John Kilzer Bio

John Kilzer was born on January 7th, 1957 and reported dead on March 12th, 2019 aged 62. He was a former Memphis Tigers basketball player and singer/songwriter-turned-pastor. He served in St. John’s United Methodist Church, as an associate pastor for recovery ministries.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the sudden death of John Kilzer, our associate pastor of recovery ministries and our friend,” reads a statement from the church.

John Kilzer Quick Wiki/Bio

Born: He was born on January 7th, 1957
Died: His death was reported on March 12th, 2019.
Cause of Death: The cause of death was not disclosed with a statement from St. John’s United Methodist Church stating his death was sudden.
Occupation: He served in St. John’s United Methodist Church, as an associate pastor for recovery ministries.
Wife: Stacy Kilzer

John Kilzer BIography

Kilzer was born in Jackson and was a star basketball player at Jackson Central-Merry before playing ball for the Memphis State Tigers in the late 1970s.

John Kilzer Education

He went on to earn a master’s degree in literature and teach literature and composition at Memphis State. During these years, he learned to play guitar, sing and write songs.

John KilzerSong Writing

His songwriting efforts led him to a record deal in 1987 with Geffen Records. His two releases with Geffen, “Memory in the Making” and “Busman’s Holiday,” spawned several hits and sent Kilzer touring around the world with his music.

John Kilzer Song Recordings

Kilzer recorded two albums for Geffen, “Memory in the Making” in 1988 and “Busman’s Holiday” in 1991. Rosanne Cash, Trace Adkins, and Maria Muldaur recorded his songs.

John Kilzer European Tour

Kilzer decided to walk away from the record deal his music deal back in the 90s while was on a European tour. Kilzer and a guide had gone to visit the graves of Jim Morrison and his literary heroes when a storm began.

John Kilzer Interview

Speaking in an interview, Kilzer recalled “It got strange and weird, and I turned around and she was gone. The sun was going down, bits of rain starting to fall, the wind was blowing and I felt like I was dying.”

John Kilzer Notre Dame Cathedral Church

He ran to the only church he knew of in Paris, and its most famous – Notre Dame Cathedral, finding its lights, then arriving in front of the church just as the lights went out.

Kilzer said. “I knew I was dead, so I figured out it’s just the dying part. Still had a heartbeat, just didn’t have a spirit.”

John Kilzer Recovery

Upon returning to the US, Kilzer negotiated an end to his music business contracts. He underwent a drug recovery program after a chance encounter with civil rights movement icon Rev. James Lawson at Calvary, where he had come earlier to perform as a musician in the Calvary and the Arts series.

Kilzer started The Way in 2010, a recovery service at St. John’s on Friday nights that is based on the beatitudes and 12-step programs.

With the recovery ministry, the last of several attempts he made at becoming a minister, Kilzer’s recording and songwriting career was also revived through a series of albums he made starting in 2000 with Archer Records.

Kilzer released his latest single in January 2019 “Scars.” He was scheduled to play Beale Street Music Festival the first weekend in May 2019.

Kilzer was also set to return to the Calvary Episcopal Church Lenten Preaching series in a joint appearance with fellow musician Kirk Whalum. The two collaborated on the 2014 song “Until We’re All Free,” with a video shot in the Crosstown area three years ago – just as the Crosstown Concourse was on its way to being rebuilt.

One of Kilzer’s albums for Archer was titled “Seven” after a prisoner Kilzer met while he was locked up in the Shelby County Jail for drunken behavior.

John Kilzer Cause of Death

John Kilzer death was announced on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019.

His death was disclosed by St. John’s United Methodist Church in Memphis, where he served as an associate pastor for recovery ministries. A cause of death was not disclosed. The church said in a statement that it was a sudden death.

John Kilzer Albums

  1. Memory in the Making (1988)
  2. Hide Away (2014)
  3. Seven (2012)
  4. Scars (2019)
  5. Fried Glass Onions – Memphis Meets The Beatles (2005)
  6. Fried Glass Onions: Memphis Meets the Beatles Vol. 2 (2005)

John Kilzer recording Labels

  1. Geffen Records
  2. Madjack Records
  3. Inside Sounds
  4. Archer Records
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