Call to Christ
I was not raised in a Christian home. After my step-father murdered my mother when I was 10-years-old, I was adopted by my babysitters. They began going to Gethsemane Baptist Temple in Starr, SC in 1994, and we joined the church as a family in 1995. After typical teenage-boy years, I was truly converted in spring 2001 at the age of 17. Without any human coercion, alone in my backyard and thinking about my life, God saved me. With a simple faith I said, “Lord Jesus, please forgive me.” I was baptized later that fall.
Call to the Ministry
After my conversion near the end of 11th grade, I began thinking about what my life would look like. Quiet, shy, and reserved, I was not pressured to pursue the ministry. My spiritual desires grew, and I privately submitted myself to the Lord and asked if he would allow me to preach his word. A few months later, I graduated from high school while enrolled in a local Bible institute. Enrollment in a local Bible college came next. The next decade was filled with secular blue-collar work, and my free time was filled with many volunteer ministry opportunities as I desired to show the Lord that I wanted to live my life for him in the ministry. Though not in my comfort range, I have participated in three foreign mission trips: Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines. More in my realm, my greatest usefulness during this time was when I joined my desire to teach the word with my fascination for technology. For nearly a decade (2004–2014), I recorded a weekly 15-minute Bible study for a local radio station (WRIX-AM) that eventually became an online podcast that received encouraging feedback from listeners in many states and several foreign countries. Looking back, the content was very simple and down-to-earth, yet it encouraged people from all walks of life to love Jesus and the Bible.
Call to Current Ministry
When I was approaching the age of 30, I specifically began praying that God would open a door for full-time ministry. I had been a member of my church since I was a child and did not want to leave the people I loved, but I accepted that God’s will be done—whatever that looked like. About six months later, our youth pastor accepted a pastoral call in Honea Path, SC. This opening allowed me to become a full-time staff member in 2014 at the church I have attended since 1994. I daily assist the pastor primarily in visitation duties. Weekly, I plan for children’s classes, teen group meetings, and an adult SS class. I schedule teen activities on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, and I aim for SS class home fellowships throughout the year. Each summer, I oversee yearly trips to camp for children in Columbia, SC and teens in Dayton, TN.
Along with being full-time as a youth pastor since 2014, I began contacting Clamp Divinity school at Anderson University in 2015. I was able to enroll in 2018, and I began the M.Div. program in 2019. I have been especially thankful for my time at AU, as this video (link) from the school showcases.