My goal with this blog is to publish posts on life, leadership and the happenings at Oak Ridge (my church). I plan to post something every few weeks so please SUBSCRIBE if you want to receive them by email.
In 1999, I became the lead pastor of Oak Ridge Church in Salisbury, Maryland. The church had drifted away from their mission and had dwindled to less than 40 attenders. Together, we revitalized the church and have been privileged to see God move in miraculous ways over the past two decades. Thousands have come to faith in Jesus Christ and have found the hope and healing only He can provide!
Beginning in 2011, we have been offering a church revitalization conference called The DREAM Church Conference where we have the pleasure of helping pastors and church leaders all over the world.
I have been married to my best friend, Lisa for over 35 years. Together we have three beautiful daughters and four awesome grandchildren. I graduated with a Technical diploma from DeVRY Institute of Technology in 1985 and worked as a Computer Systems engineer for over 18 years. After receiving a call to ministry I went back to school and earned my Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University in 1993. I went on to receive my Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999 and a doctorate in Leadership from Liberty University in 2014.
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.
In the the program I was encouraged to seek out a personal relationship with God. With 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 attended DeVRY Technical Institute. I graduated in 1985 and 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 my 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. A friend invited 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 (Gracemont Baptist, now the Church at Battle Creek). The spiritual growth I experienced over the next few months was phenomenal!
In December, 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.
Soon after that experience I met my wife, Lisa, while attending the singles ministry and we married in 1987. I began serving in every area of the church that they would allow. I was hungry to grow and learn. God led us to Harvest Baptist where I was mentored by Pastor Billy Green. He counseled me to attend seminary so we moved to Fort Worth.
I finished my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and pastoral ministry at Dallas Baptist University in 1993 and then transferred to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for my Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages.
Following my graduation in 1999, 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 finally left the computer industry in 2003.
Building on the Purpose Driven Church model, we have seen thousands of people come to faith in Jesus 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!