LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The family of confessed serial killer Israel Keyes and members of 'The Church of Wells' were in Washington State on Sunday for Keyes funeral. During the sermon, Pastor Jake Gardner details the many times members of the church tried to get Israel Keyes to repent and denounce his atheism.
Pastor Jake Gardner titled the sermon he gave at Israel Keyes funeral on Sunday, "The Funeral of a Serial Killer."
Gardner begins the funeral by recalling how he received the news of Keyes' death.
He said, "It was 11:51 am, December 2, 2012 this past Sunday a week from today that I got the call. Tanner Trudeau, son-in-law to Ms. Heidi Keyes, the mother of Israel Keys telling me the news...that Israel had died. He committed suicide."
Gardner said his heart had been greatly burdened for Israel's salvation. "Do I believe this man is in heaven? No. Does his family that is present believe that this man is in heaven? No", he said.
During the sermon, Gardner says Keyes conscience will never die. Gardner said, "all of his crimes running through his head, all the time the Lord plead with this man are running through his head and he can't get it out and for eternity."
Keyes and Gardner never personally met but Gardner says he, the Keyes family, and members of the church spent many hours and days trying to save Israel Keyes. Gardner said, "It doesn't matter what you've done Israel. It doesn't matter. Obviously, completely ignorant of what he has done…and he said you don't know what I've done. You don't know the depths of the darkness that I've been to."
At one point in the sermon Gardner says Keyes visited his family before he killed the Currier family in Vermont. Gardner said "if you look at these timelines online chronologically, looking upon his murders and looking upon the different crimes of this man, you'll see that he had flown to Chicago with a pistol and with a silencer, the weapon of choice for the murder of the Currier family. He didn't have the Courier family in mind at the time but he had the murder in his mind. He had the exact plot in his mind. What he wanted to do, it was all there. It was all in his heart."
Gardner says every time someone from the church would try to plead with Keyes to denounce his atheism, he did not hear the words and he would not repent. He says one time when Keyes was visiting his family Keyes and one of his sisters went into the woods. His sister tried to share her testimony with Israel but Gardener said he "hardened declaring his atheism. Declaring his atheism steadfastly. [He] broke down weeping at the hearing of the testimony of the grace of God and the soul of his sister. He did not repent."
Gardner said, "God would have saved Israel Keyes. I'm sure that God wanted to save this man."