Thanks for taking time to check out our website. If you like to know some of my story, keep reading;
How I became a Christian:
I became a Christian through the influence of numerous people. First in my journey were my parents, who raised me in the faith they themselves had inherited. I was baptized as an infant, and through attending Vacation Bible School, Sunday school, and weekly worship I became acquainted with the stories of Scripture. Although being part of a faith community wasn’t optional in my upbringing, I decided to claim for myself the faith I had inherited from others, and I was confirmed.
In my high school years I became interested in learning about other faiths, and began comparing other traditions to my own. I learned enough to know I wanted to learn more, and knew the direction my college studies would take. I attended a small, liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a group that was new to me. I knew I wanted to learn more about religion and philosophy, but serving as a pastor was not on my radar screen of possibilities.
How I became a pastor:
I became a pastor through interacting with college professors and fellow students. Many of them were members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a religious tradition with an acceptance of different viewpoints, a respect for individual freedom of interpretation, a weekly invitation to the Lord’s Supper, and a longstanding commitment of working toward the visible unity of all Christians across denominational lines. I felt I had come home and became a member of this body of believers in college.
From college I knew I wanted to study more about religion, and ordination became one possibility for my future, but perhaps teaching would be more suited to my gifts. So I went to Chicago to continue my studies, and enrolled in a joint program for ministry and doctoral work. Through my field placement I became acquainted with a church-based non-profit working to help impoverished inner-city residents have more control over housing and economic issues in their lives. Their work impressed me enough that I decided to work full-time there for a number of years. I reached a point where I could go no further on this path without leaving ministry behind as an option for my future.
Although I wasn’t yet ready to do so, I didn’t feel I should drop it altogether. So I went home to North Carolina and helped manage a grocery store, waiting until I heard something definitive from God. After two years, the seeds God had planted that had lain dormant were ready to sprout. I enrolled in a joint ministry and social work program in Nashville and worked with diverse populations ”HIV+ homeless, the elderly, church youth groups, those affected by welfare reform. I learned at the feet of mentors and congregations willing to give a ministry student an opportunity to serve and learn from his mistakes.
I was ordained to ministry in Waynesboro, TN in 1996 and called to serve as an associate pastor in Kansas City, MO. It was there that I met my future wife, who was Catholic at that time. From Kansas City I was called in 1999 to serve as pastor at another Disciple church in Pasadena, CA.
How I came to Tylersville Road Christian Church(now called Compass Christian Church):
I became senior pastor at Tylersville Road Christian Church in September 2009. As I consider why I accepted the call here, I look back on my prior experiences and see a pattern that has hopefully prepared me for what lies ahead.
Like me, many of the members here weren’t raised as Disciples. This congregation was established as a mission to the community nearly 20 years ago, and for a number of years I’ve worked with state and national church organizations in discovering Gods mission among congregations.
I look forward to discovering the mission that God is calling Tylersville Road Christian Church, which is now called Compass Christian Church, to fulfill here in Mason and beyond.