I was raised in a Christian home by very godly parents. Growing up they always taught me the things of God and so everything I learned from them was from a biblical perspective. My dad is a pastor so going to church was never an option for me. My dad to this day is one of my heroes in the faith, and has remained solid through some really tough times. I have seen him at his happiest times and most discouraged times and he has never waivered.
It wasn’t until I was eight years old that I realized what sin was and that I was a sinner in need of a savior. At the age of eight, I didn’t quite understand everything at the time but I did know that sin had separated me from God and that Jesus had died on the cross in my place so I could be forgiven. On December 28, 1989, my parents led me to the Lord in my bedroom. Since then there have been ups and downs yet God has shown through my life that He can use anybody who is willing to seek and chase after Him!
I began to feel God calling me into the ministry at around the age of fourteen. I was at youth camp and for the first time began to sense that God was calling me to something extraordinary, but I immediately ignored it. Ironically that same week a guy who was a chaperone on our trip told me the last night that he felt that God had big plans for my life. This man’s name was Rick and someone whom I respected greatly. I continued to ignore this in the years to come but I never forgot what Rick said to me that night.
When I graduated from high school, I began to go through a spiritual drought for about a year and a half. This downward spiral actually began about halfway through my senior year. During this period of my life I quit going to church and began to live a very self-centered lifestyle. I guess I hoped that God would leave me alone, but of course He instead made me miserable. I knew that I was not living right and that God was calling me into the ministry, but I continued to run from God.
Around August of 2001 I had hit rock bottom and was drawn to my knees. I was tired of running and knew that if I didn’t repent I was going to be miserable for the rest of my life. This all culminated with me agreeing to sing a song at church, which I did often while in high school. The song happened to be played the same night of camp when I was fourteen and Rick told me that God was going to use me. While attempting to sing the lyrics at my house, I was reminded of that night and immediately brought me to my knees and in that moment I surrendered everything over to God and basically told God that I would do anything He wanted me to do and that I was His!
My life did a complete 180-degree turn and I haven’t been the same since. I was immediately worried that I would lose some of my lost friends, and I had to come to the place where I told God that if I were to lose my friends that he was worth it, but the opposite happened. They began to notice the change in me and started going to church with me in the following weeks after that. Within the next six months five of my closest friends surrendered their lives to Jesus. I say none of this to boast in anything that I have done, but to boast only in what Christ has done through me. He deserves all the glory for anything good that has come from my life. I learned immediately that God truly does reward those who diligently seek Him as we read in Hebrews, yet even if He had chosen to remove my friends from me, gaining Him would still be worth it.
I went on to get my bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies at North Greenville University and my masters at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. While at North Greenville I met my beautiful wife Melissa and we have two awesome children Jaxson and Paitlyn. God has taken my family and I through many different experiences. Through it all I have never gotten over seeing people transformed by Jesus and I want my life to reflect Christ above all else. Jesus isn’t just a part of my life; He is my life! I want every person I come in contact with to see Jesus shining through me and for Him to continue to use me despite me.