How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ:
I am thankful that my parents took seriously the Word of God and believed that where the Spirit says train up a child in the way he should go and in the end he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I have seen pictures of myself in an Awana "cubbies" vest in the basement of a church that are from before I can remember. My earliest memories include riding the bus to children's church from the trailer park I lived in. Every Sunday the bus would come and I would be outside waiting to go and then after Children's Church my parents would come get me and we would go to lunch and fellowship with other members. One Sunday during a puppet show presentation at Children's Church I was convicted that my sin had separated me from God and that I, because of my sin, deserved to be separated and punished; however, God in his grace provided a way for me to be in relationship with him again. God sent his son Jesus into the world to save anyone who would come to him, repent of their sin, and believe in him. I couldn't stay in my chair. I went forward and prayed. I confessed my sin and asked God to save me. Though I did not know all that salvation meant then I did have a hunger for the word of God, wanted to tell my friends about Jesus, and there was conviction of sin from the Holy Spirit. There is much more to the story afterward but instead of taking up the space here just come find me. I'd love to tell you about what God has done in my life.
How I came to Liberty Baptist:
In 2018-19 Liberty Baptist Church called my good friend Aaron McCauley to serve on staff as a pastor. I had known Aaron for several years already. We worked together while in Louisville attending Seminary. In 2020 Aaron invited me to come and be the guest speaker for youth camp. It was a great week at camp and I had the opportunity to preach for the church on the Sunday following camp. Two years later the Lord was stirring my heart as well as my wife's heart. We started having conversations about what the Lord might be doing but it was clear that we needed to be ready for something. During that time I was serving as a lay elder at Evergreen Baptist Church in Wenatchee, Wa. We began to pray that God would give us wisdom, patience, and courage to do his will. In addition to seeking counsel with the pastors I was serving with I sought counsel and advice from other godly friends, this included Aaron. I told him what the Lord was laying on our hearts and it was shortly after that he told me that the church was seeking another pastor and my name was on the list of possibilities. We prayed about the possibility of coming to serve as a pastor at Liberty with many people for months as we met and talked with the pastors. After six months of conversations and praying Jana and I were invited to come and meet the body, be examined by the pastors and deacons, and preach again for the body. It was clear before then but cemented in that visit that this is where Jesus wants us to be. Shortly after that visit the pastors of Liberty extended a call to come and serve. Obviously we gladly and enthusiastically accepted.
What I do at Liberty Baptist:
Currently I am the Pastor of Student Ministries at Liberty. Nice; what does that mean? Good question. First: my primary area of ministry is the study and proclamation of God's word and prayer. Second, it means I am here for your students, teachers, volunteers, and parents from "Cradle through College." It means that I spend time overviewing the Bible teaching lessons we present each week to our students and provide support, insight, and encouragement from the lessons. Included in this is keeping an eye on our curriculum to make sure it is doctrinally sound and biblically saturated. We at Liberty want our kids to know the word of God. As a matter of fact I want them to know it well enough that parents are challenged to grow also (like relearning algebra or geometry when your child brings homework to you.) I also teach the 5th-6th grade Sunday school class, will teach/lead the youth group, mentor and disciple college students, and I am in the preaching rotation for adults. Additionally I am overseeing our outreach/evangelism efforts as well as discipling/mentoring programs. I serve pizza, stack chairs, clean floors, and more but have grace and give me time...I'm new here.
Why I do what I do:
I love Jesus and his church. I believe that God gives his church exactly what it needs to fulfill the mandate given to her by Jesus; as a part of that I have been internally and externally called to the task. Internally I sensed the leading of the Lord into ministry and service. Externally many faithful Christians, pastors, and brothers/sisters have verified that there is a calling and gifting for pastoral ministry. I strive as a shepherd/teacher to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). I desire to see the members of Jesus' church grow in Christ-likeness and that we would be known as Christians who do what Jesus said in Matthew 22 ...love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
On staff since:
July 18, 2022
First a disciple of Jesus; I learn from the Master's feet in and from his mouth. That means being a student of the Bible.
Undergraduate: Business Administration Systems and Logistics West Georgia College
Graduate: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have continued to pursue a Master's of Divinity from SBTS while not neglecting the areas of ministry and responsibility the Lord has already given me; namely, my wife, my work, and the opportunities to serve and minister in the local body of believers. I will continue to take classes and finish my degree in the area of Biblical Theological Studies and see what the Lord would have me do from there.
So many ways to answer this question. Practically my favorite verse is usually one that comes from my daily Bible reading or Scripture memorization because I am meditating on it. When we meditate on His word we are truly able to delight in it. Another would be Paul's encouragement to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15-16. After an section about what qualifications elders must have and what it looks like to live a godly life and being honest about the reality of some people walking away Paul says this, Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. Then finally (I know right; ask a pastor for their favorite verse though and this is what you get) Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith. As it is written 'the righteous shall live by faith.'
I am so thankful to the Lord that I get to say I am married to Jana. Currently the best relationship I have ever had with an office manager. Thanks babe for your continual encouragement and allowing the Lord to sanctify me through you. At the time of filling this questionnaire out it has been 16 years.
Jana and I currently do not have children. We have been faithfully and patiently praying that the Lord would bless us in that way. We rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep as a part of the reality of this struggle in our fallen world. God has been kind to supply our needs and remind us that Jesus is enough. We know that the Lord has already blessed us immeasurably more than we can ask, think, or imagine and we look forward to watching him continue to order our steps to his glory.
What I do for fun:
Apparently I drive across the country for fun. Spend time with people. Hiking, working out, studying a foreign language, cooking, playing music, playing games, watching movies, reading books, camping, kayaking... I am pretty much down for whatever. If we are playing games just play by the rules and I will be happy, we can play by whatever rules you want as long as you stick to them. If we are playing cards, I'm sorry you lost but let's play again soon and the attitude comes with the game. Jana and I recently got a new Australian shepherd so we have been spending a lot of time training him.