3, which is designed to strengthen the blighted communities in a holistic approach to build the family structure. He is the host of a nightly radio broadcast, “The Sound of Pentecost”, that reaches the Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana listening audience. He is the creator of “Marriages Alive and Well” Seminars, a ministry for married couples which is dear to his heart. He and his wife, Lady Joan Davis Keith, host workshops and conferences across the country to strengthen good marriages and heal broken ones.

Pastor Keith has served the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in many capacities. His humble beginnings were cultivated at Greater Refuge Temple, New York, where he received the gift of the Holy Spirit under the leadership of his beloved mentor and Pastor,the late Chief Apostle W.L. Bonner. He served as Junior Pastor and as an emissary, assisting Pastor Bonner in the work development of his churches. His faithfulness and submission to the will of God elevated him to the bishopric in 1996 and has allowed him to serve as the Diocesan Bishop of the Kentucky and Indiana Dioceses, 1997-present; International Executive Corresponding Secretary, 1977-2005; International Executive Recording Secretary, 2005-2012; Chairman of the Board of Bishops, 2013-2017; and Regional Coordinator to Apostle James Maye, Region VI, 2005-2017. At the 98thInternational Convocation, 2017, he was elevated to the Board of Apostles and was appointed to Region V and the Apostle to the Men, which birthed the newly formed International Brotherhood Council that will meet the needs of all men, credentialed and non-credentialed, through outreach and fellowship.

Championing education, Pastor Keith received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Education from New York University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Sacramento Theological Seminary and Bible College, Sacramento, California. He has also studied under the late Chief Apostle Bonner at the W.L. Bonner Bible College, Columbia, South Carolina. A gifted teacher, he honed his craft by teaching in the New York City Public School System, the Harlem Preparatory High School, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Pastor Keith’s vision is to develop a Trade School to teach young men and women “real world skills”.

Family is the foundation of his life. This child of God is an affectionate and dedicated husband to Mother Joan D. Keith, his lady and State Mother of the Kentucky and Indiana Dioceses, and the loving father of four children. His three sons are all saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and working in the ministry in their perspective areas along with their wives. His precious daughter, his “Princess”, Junior Missionary Shirika Renee Keith Franklin, is resting in the Lord until that great day. Over the 52 years that he and Mother Keith have been married, his family has grown tremendously. Not only is he a husband and father, he is also a grandfather of nine, and a great grandfather of two.

Above all, Apostle Keith’s goals are to “Reach the Lost at any Cost” and to please the Lord with his life. With God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

Apostle Raymond J. Keith, Jr. oversees the following dioceses and auxiliaries within Region 5:

For prayer or to join as a new member or a new sister church, Apostle Keith can be reached at


In August 1976, God spoke to late Chief Apostle, Bishop William L. Bonner, and instructed him to send his son in the gospel, Elder Raymond J. Keith Jr. to establish a church in Louisville, KY. Elder Keith, his wife Joan Keith, and their three small sons left New York for Kentucky. Upon arriving, there was no existing congregation.


Pastor Keith settled in a building located at 901 South 40 Street, which was consecrated Refuge In Kentucky COOLJC on October 23, 1976 by the late Apostle J.P. Steadman, and began to build. Those early years serve as a testament to Pastor and Sister Keith's faith in and obedience to God. On March 8, 1991, Pastor Keith and the congregation took possession of the facility located at 600 East Market Street, where they still worship to this day. This edifice was consecrated on April 28, 1991 by Bishop Samuel R. Peters.


The Refuge in Kentucky Ministry is committed to meeting the needs of the whole man, by implementing outreach programs to address the physical, emotional, psychological, and educational needs of its members, and the community at large.

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The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ was founded by the late Bishop R. C. Lawson in 1919 in a basement in the 40th Street area in New York, NY. Shortly, the congregation grew to 200 members, and a facility was secured on West 133rd Street.


With continued growth, the church moved to its present location at 124th Street and 7th Avenue. Upon Bishop Lawson's home going in 1961, the late Bishop William L. Bonner became the pastor of the "Mother Church" and began renovation of the Greater Refuge Temple - the headquarters of our organization.


COOLJC now has membership of more than 30,000 across the US as well as ministries in the Caribbean, West Africa, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, Europe, and other nations across the globe.

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