Growing up in the church can be a good experience, but this was a tug of war with Keion Henderson. He had a turbulent period during his formative years and never knew that the presiding pastor was actually his father, who in turn never acknowledged him. Today, many of our entrepreneurs have family baggage that has kept them stuck. Not minding his background, Keion trusted God and his pain was turned into a divine mandate. He went from being an entrepreneur to a Pastor. Once again, he was at a crossroad when the church authorities where he was serving promised to promote him, but in a twist of fate, he was fired. Several years later, Keion Henderson now has one of the largest churches; The Lighthouse Church.
He remained steadfast and God never failed him.
How did your highest moment of promotion take a low turn?
My lowest moment came with the promise of my highest promotion. I was asked to move to Houston, Texas to succeed an outgoing Pastor. To my surprise, three months before the transition, I was fired on the spot and in public. I had no idea that God had smuggled a deliverance into that dilemma. The Lighthouse Church was birthed out of that proverbial abortion of destiny and here we are now with opportunities to minister around the world when just nine years ago we couldn’t even speak in a local congregation.
The moment prior to things changing for us dates back to a one bedroom apartment that my wife and I lived in. The problem was at the time, we had two daughters and they were sleeping on the couch with no bedroom. I remember looking at my daughters sweating on that leather couch and deciding that I had to do better for my family. Something snapped in me that day and motivated me to get my children off of the couch and into comfort.
How did you stay faith-based and motivated in the midst of rejection?
I believe that staying motivated is an inside job. I believe that most people lack consistent motivation because they look for it to come from a source that is outside of them. The problem with depending on an outside source is it has to be available when you need to be motivated. The blessing of being motivated intrinsically is that you can reach for it whenever you need it. I believe having a great deal of knowledge also keeps you motivated; so you have to be well read. Lastly, I think surrounding yourself with people who are light years ahead of you is important. This is dangerous because it can be both motivating and depressing. But if you manage the distance properly, it can definitely pull you into destiny.
I often tell people I’m not just a preacher, although I am that. I am an entrepreneur who got called to preach. Business is in my blood. It’s what I graduated from college in, and it is the way we (my wife and I) construct all of our ministries.
How did you handle being fired on the spot, especially when trying to follow God’s purpose?
The story of how I was fired is one of those situations that you would have had to see to believe. After resigning from a local church that I had built and organized in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I received the call to come to Houston, Texas to succeed a retiring pastor at a pretty substantial size church. I have to be honest; I had my doubts. I grew up in Gary, Indiana and moving to a big city like Houston was frightening. To add insult to injury, the day I was scheduled to move to Houston was the same day that one of the most massive hurricanes in Houston’s history (Hurricane Ike) would hit the city. I thought the storm was a sign that I should just stay where I was. I now know that all storms are not bad.
Everything was going according to plan. Until that fateful Sunday morning when the Pastor stood up in front of the congregation and announced that he would no longer be retiring and I would no longer be succeeding him. As you can imagine, shock-waves went through my system with a force, unlike any earthquake that has ever shaken the earth. What I didn’t know is that being fired on the spot was God’s way of getting me to the spot He had already planned for me.
How do you manage the thin line between keeping God’s Vision as a pastor and what you learned about business in college?
There is no line to manage. That’s what I had to learn. If there is a line, it is man-made. God found Peter with a fishing business when He called him. God knew I was an entrepreneur at heart when He called me. He knew I had a business degree when He assigned me. Therefore, I believe He intended for me to use and merge all of my interests and gifts for His glory. I don’t manage lines, I manage time.
We read that time ago you also went through not being publicly accepted by your father who was also a pastor. These life traumas can create stagnancy or fear of disappointment. How do you internally address those issues in order to transform your life?
I didn’t have to transform my life. No doubt I did experience a great deal of pain, but I didn’t have to transform my life because I didn’t allow His absence to translate my story for me. I basically decided to make something of myself with or without his help. Sure, I would have loved to have his presence in my life. I pursued his approval. But my arrival and your arrival at destiny should never be predicated on who was absent or present. Growth is an inside job and you’re the only one qualified for the position. I used the trauma as fuel and fire.
Keion’s recent accomplishments
He was just nominated for his FIRST Stellar Award, for his very first album, The River.
The album was recorded in less than 3 weeks as Keion Henderson felt the desire to expand his ministry through music—offering a creative alternate way to connect more people to God than traditional preaching.
Yolanda Adams has adopted him as her nephew
Keion Henderson & T.D. Jakes recent interview.
He’s hosting his annual event, The Well Experience with several guest speakers including Evelyn Lozada, Shaunie Oneal and more June 14-16.