I grew up in a God fearing home and I received Christ as my Savior at the age of seven. I was in church every Sunday morning and night and on Wednesday night (my church was Bellevue Baptist Church, pastor, Adrian Rogers). I was very active in the music ministry, serving in children’s choirs, youth choirs, adult choirs, and handbell choirs. I also attended a Christian school from 1st grade all the way through graduation.
During my junior year of High School I started hanging out with the wrong group of friends and made some bad choices. During this rebellion, though, I was being convicted terribly. I prayed to God to help me. During the summer before my senior year, I was on a choir tour with my church and one night I roomed with 3 other guys my age. We started the night gathered around a piano and singing and enjoying the 4 part harmonies. After that we talked late into the night about living for God! We all committed to God and each other that we were going to give God everything. That was the turning point in my life where God became my master and LORD!
As part of this same group of guys, we started singing in Sunday schools and churches in the area. Pretty soon we were a legitimate gospel group. We continued to sing off and on through college (I graduated from Liberty University in 1995 with a degree in Christian Counseling). In 1996 I went back to Liberty to pursue seminary and met my beautiful wife, Katy, during the first two months! After only being at seminary for one semester, I decided to pursue my music career full time and moved back to Memphis to do that. 1998 was a big year! In April we released our first CD which was self-titled. We had one track from the CD (Rain On) that climbed its way to the number one spot on Christian radio. In June, Katy and I were married. During the next 2 years I traveled a lot with Brother’s Keeper, sometimes up to 20 days a month! We presented the Gospel at every single concert we performed and saw many people get saved!
Then in February of 2000, my dad passed away. I really began to think hard about my life. Through a painstaking decision process, I decided to leave the band. God was calling me to move on. My wife and I moved to VA so I could get my master’s degree from Regent University. In 2002 I graduated from there with my degree in Psychology and Counseling. The funny thing is the only counseling I did was during my internship. God has a way of changing your plans sometimes! I ended up getting a job as a teacher at the local Christian High School and worked there from 2002 until 2009. I taught mostly math, but also music, Bible, and psychology. Also that year, my wife and I had the joy of welcoming our first son, Josiah, into our lives.
Toward the end of 2004, the church I was a member of asked me if I would be the worship leader of a new contemporary service they wanted to start. I said “definitely!” This coincided with the birth of our second son, Jacob. For the next four years I led worship and saw the initial 150 people double to just over 300. In April of 2007, we welcomed our daughter, Callie, into our family.
These four years were a great experience for me and a great time of testing. It wasn’t always easy. It was difficult having a full time job teaching and a part time job as a worship leader. I began praying that God would lead me in the direction he wanted me to go.
During this time I continued to be faithful to God in where he had me, but felt that it wasn’t going to be permanent. In November of 2008, the staff of the church approached me to say that they were going to cancel the contemporary service. The church was hurting terribly due to the recession and could not keep me on staff. I immediately had a peace, the peace that passes all understanding! I knew that God was finally going to act! God is so good! In less than 6 months I came to be a part of Northside as the Pastor of Worship and Arts! Two months after we settled in we welcomed our fourth child, Caleb! His name means “faithful!” Then, just when we thought we were done having kids, God surprised us with our 5th child, Judah, who was born in August, 2012. God be praised!
What I do – Pastor of Worship and Arts
Favorite part of my job – when I use the gifts God has given me to help the congregation connect with God and I feel His pleasure at our spiritual act of worship!
Factoid – I bungee jumped from over 230 feet back when I was 18 years old. I’ve also run in 4 half marathons.
Favorite book other than the Bible – can’t condense it to just one. I’d have to say the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan or The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. Wait . . . was I supposed to list a spiritual book? Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Favorite Verse – John 8:32,36 – “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. . . . If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”