Ministry After 50
Translated by Jerry Reece
Wayne and Hilda Keelin wanted to be missionaries early in life but
God had other plans. Saved at the age of 11 in Owensboro, Kentucky,
Wayne felt the call to be a missionary at age 18. He prepared by completing
college and seminary. While in seminary, he met Hilda and they married
in 1954 after he finished seminary and she pharmacy school.
They applied to a mission board but were rejected because they were Wayne and Hilda Keelin
perceived to have a “mixed” marriage (Hilda is from Puerto Rico). This
was a disappointment to them but God used it for good. Wayne went to pharmacy school with the
idea of supporting his family on the field.
That did not work. However, God never stopped working in their lives. After 15 years as
pharmacists, the Lord moved them to Chattanooga where they were again impressed to go to Puerto
Rico as missionaries. A vacation trip to Puerto Rico put them in contact with a BIMI missionary.
This contact led to their acceptance as BIMI missionaries in 1980. They left their professions and
after two years of deputation departed for Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Hilda was 50, Wayne 52.
In 1982 Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida (IBNV) was started. The church thrived as the Keelins loved
people to the Lord (see insets for two of many such testimonies). In 2001 the church called Pastor
Rodolfo Garcia to succeed Wayne as
pastor. This allowed the Keelins to return
to the States to tend to medical needs.
Brother Garcia retired from a pharma-
ceutical company to accept the call as
pastor. The church continues under his
ministry and a beautiful new auditorium
was dedicated on February 12, 2012.
Emilio & Miriam Cruz Ortiz
Emilio's wife, Miriam, started attending IBNV first. As a devout,
practicing Catholic, Emilio did not like his wife going with her sister-in-
law to IBNV. He told her, “You and the children can go to that church, but
don't ever ask me to go there.” Hilda Keelin led Miriam to the Lord. Emilio
saw the great change in her life and became intrigued with the idea of
visiting the church. Wayne Keelin led him to the Lord. He and his family
have been faithful members since. Emilio serves as a deacon and his wife
is always by his side in the Lord's work.
Adelaida lost her mother at the age of 12. Raised by Catholic nuns, she
learned and practiced praying the rosary, the Catholic catechism and praying
to the saints. She became a “rosary prayer leader” responsible to lead in the
rosary anytime someone died in her neighborhood. Her youngest son, Edwin,
was saved in Orlando, Florida, in 1982. In 1989 he asked his mother to locate
a Baptist church for him to attend when he visited Puerto Rico. One night as
Adelaida was leading the rosary after a family member had died, a close friend Adelaida Romero
gave her the name of IBNV.
Four days later, Wayne and Hilda Keelin visited and shared the Gospel. Adelaida attended the
church for the first time December 10, 1989. Convicted of her sin, she asked the Lord to save her and
was baptized a week later. Since that point she says, “my life has never been the same…the rosaries
and saints disappeared…I learned the truth and the truth made me free.”
20 BIMI WORLD
Please pray for the Keelins as Wayne suffers from Alheimer's disease.
Number 1, 2012