The Reverend Keith G. Knight is a native of Peoria, Illinois, and graduated from Richwoods High School in that city on May 31, 1973. He attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, from September 1973 through August 1976, earning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Law Enforcement Administration cum laude in November 1976, and planned on attending Law school. He was an investigator for the State of Illinois from January 1977 to April 1978, working in the Department of Public Aid for the Bureau of Special Investigations, investigating allegations of welfare fraud.
Mr. Knight entered Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, for the fall term of 1978, sensing a call to Christian ministry. Recognizing God's call to the pastoral and preaching ministry in 1979, he began candidacy for the ordained ministry in the denomination in which he had been raised,the United Methodist Church. After moving to east Tennessee in June 1980, he entered Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, to complete his Master of Divinity studies. He earned this degree on June 12, 1982, receiving the degree with honors from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Mr. Knight entered the preaching ministry in November 1980, when he began to pastor Bethel United Methodist Church on Emory Road in north Knox County. In June of 1982, he was appointed by the bishop of the Holston Conference as a student pastor of the Bethel-Mt. Hermon United Methodist churches. Upon graduation in June 1982, he continued as the pastor of these two churches until June 1986, when he was appointed to the Keith Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens, Tennessee, as the associate pastor. He continued in that post until June 1988, when he was appointed to St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Louisville, Tennessee, just outside of Maryville and Alcoa. While there, the church saw 20% growth in membership and attendance, and built a large educational building to expand the teaching ministry of the church. In June, 1993, he moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, to become the pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church. He studied for several years for the Doctor of Ministry degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky.
In June, 1994, Rev. Knight was appointed to First United Methodist Church in Jonesville, Virginia. Over a period of five years, they saw a growth of 10% in worship attendance and membership, and built a large educational building to expand the teaching and fellowship ministries of the church. In June, 1999, Rev. Knight was appointed to St. Mark United Methodist Church in west Knoxville, where he led the congregation in starting a Contemporary style Worship Service. In June, 2002, Rev. Knight was appointed to the First United Methodist Church of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Then, in June, 2006, Rev. Knight was appointed to Rockwood United Methodist Church. In June, 2011, Rev. Knight became the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Oneida, Tennessee. In June, 2016, Rev. Knight became the pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Madisonville, Tennessee.
The Reverend Knight is married to the former Nancy Glenna Wikle, and they are the proud parents of Joshua Morgan Knight and Benjamin Keith Knight.
If you went out fishing early one morning, and were in a boat, and you saw an eerie figure coming to you on the water, apparently walking on the water, what would you do?? The story of Jesus, walking on water, is world famous. What really happened, and what did the disciples do?
If you were in New Orleans, and a police detective asked you, “What did you do last Tuesday,” how would you answer? Would you fumble around, trying to remember anything about ‘last Tuesday?’ if he asked you, “what did you do on ‘fat Tuesday’?” Would that be easier to remember?? Probably so!!! Especially if you know that “fat Tuesday” means— “Mardi Gras” in French !! Since “Mardi Gras” and Ash Wednesday start the season of Lent for Christians, let’s think for a minute about the last 40 days of Jesus’ life, from the gospel of Mark.