Being the fourth child in a family of six boys made my life interesting. If I was not in a fight with my older brothers then there was a good chance that I was fighting with my younger brothers. I was born in a small Midwestern town named Celina, Ohio in 1972. My mother was a single mom, who raised us the best way she knew how. We were very poor when we grew up, but for some reason we did not realize that until later in life. My mother worked hard all of her life to provide as much as she could for us. This meant working nights as a janitor to make ends meet.
I got involved in church at a young age. I was only five when I started attending Celina Church of the Nazarene. My mother worked with a woman who attended the local Nazarene church and suggested that she send my younger brother and me to church. Sending us to church was a great way for her to get a break from us for a couple of hours a day, so she jumped at it. When I started going I remember the women taking a special interest in me and my brothers and loved us, and encouraged us to keep coming. That began the long love affair with the Nazarene church.
I remained in the church and eventually my mother started coming and becoming involved in the church working in the food pantry that we had. She developed my sense of service and humility when serving. She never liked the attention of what she did, but she enjoyed helping and serving. It is an attitude that I have even now. At age 13, while at a youth event on the district, I accepted Christ as my Savior. It was then I noticed how much different my new life was from that of rest of my family. I graduated high school, became the first to go to college in my family, and started attending Mt. Vernon Nazarene College (University). I felt the call to go into the ministry as a freshman, but because of stupidity, fear, or maybe both I ran from the call. I was sanctified as a sophomore in college and knew that I wanted to serve God, but I still refused the call to the ministry.
As a senior in college I met Betty, whom I have had a 20 year love affair with, and married her in 1995. We have two wonderful daughters, Bethany 21, a junior at Mid America Nazarene University and Jody 17 who is an avid swimmer and is currently a junior at Ozark High School. We moved from Celina to Lima, OH and became involved in several areas of ministry. We have done teen ministry, Caravans, board member, sound engineer, and various other areas. We both have a desire to serve wherever we are. In 2004, we moved to sunny Georgia and in 2005 became members of Gracepointe Nazarene Church in Loganville, GA. We jumped right in helping with children’s ministry, sound, and other areas.
In 2010, I was hired on as Pastor of Athletics to coordinate all of the sports activities of the church. This was a great ministry and a wonderful way to reach out to the community and bring people to the church. In 2011, while at the M-11 conference in Louisville, KY, I finally accepted the call of God on my life to enter the ministry. God spoke to me, not through the worship or preaching, but in His spirit and leading me to Jeremiah 18:1-6, and Matthew 14:1-8. God asked me if I was ready to be the clay and allow Him to have complete control and to use me whenever and however He saw fit. I said yes.
In January of 2104 I accepted the call to become the pastor of East Paulding Church of the Nazarene in Dallas, GA. This was my first pastorate. Experience is a great teacher and I have learned many things about being a senior pastor that has molded and shaped me in ministry. Over the past year and a half we have changed the focus of ministry at the church and become a church that was active in the community. By doing movie nights on our lawns during the summer, a dinner for unwed mothers through a local pregnancy center, Easter egg hunts, and backpack giveaway through the community we began to focus outward. I believe that touching lives in the community is an essential function of a church; because if no one reached out to my mother, I would not be here today.
In October of 2015, I accepted the call to Ozark 1st Church of the Nazarene. We accomplished a lot in those two years, such as: Backpack Giveaway, Drop and Shop, Movies on the Lawn, Serve Wednesday and other events to reach out to the community. I resigned my position in October 2017, while seeking God's direction for my ministry. I recently accepted the call to be the pastor of Scenic Church. I believe that good things are in store for us in Springfield.