David G. Keane, Born to Jocelyn and Maisy Keane was the fifth of nine children. He grew up in a Christian home and was taught about the things of the Lord from a tender age. David Keane attended Calabar High school and after graduating, attended the Jamaica School of music where he studied Opera and Vocal performance. It was whilst he was there that he met his Wife, Denver Keane (now deceased) and they got married in 1969. The union produced four girls, Julie-Ann, Kecia-Gaye, Leiza-Mae and Jordanne.
David and Denver, both being called to music, started a music Group, called the “Teen Time Quartet”, which soon after became the “Teen Time Singers” which took them travelling; singing and sharing the word all over Jamaica in schools and churches as their goal was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many were saved under their ministry as the youth were being transformed; many of whom have gone into full time Ministry as a result of the seeds being sown in their earlier years. After several years of ministering as the “Teen Time Singers”, the name was once again changed to “David Keane and the Sonshine Singers” and he established his Ministry “Sonshine Ministries” under which all ministry opportunities were conducted. He was relentless in his intentions to spread the word as His love was for the lost, the poor, the bound and the broken. His Singing ministry expanded and now took him to the United States of America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean where thousands were saved under his ministry. David Keane’s dedication to the call of music and work in the Kingdom was broadened even more as in 1983, the Lord called him to be a pastor.
In October of 1984, he established Church on the Rock Jamaica and though consistent opposition came, he followed through as God had called him to shepherd His people. The ministry was born out of humble beginnings; having services in an abandoned building that was once used as a bar on Honey Hill. His passion drove him and his faith went before him. Called to the poor and having a love for the poor, the initial meetings consisted of the people from Cassava Piece, a neighboring depressed area. The Lord was in the midst and the word went out and God drew His people from all corners of Kingston to come and experience this new thing He had begun. There were many years of sacrifice, tears and toil but he had the support of many missionaries and Pastor-friends abroad along with a handful of friends and associates in Jamaica as he built the Kingdom of God on Honey Hill, where Church on the rock was established.
Apostle David Keane founded a work of God which he never dreamed would have grown and affected the lives of so many in Jamaica and abroad, but Isaiah 61:1-3 was in the forefront of his heart as this was the vision God established for this work. His unmovable faith and the vision God gave him produced a Medical ministry, a school, a children’s home and many outreach programs and other ‘Churches on the Rock’ were born. It started with faith as a mustard seed and grew into a vast work that God purposed.
Church on the Rock became the church of musical excellence and worship experiences and produced some of the most talented musicians. Being a singer/ musician himself and His wife Denver, an accomplished pianist, this was inevitable and soon thereafter this musical standard and worship experience was sought after. In earlier years, Apostle David Keane was the trail blazer of Reggae in the church which was not embraced initially and was actually rejected. The reggae beat in a church service was not one to have been heard and as a result of him pioneering and including this beat in gospel, he was excommunicated from the church for this “out of the box” attempt. This did not deter him in anyway as his passion for Music and the varying rhythms, include our very own reggae, motivated him to pursue Gospel Reggae. As a result, many gospel reggae groups were formed through the years and Gospel DJ’s now dominate the local and international stage; spreading the gospel through this medium. Throughout His musical career, he also made made several albums which included originally composed music of many genres.
He also pioneered what was Jamaica’s first and biggest annual gospel festival series billed “ALLELUIA” for 18 years. Numerous Gospel acts including Candi Staton, Bebe and Cece Winans, Jessy Dixon, Leon Patillo from the US, to name a few, had graced the stages. There were also many local acts such as Judy Mowatt, Junior Tucker, Papa San, Carlene Davis, Grace thrillers, Love Singers, Sons and Daughters, Kevin and Robin, Robert and Geneva Bailey, Ziggy Soul , Changed, Paul Blake and others. This 3-day festival attracted thousands of patrons, typically having approximately 10,000 in attendance on a typical night and have seen an estimated attendance of 25,000 on a closing night.
His love for the arts also inspired him to include the dance in the worship experience. A dance ministry was also born as a result and Church on the Rock pioneered “dance” in the church locally which soon was established within other churches.
Apostle David Keane also had a Television series called ‘Catch the fire’ that was aired weekly which would reach a wider cross-section of Jamaica; affecting them for Christ though the mediums of music, dance and the word.
As a pastor, It took a great level of unwavering faith and determination to accomplish this all. People were his focus as he had an undying love for them, especially the poor. Apostle David Keane would go into the highways and byways and witness to the poor in vulnerable areas as God had said he would give Him West Kingston. So he went into the areas and gave his love as He sat with the people many days; played with the guys on the street side, reasoned with them and simply made the love of Jesus shine through Him. As a true shepherd, He would transport them from these areas to church on a Sunday and on other days would go to where they are and sit and reason. He fed them, protected them, gave them hope and showed them love.
On December 31, 2002, Apostle David Keane suffered a massive stroke whilst preaching at His church during their New Years Eve service. He remained ill over the next 12 years. On December 7, 2014, Apostle David Keane transitioned. His legacy lives on.