When did you become a follower of Jesus Christ? It was my privilege to be raised in a family that loved and served Jesus Christ faithfully! On March 7th, 1967, at the First Baptist Church of Albion, Michigan, after hearing a message on the subject of Hell, the Spirit of God so convicted my heart that at the invitation time I responded to the call to repent and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.
Describe your daily walk with the Lord. My daily walk with the Lord is real and daily and even moment by moment. I strive to read through the Bible at least once a year and I am striving to practice the spiritual disciplines so that I can exercise myself unto godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). I use the Lord's Prayer as a template for my prayer relationship with the Lord.
What does your position entail? It is a thrill to be the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church. Pastoring was the last thing I thought I would be doing but, by the gracious guiding hand of the Lord, here I am. It is my responsibility to preach and teach the Bible four to six times a week. In addition to this I supervise the great staff of First Baptist and provide the overall leadership of all the ministries of First Baptist.
This is my family: My wife Judi and I pretty much always knew each other . . . we were raised in the same community and the same church. But we united in marriage on October 18, 1980. The Lord has blessed us with four children, two awesome sons-in-law, and one grandchild (one on the way as well). We praise the Lord continually for all of them and we are so blessed knowing that they all love the Lord and live for him every day.
What educational preparations have you made? High School: In 1976, the Bi-centennial year, I graduated from Albion High School, Albion Michigan. Sports was my life in high school College: In 1990 I graduated from the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri with a Bachelor's degree in Bible and Pastoral Ministries. Graduate School: In May of 2007 I graduated from Luther Rice University with a Masters of Divinity Degree. Currently I am pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
What previous ministries have you been part of? During my last year and a half of Bible College I was asked to lead a Bible study at a small church of about 7 people in Kimberling City, Missouri. I soon became the pastor and when our studies were finished in Missouri, we moved to Pennsylvania. There we served a small group of about 12 people. We help them constitute as a church and we served as their pastor for almost ten years. This was a very sweet time for our family and a sweet time of ministry. In 2001 we moved to Florida and have been pastoring in the great state of Florida and part of the great Florida Baptist Convention.
What music do I listen to and who are your favorite musicians? Over the years my favorite music styles have changed several times. The Old Hymns will always be fresh in my mind. The last ten years or so I have grown to love the newer praise songs with all their exciting messages and spontaneous expressions of worship. Both the new and the old are constantly going through my mind. My favorite musicians though are all contemporary. Third Day, Michael W. Smith, and Nicole Mullins continue to be a huge blessing to me and assist me greatly in my walk with the Lord.
What are some of the things the things the Lord is currently teaching me? The Lord has been so patient in teaching me the valuable lessons that keep me ever so close to Him. The two areas that the Lord has been directly teaching me from the Bible and other key readings are in the areas of prayer and fasting. I have practiced prayer to some degree all my life, but in the last few years, fasting has taken on a whole new meaning and has opened up so many aspects of my spiritual life, not to mention victory in ministry. The Lord has also been teaching me what a wealthy man I am. Having the greatest wife in the world, kids that love the Lord, sons-in-law that love the Lord and who treat my daughters with such respect and love are all beyond what I could ever deserve. If I never received another blessing in this life, I have already received enough blessings for 100 life times! Oh, yeah, did I mention to you my granddaughter, she calls me papa!!! And then I have a grandson on the way and he may be born on my birthday!!!