Wednesday, October 20, 2010
My Faith Journey to date
I recently was asked to tell about my faith journey...
My parents chose to raise my siblings and me in the United Methodist Church and I went through Confirmation class in 1993. Throughout this transitional, yet foundational time in my childhood it was very important to my parents for me understand what it meant to be a Christian, but also what it meant to be part of the United Methodist Church. Towards the end of my confirmation class I went with a friend to see Carmen in concert on March 13, 1993. On that night when the invitation was given, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Two years later I was invited to go on a personal spiritual retreat through the South Georgia Episcopal Diocese called Happening. During that weekend I felt and heard a calling into youth ministry. When I returned home, within a couple of weeks, my church hired our first full-time youth pastor. Over the next two years, he gave me leadership opportunities and taught me a lot about the United Methodist Church and ministry.
In the fall of 1997, during my freshman year at the University of South Carolina I applied and started my first part-time job in youth ministry at Faith United Methodist in Lexington, SC. It was a great opportunity and for being only 18 years old, was a large part of my growth and maturity, spiritually and professionally. While attending the University of South Carolina, I was very involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life. Both organizations helped me to gain leadership and youth ministry skills. After graduating from college, I moved to Atlanta and accepted my first job into full-time youth ministry. Throughout my first year, I learned about working in the church, but more importantly how to keep myself spiritually fulfilled on my own through reading, prayer, and listening to other pastors. I also learned how to network with other youth pastors, create connections and have accountability partners that have and are serving as great assets and friendships still today.
In 2007 I moved to Charlotte, NC after feeling called by God to step out in faith, out of my comfort zone, to accept a full time position at Blair Road United Methodist Church as their Director of Student Ministries. In May I married Jessica and we bought our first house, anticipating that we would live in Charlotte for many years. Then on December 1, 2007, we received a call from my parents at four in the morning that my little brother had passed away from meningitis. His death was very tough for my family and me, but after seeing how many lives he touched and how God used his life to fulfill his Kingdom, also changed my outlook on life as well as my ministry. These events ignited a desire in me to begin the next phase that God had for me which was to earn a Masters of Christian Education as well as my Deacon’s Orders in the United Methodist Church.