In 1989, I became a follower of Jesus at a youth event in West Georgia. It was not what I intended that evening but as it is common to Him, God had other plans. My initial foray into the Christian community was fraught with difficulty as the church I initially found myself a part of was, by their definition, “Independent Fundamental Premillennial 1611 King James Bible Believing Baptist Church” (It was actually printed on the front of the bulletin). This was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that I began to ask questions very early in my journey, a curse in that those questions led me away from my adoptive community.
For several years I searched the Christian landscape. I attended various denominations, often out of curiosity, more often out of the search for community. In time, my search led me away from the church rather than to it and I spent a year as an ‘ecclesial agnostic’. I believed in Jesus, but not the church. At some point during that year, a friend invited me to a bible study in what he termed, ‘a safe place.’ It became a turning point that helped me to understand the nature of the local church and the nature of myself as a part of bigger Church. During this time I met my wife, Heather, and we were married three years later.
After we married, Heather and I attended the church she was a part of and had been a part of for most of her life. It was here that I had my first stirrings of a call to ministry, working first in the audio/visual ministry, then music and worship, and eventually teaching and preaching. This gradual movement from one area to another helped me to see my gifts and graces more clearly and eventually to accept that I was truly called. It was not a moment but a process that helped me to see and discern my calling, eventually leading me to seminary and now to the path of service in the Kingdom of God.
Heather and I have two children, Avery and Donovan, and two rabbits named Cosmos and Eve. When not serving in and around the church, we like to look for good places to eat and hike or good books to read. I am a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and an occasional writer and contributor to religious blogs and websites, usually this one.