I am a native of Douglasville, Georgia. My wife, Cindy, is from New Orleans, Louisiana. We have three children - Kristen, Jennifer, and Ryan - and a new Beagle puppy named Benson. We moved to the beautiful city of Jasper in July 2014.
I am a graduate of Shorter College (B.A.) and Southern Seminary (M Div). Having served churches in several states, I have most recently been pastor of North Broad Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia (1995-2002), Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida (2002-2005), and Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky (2005-2011).
My interests include preaching and leading worship, helping people in their spiritual formation, spending time with my family, watching ESPN and reruns of The Office. I possess an embarrassing number of books. Whenever my wife allows me, you will find a book in my hand. My favorite authors include Robert Benson, Wendell Berry, Frederick Buechner, Ken Follett, Anne Lamott, Thomas Merton, and Flannery O’Connor.
I am honored to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church here in Jasper. I would love the opportunity to meet you. I am most excited about expanding my vocation as radio preacher (live Sunday morning 11:00, WYYZ) and televangelist (10:30 Sunday morning, ETC Cable Channel 3, previous Sunday’s worship service)! I am learning to pronounce Jesus with four syllables and searching for a white suit with matching white shoes!
I was blessed to grow up in a loving family with strong ties to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Ellijay, GA. My grandmother was the church pianist, and my father was a choir member, a deacon and the church treasurer. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother practicing hymns at the piano and letting me pick out melodies by ear. I was fortunate to have the consistent example of mature Christians to guide my spiritual development. At age eleven, I made a profession of faith and was baptized. I sang in children’s and youth choirs, played handbells, and studied piano and organ.
My wife and I started dating when we were in church music activities together, and she has been a faithful soprano in every choir I have directed. We both value the church experiences we had as children and youth, and it is very important to us to provide a similar environment for our children. My diverse interests have taken me down many interesting paths in life, but God has patiently provided opportunities for me to serve in ministry. No matter what I did, I found myself drawn more and more to serving in the church. I once asked a wise pastor friend how the Lord calls one to ministry, and his reply was, “He is relentless.” Looking back, I realized that I had already been following the call one step at a time. Whenever I least expected it, God led me to new places of service with new challenges and opportunities for growth. I am excited to be the Minister of Music at First Baptist Jasper.
Minister To Children
The world today fills children's heads and hearts with many mixed messages. Deuteronomy 6:7 clears away the clutter and says that we are to diligently teach children the word of God instead. Why? Because about 43% of those people who receive Christ do so before age thirteen. As Minister to Children and as a father of three young ones, I take child evangelism and discipleship very seriously. Placing Scripture on the hearts of children is of utmost importance to me. Why?
As a child living near Stone Mountain, GA, I do not recall reading Scripture very often or hearing the salvation message. As a result, while in my teens, I let the ways of the world fill my heart. By God's grace, I asked Jesus to be the King of my life while at the University of Georgia. After receiving Christ, I was thoroughly discipled right away. Wanting to learn more about our Lord, I went to Luther Rice University. Desiring to defend my faith, I attended Texas A&M.
Since being called to ministry, I have been a missionary, family minister, chaplain, and a pastor. I have been featured in several children's magazines such as GA Leader and Lad magazine (Now called “RA World”). My wife, Suzy, and I were also featured nationally as the children's program for the entire North American Mission Board in 2010. Perhaps my proudest moment in working with children was the privilege of leading my own child to Christ in 2012. Let's work hard together to train the next generation! (2 Timothy 2:2)