I grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As a kid, my parents took me to church so I heard about God’s love, sin, Jesus’ death on the cross, and how all people are separated from God because of their sin. One day while in the shower, I had a lightbulb moment. I began to realize that I could clean the outside of my body, but there was nothing I could do about the dirt in my heart. I felt bad about the wrong I had been doing and told God I knew I had been living in rebellion against Him. I trusted that Jesus’ death on the cross had paid the penalty I owed for my sin, and committed to live for Him rather than myself.
During high school I got involved in my church’s youth program. Although I was a super shy kid, my youth minister encouraged me by giving me leadership responsibility. By the time I was in college, I was serving as an intern at a church and began to wonder if God was calling me to ministry. This was a bit intimidating, since being upfront was not in my comfort zone. But I knew I loved helping people follow Jesus.
I enrolled in seminary to become a Christian counselor, but along the way decided to pursue a Masters of Divinity too. I discovered that learning about God thrilled me and stirred my heart. Still, with a behind the scenes personality, I maintained that I would “never be a preacher.”
Until I took my first preaching class. During that class, I sensed God telling me that despite my personal hesitations, He wanted me to preach His word and shepherd His people. I told him, “Okay” and took my first senior pastor position in New Mexico after 8 years of work as a youth minister and associate pastor. 3 years later, God led my young family and me to Valley Baptist Church. It’s been a privilege watching God work in this church. I love pastoring here.
Few things in life thrill me more that watching life change happen in people. With the truth of the Gospel begins to intersect with people’s lives, transformation is unstoppable. That’s one reason preaching is such a passion. I get to be the one to teach what the Bible says, and then watch as the living and active Word of God cuts through to people’s hearts, changing lives.
I met my wife, Beth, while in seminary. She stays home with our kids, does all kinds of ministry stuff at church, and generally keeps us all in line. We have three biological children, ages 10, 8 and 1. A few years ago, God led our family to do foster care. Since then we’ve had the joy of embracing two more children through adoption, ages 5 and 4.
My prayer for Valley Baptist Church
I pray that our church is effective a reaching the hurting, the least of these, and those who are far from God. I pray we help people practically follow Jesus Christ. And I pray God helps us be unified in our purpose and mission.