From birth, God blessed me with a stable, safe and conservative home. My parents actively participated in church volunteering as youth leaders. When I was six, Dad and Mom decided to serve as full-time missionaries, so we moved to Florida. I grew up as a “Christian” with their Christian values much the same way that OSU fans produce OSU fan children. It’s just something I knew – something I did…that is until I turned 13.
During that year, I went to Kenya, Africa on a mission trip with other teens and without my parents. While I can’t detail a stand-alone, life-changing moment where I dramatically experienced God on that trip, I, like John Wesley, found myself “strangely warmed” by the reality of Jesus Christ in my own life. I developed a desire to know more. I studied and read The Bible because I wanted to, not because I was supposed to. I wanted to be more and share more through Jesus Christ. I returned to the states changed. I had adopted Christianity as the guiding principle of my life. The change didn’t necessarily make “everything easy.” I had many of the same struggles teens have. I felt like I wanted to be in ministry, but I didn’t know where the road would take me. I have struggled at times, but I’ve found great strength in Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Looking back, I see God’s hand in every aspect of my life developing me for where I am today. God has blessed me with a wonderful, Christian wife, Katie; a beautiful daughter, Julia; and a handsome son, Keller. I am humbled to serve as both an elder and Pastor for LCC, and I consider my role to be that of a mentor and helper both to the church locally and also to the youth of Fairfield County.
My Hope For Lancaster Community Church
I hope our teens [and our church body too] will prioritize their relationship with Jesus Christ, becoming the salt and light God has called us to be and then positively influencing their circle of friends.