As a child, I didn’t remember going to church much. If memory serves me right, we were the type of family that would go to church on Christmas or Easter if it was convenient. Truth be told, it rarely was. I remember thinking about how I got here and what my purpose was, but my only explanation as a boy was that there must be a God who put us all here, but I assumed that God did not want anything to do with me or the rest of the world.
As I grew up, especially in middle school, I was bullied and picked on all the time. Oftentimes I was singled out, had no friends, and had nowhere to turn. Day after day I experienced this because I was different, and I had no idea how to handle that except to believe what I was being told. By the time I was twelve years old, I had given up on life and believed that I had no purpose. This led me to contemplate taking my own life, in hopes of escaping the nightmare of experiencing the same terror day after day.
Fortunately, my Mom continued to love me through this time, and at one point she read to my brother and me a bedtime story like she did when we were much younger. This time, the story was all about Jesus. She read me passages from the Bible out of Romans, which explained that I was a sinner fallen short of God and was in need of a Savior. The verse I remember breaking my heart the most was this passage –
The love of God for me even though I am a sinner He died for me. This was the night that I believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and realized the great love He has for me which became greater than the hatred I had felt from others, and even the hatred I had for myself.
I can look back at that moment as a defining moment in my life when God saved me from my sin and began sanctifying me with the power of the Holy Spirit. I struggled for a long time as a young believer, but I began growing in my passion for the Word of God. I also began to long to worship the Lord with my talents, and desire to lead others in the same way.
As I got older in my faith, I wanted to serve the Lord more. I gave up my typical summer of playing video games all day and instead chose to serve in God’s kingdom in various ways. I went on my first mission trip to Mexico at age 14. God began working on me that summer like never before, and that trip changed how I saw people forever. I was heartbroken for the broken-hearted for the very first time in my life. I went back to Mexico every year after that and got to go with my parents in 2011 on a family mission trip. This was a year that changed our whole family, but that is their testimony to share.
From there I also started working in summer camp ministry, since mission trips were only 10 days long, while camp lasted two whole months!
It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years that one morning after a devotion, I actually experienced God calling me to be set apart in vocational ministry. He placed a burning passion in my heart for ministry that day. I no longer felt the need to ask about what I was going to do when I grew up because God had shown it to me. That call is something I discerned when I was 16 years old. I joined a praise team and began sharing my musical ability to worship Christ and lead others to do the same. I also started preaching God’s word at 17. Believe it or not, that first sermon was only 21 minutes long!
As I became an adult, I have been able to serve in several capacities even while I was getting ministry training at Calvary University. The first was as a pastoral internship at Matheson Community Bible Church. Not long after that, I got married, and God called me to move to Kansas as a missionary with my wife, Molly, to serve at DeSoto Youth Ministries for two years. After my time there, God brought me to Del Rio to serve as the Youth and Worship Pastor at City Church Del Rio. I am completely humbled and amazed that God would desire to use someone like me who was headed down the road to take my own life and to send me there to serve Him for 20 months. I was ordained there in the fall of 2016 alongside my father, which was one of the greatest blessings I’ve experienced in my ministry.
Since then, God compelled my family to move back to Kansas City as the demands and pressures of finishing my education and the ministry itself began to swell. God directed our family to come to finish at Calvary University, and I graduated in the Spring of 2018.
Molly and I joined the Oakwood Baptist Church family at the beginning of 2018 and have been there ever since. After graduating, I continued my education until 2020 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since the pandemic, I have grown increasingly burdened to get back to the simplicity of Christian faith and community. We’ve opened up our home and our hearts to share the love of Christ with those around us.
This is how you are reading this here and now, because in 2022 we began Life Harbor Church. Our mission to simply encourage Christians, perhaps just like you, to simply follow Jesus in community together is what we set out to do. If there is anything I can offer to help you learn from what God has shown me through these eventful years, I make it my goal to offer it freely so others will know Him.
Nothing that I have done can be credited to me or my efforts, rather all the ways God has blessed our family came from His hands by His grace. I continually thank God for His sovereign grace that chose to give me life in Christ, and on top of that to be one of the ministers of His pasture.
Thanks for reading along, and for your support. Praise God for His incredible mercy!