I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and moved to Mandeville, Louisiana when I was about five years old. While attending First Christian Church in Mandeville, I first trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. After attending Brookhill Ranch Christian Camp in Hot Springs, Arkansas, I realized that my relationship with Jesus needed to go deeper and transform the way I lived my life. I became a junior counselor at Brookhill during the summers of my high school career, and there I first realized my love for working with students.
When I graduated from Rhodes College, it was with a degree in biochemistry, laying the foundation for my plan to become a pediatrician. Upon graduating, however, I did not feel at peace with the idea of immediately starting medical school. As such, I deferred my admission to medical school for a year of work and travel.
During my year away from school, I began volunteering with Campus Life and helping with the youth ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church in Covington, Louisiana. It was during this year by way of various indications that I fully surrendered to God and to the fact that I was not supposed to go to medical school, but was supposed to enter vocational ministry. As I sought counsel about pursuing vocational ministry, I felt led to begin education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In the last semester before graduating from seminary with my Master of Divinity degree, I began serving as the student ministry pastor at Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Covington, Louisiana.
In this first semester of full-time vocational ministry, I met another seminary student, a young lady named Emily. Emily and I spent some time hanging out together as friends, and I enjoyed getting to know her. Then she agreed to help as a last-minute substitute chaperone for our student ministry winter retreat, and I knew there was something special about this girl. Our first date wound up happening soon after that retreat, scheduled unintentionally on Valentine’s Day. Over dinner on that first date, I knew more than ever that this girl was special. Roughly seven months later, I asked Emily to marry me, and she said yes! Six months after that, we were married.
Both Emily and I developed a sincere passion for working with young adults. In fact, I wanted to make a shift in my job description to increase focus on young adult ministry, but such a shift did not fit with the church structure and plan at the time. In light of developing this passion, we prayed that God would guide us into His will regarding this pursuit, that we would be motivated solely by the Holy Spirit.
I was contacted by a church in the northeastern U.S. about working with young adults. After months of prayer and seeking God’s guidance, I began serving as the pastor of young adult ministries at Calvary Church in Souderton, Pennsylvania.