Apostle Mike was born November 22, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised in a strict Roman Catholic family, he attended Catholic grade school and high school before attending Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. In 1973, Apostle Mike graduated from BGSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in graphic design. As a fine artist, he won many awards in local, state and regional art shows for his work. As a graphic artist, illustrator and art director, Apostle Mike was successful working for a number of design studios in Toledo, Ohio. From 1974 to 1976, Apostle Mike worked as a graphic artist, designer, copywriter, as well as a radio and television producer for Hickory Farms of Ohio, a national cheese store chain based in Toledo. In January 1977, Apostle Mike joined Owens Corning Fiberglas® as a merchandising and sales promotion supervisor. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of all advertising, sales promotion and public relations programs for three industrial insulation marketing divisions of OCF. In 1978, which was Apostle Mike’s last full year with the corporation, his approved operating budget was over one million dollars.
Apostle Mike was born-again September 21, 1978, and filled with Holy Spirit two days later. Immediately the gifts of the Spirit began working, and an intensive street witnessing ministry was started in downtown Toledo. Through his local home church, Apostle Mike was put in charge of many outreach activities while still working full-time for OCF. These outreaches included monthly visitations to area prisons and juvenile prisons, street witnessing during lunch hour when working, and on Saturdays most weekends. An extensive tract distribution program was implemented at major transportation facilities such as the city bus station, and the Toledo Express Airport. On his own time and with his own money, Apostle Mike would order, stamp and pass out thousands of tracts monthly. God opened doors of opportunity supernaturally to accommodate his zeal and availability, and tens of thousands of people had Gospel tracts handed to them as a result. At the airport, Apostle Mike created a master list of all incoming and outgoing flights, and each Saturday on his own time, would be at the gate to give tracts to all those coming in or going out on flights. Tracts were placed everywhere– in airport lavatories, phone booths, under windshield wipers in the parking lot, wherever they could be placed. In addition, thousands of tracts were distributed at local malls, shopping centers, bars and even inside places specializing in “adult entertainment.”
In September 1979, responding to God’s call to full-time ministry, Apostle Mike resigned his position at OCF to attend RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In May 1980, he graduated from RHEMA and in September 1980, left the USA for full-time missionary work in the Philippines. Having just enough money to buy a one-way plane ticket to the Philippines, Apostle Mike arrived with only a few dollars in his pocket, his notes and books from Bible School, and the promise of support from only his parents and one small church in Toledo, Ohio. No one was there to meet him when he landed. He didn’t know the language, the customs or anything else. He just knew God had sent him! He made his way south from Manila, and from September 1980 to December 1982, Apostle Mike worked with a Filipino and his ministry, living and working out from Tagbilaran City, on the island of Bohol. He traveled extensively throughout the mountains and coastal towns of the islands of Bohol, Negros, Cebu, Leyte and Mindanao. Many open-air evangelistic crusades were conducted, and thousands were saved and miraculously healed in his simple outdoor meetings.
Hundreds of churches were also visited for ministry, with most churches having only a handful of people. Some were so high up in the mountains, clouds were actually rolling through the church during services! Whenever he returned to Tagbilaran City, Apostle Mike taught in his host’s Bible School, and served as the principal of that school for the 1982 school year. In January 1983, receiving God’s clear direction to separate and start his own work, Apostle Mike left Tagbilaran City and moved to Ozamiz City on the island of Mindanao. There he founded Mike Keyes Ministries International, which has developed into the international outreach and missionary ministry it is today. Presently, MKMI employs more than a dozen full-time employees, both in the USA and the Philippines. The ministry touches people all over the world, and continues to grow and expand as support allows. Apostle Mike met Ethel, a native Filipina, in October 1980, and they were married May 7, 1983. They have two children; their son Mike Jr. was born February 2, 1987, and their daughter Lorraine was born May 9, 1992.