My goal with this blog is to publish posts on life, leadership and the happenings at Oak Ridge Baptist Church (my church). I plan to post something every few weeks so please SUBSCRIBE if you want to receive them by email.
I have been married to my best friend, Lisa for over 30 years. Together we have three beautiful daughters and four awesome grandchildren. I received my Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999 and a doctorate in Leadership from Liberty University in 2014.
In 1999, I became the lead pastor of Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury, Maryland.
As the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for Purpose Driven Coaching, I have the pleasure of helping pastors and church leaders all over the world.
I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Like so many other American families, we had the unfortunate experience of an unwelcome stranger who entered our home and wreaked havoc on our family – DRUGS. Drugs affected nearly every aspect of our home. When I was in the 8th grade my mother began attending a support group for parents of drug abusers. Wanting to break away from the pathway of drugs, I started attending the group for kids and soon found myself totally immersed in their 12 Step Program.
While attending the program I began to seek out a personal relationship with God. With faint memories of the Bible and Jesus that had been taught to me by my grandmother, I surrendered my life to Christ one summer night when I was 14.
My early Christian journey could properly be described as a bottle-rocket experience. I started off totally on-fire and unstoppable, but after about 3 years I began drifting away from God.
I eventually dropped out of high school and after a very short stint in the construction industry, I decided to return to school.
I attended DeVRY Technical Institute and graduated in 1985. I was offered a position with Amdahl Corporation as a Field Engineer working in Tulsa, OK. I wanted to be successful in the business world and make a lot of money. Thankfully, God had other plans.
Living away from all my friends and family, I had a lot of time alone to reflect on life. That is when God began working on my heart. I knew I had drifted far away from Him, but I wasn’t sure if I could start fresh. I needed His forgiveness. And He directed me to a Christian concert (ok, it was Whiteheart for inquiring minds) where I recommitted my life to Christ.
God directed me to a great church in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Gracemont Baptist, now the Church at Battle Creek). The spiritual growth I experienced over the next few months was phenomenal! I met my wife Lisa while attending the singles ministry and we had our first child in Tulsa.
In December of 1985, following a business dinner, I went home to my apartment exhausted from a long day and expected to pray a simple goodnight prayer. However, God had other business. Though I cannot fully explain what occurred that night – I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He called me to become a pastor.
We moved to Fort Worth so I could finish school. I finished my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and pastoral ministry at Dallas Baptist University and then transferred to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for my Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages.
Following graduation, I was called to pastor a church that had gone through a near-death experience: Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury, Maryland. I started as a bi-vocational pastor, continuing my job as a computer systems engineer, but God quickly grew the church and I left the computer industry in 2003. Building on the Purpose Driven Church model, we have seen thousands of people come to faith in Christ. It has been the greatest thrill and privilege to pastor this church.
One of my passions is to equip church leaders to grow and develop the local church. To that end, we began the annual DREAM Church Conference in 2011 and have now trained thousands of leaders in the United States, Africa, India, China, Japan, and Macedonia.
Who’d have thought that God could do so much with a high school dropout? If He can do something with my life, He can certainly do something with yours if you just let Him!