My family took me to church often as a kid. My earliest memory is hearing the pastor preaching on Hell. It scared me to death so I began asking my mom spiritual questions. She sent me to talk to the scary hell-preaching pastor so he could help me get answers to all my questions.
I was a super shy child anyway, so darkening the door of the Scary Hell-Preacher’s office was a big deal. I was totally intimidated the whole time I was there. He walked me through the plan of salvation and said a prayer, asking me to repeat after him. I did. Because I was terror-stricken not to. Afterwards he said, “Welcome to the family of God.” He announced that I would be baptized the following Sunday, but I said, “NO THANKS”. To that.
Two years later, I heard the Gospel presented in a different way during Vacation Bible School. It was then that I truly gave my life to Christ. Real heart change occurred and I couldn’t wait to be baptized!
For the next 6 years, I did the go to the church thing, but with no real spiritual growth. At 16 years old, a youth pastor began to pour into me and I started to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. At a D Now when I was 18, I publically submitted to ministry. I knew God was asking me to give Him all of my life and plans and follow Him by leading others in the church.
Honestly, I thought Youth Ministry was the route God would lead me on. At that time, there weren’t many worship pastors in churches who did music the way I loved music. But God kept shutting the youth ministry doors. So I continued to lead worship for youth groups and retreat weekends.
One day a ministry friend, Tim Andrews, told me that Valley Baptist was looking for someone to lead worship. I couldn’t believe my ears! I still didn’t believe a church would want what I offered. I came for a weekend and led worship. A few weeks later the church voted to bring me on staff as the Worship Pastor. I look back now and see how they took a major chance on me.
Honestly, my first week here I began to wonder if I made the right decision. I wasn’t sure I could offer what they expected! But the first Wednesday night I was here, I had supper in the fellowship Hall with other families from the church. From that first fellowship meal gathered around tables, they treated me like a son. And I began to sense that they were going to be with me like family.
13 years later, I’m still here. And they still treat me like family. I love leading this congregation in worship every week.
I married the prettiest girl in Valley 8 years ago. Calli works for Whitesville Road Elementary School as a Language Pathologist. We have a son, John Lawrence, who is 5 years old, and our daughter Caty Mae is 2. God is good.
My Payer For Valley Baptist Church
I pray that our church family worships the Father from the heart. And I pray that we are so open and loving to this community that they see Jesus is us.