I was serving in the Marine Corps in 1994 in California as an infantry officer after graduating from Duke University. When I was given a quick choice between taking orders to either Las Vegas or Harlingen, TX (of which I had never heard), I prayed and against most of the advice I was getting from friends, I knew I was to head to the great state of Texas! I never knew at the time how that decision would loom large in so many areas of my life! Jennifer was graduating from Kansas State University in that same spring and made a decision to join her mom and step-dad, who had moved to Harlingen for work. So Jennifer landed in the Valley three weeks before I did. In the next two years, we met at First Baptist Church, and were soon married.
I got out of the Marine Corps and we moved to Ft. Lauderdale for a year before moving back to my home state of North Carolina. We’ve lived here in the Charlotte area for the last 16 years, where we have been heavily involved in a great church named Steele Creek Church of Charlotte. In the early years, I led small groups and served as an elder and on the missions team. I also led a missions team back down to Harlingen, and came back down several times on my own to minister.
I was ordained into ministry in 2007, pastoring college students and families. During the last 5-6 years, the Lord began to stir in me a call to preach, evangelize, disciple, and plant churches. Jennifer and I investigated some inner city areas around Charlotte, but the Lord kept stirring my heart toward Harlingen and the Valley. Jennifer was always willing to go wherever God called us, but thought of North Carolina as home and felt very settled. In the fall of 2012, God very suddenly changed her mind. She came in one morning after her quiet time with the Lord and said He had told her we WERE to go to the Valley, NOW was the time, and she was THRILLED to go! Since that day she has not stopped talking about our call!
My mind was completely blown–and I began to pray and search on the internet to see what The Lord was doing in the Valley. I was looking for people passionate about the Gospel and willing to make much of Jesus. He miraculously led me to email Pastors Tom and Josh at Logos Community in October 2012 just to see what God was doing in the Valley. They lead an awesome church in McAllen and had just started a work in Harlingen. They literally had prayed for a leader for the Harlingen church the week before I emailed them!
We all wanted to be cautious, but also knew when we spoke and skyped that God was doing something big, and knew that at least we had to meet. Not ones to take the normal route and fly down as a couple, Jennifer and I loaded up the kids and drove 23 hours Thanksgiving weekend to meet with Tom and Josh and the church at Logos. Tom said we were crazy…and would fit in great at Logos!
After hitting it off with Tom, Josh, and the rest of the Logos people, we came back to North Carolina to pray and fast through end of the year. In January, we called and told Tom and Josh that if they would still have us, we were headed down!
Right now, we’re trying to finish well at Steele Creek, sell our house, and finish raising our personal support. God has blown us away with the support of His people. We cannot wait for this next chapter of our lives! We go for the sake of the Cross!