I have lived all but the first four years of my life in Arkansas. My family attended a mainline denominational church in a small central Arkansas town. I do not recall being exposed to the Gospel, but I tried, for the most part, to be “good.”
My college years were aimless, and, after a few changes in my major, I backed into my eventual B.A. in psychology. I married between my junior and senior years, and we had a daughter shortly after my graduation. The lack of purpose and a spiritual compass in my life led to a divorce after a little over two years.
Though still adrift from my perspective, God gave me the gift of my wife, Becky. Ten months into our marriage, I experienced a life-changing encounter with God, and He gave me the gift of His Son. There were two changes that I noticed immediately. My anger was diminished, though I would have to deal with it much more significantly later in my life. The other thing I noticed was a greater sense of purpose to my life.
In the first decade or so of our marriage, I got a Master’s of Education in higher education and worked at three colleges. During that time, Becky and I were involved in a number of small groups in three different communities that became vital to our growth as disciples. We had a daughter, Rachel. Between Rachel and my first daughter, Kristin, we have six grandchildren.
God has been gracious in allowing me to experience forgiveness for my part in the failure of my first marriage. Early in my Christian life, I was led to believe that a person who has been divorced could grow as a Christian, but they would be sort of second-class citizens in the Kingdom. Since then I have come to see that God will redeem the messes we make of our lives to His glory.
Coming to experience His love and acceptance has enabled me to deal with my shame and allowed me not to be surprised at the remaining sin in my life. He has, rather, kindly empowered confession and repentance.
Our experience in small groups was God’s preparation for my first role on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in 1986 as the small groups’ pastor. Since that time I have served in a number of roles and currently serve in our pastoral care ministry.
My hope for Fellowship is that we together can experience the love that has existed within the Trinity for eternity and has overflowed to us. May we become so enthralled with God who, in profound humility, would create a people with whom He would ultimately become united. May we experience the freedom of the Gospel and His grace that would empower us to live in the kind of selfless, authentic community that exists within the Trinity. In other words, we would so love Jesus that we would be disciples who are showing others in Whom to find real life.