My Spiritual journey began too early to remember. My family was always in church; Sunday Morning, Sunday Evening, Wednesday night, Choir practices, Dinners, and every meeting, my family would be there. My father ran the sound system and my mother was the church pianist, they also were Co-Commanders for A.W.A.N.A. and led youth outings as well. Since I was a child, I was immersed with a rich religious surrounding. I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was five and was baptized in our church, Bethel Baptist Church, in St. Clair Shores Michigan. My senior year in high school was when I first heard the call into ministry. I learned the guitar and felt like I was being called into Youth Ministry. After one year off from school, I attended Cornerstone College in Grand Rapids Michigan. That was the first time that I had been away from my parents and everyone who knew me. I thought I could do what I wanted. I got messed up in alcohol, drugs, and women; yes even at a Christian College. I ran out of money and I didn’t want to ask my parents for more and I didn’t want to go back home, so I did the most logical and sensible thing, I joined the United States Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps is not the most religious place to be and so I continued with the lifestyle that I had become accustomed to. After my first two years being a Marine, I met a young lady with whom I was absolutely in love with. We made a plan to marry, but those plans were sped up because my father had become deathly ill and within six weeks of his onset of cancer, he went home to be with the Lord. My wife and I were honored to be standing there when he took his last earthly breath. What I couldn’t understand though was why God had chosen to take him. This man had been so in tune with what God wanted and he spent every minute praising God above. I became very angry with God and I wanted nothing to do with church, God, or anything related to Christianity.
While my children were playing soccer for the base team, I met a man who invited us to church. We reluctantly went and I felt God move in my life again. This time it was much different than when I was a child. I made a decision to give God my heart and I wanted to serve Him. I felt led to work with the youth and God allowed me to bring in a program to that church and they began to prosper. There were 11 kids in the youth group when we started and with an incredible staff and an even more incredible wife supporting, God grew that youth group in less than a year to over 50 faithful kids. Satan apparently didn’t like the things he saw, because he began to stir hearts and ears in the church to believe nasty rumors. We were told that rumors had been started stating that people from the church believed the youth was trying to tear the church in half. I prayed and made the decision to pull my family from the church. I was more upset that God’s people would treat other Christians this way.
I pulled away from God again, but there were some that continued to pray. I have found that there is power in prayer. My mother had been praying for us and before I deployed to Afghanistan, my wife and I found a church that would support our family while I was deployed. This helped and it began a new view on our spiritual lives. After I returned from Afghanistan, I was set to get out of the Marine Corps. We prayed and I felt that God was calling us to Michigan, so we moved there. While in Michigan, I began school again, at the community college there and worked full time for very little money. My wife, our five children, and I were living in my brother’s basement at that time. This was the lowest point of our lives, but we held our head up high and prayed.
We had found a house and put an offer on it, but the offer fell through at the very last minute. This was my break down point. I had finally reached the bottom. It was at this point that I gave my entire life to God. I let go of everything and gave it all to God. That very day, I had met up with a buddy from the Marine Corps on Facebook. He had mentioned a job working security in Amarillo, Texas. It sounded too good to be true and later I found out they had no open positions. My friend though had mentioned in his Sunday School class that I was looking for work. One of the other people in the class worked at Bell Helicopter and asked why I had not applied at Bell. I did apply there and had an interview the very next day. The day after the interview, I had a job offer paying more than double what I was making in Michigan. We moved to Amarillo a week later.
My family and I lived in Amarillo for 3 years and God blessed us richly. We attended an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and have been in prayer that God would show us where He wants us to serve Him.
After moving to Ellis Kansas, my family and I have learned more about how God wants us to live. We desire to see families succeed in their walk with God and the church is not there as a means to take over that role. The Scriptures are very clear that parents are the structure that grows and develops the family. The Church is to be a tool by which this occurs. We believe in more of a family integrated approach in which the children learn right alongside with the rest of the family.
My wife and I have been blessed with a quiver full. We have seven children. Our children are all homeschooled and we have been homeschooling for 6 years. We, as a family, are conservative in thought and deed and attempt to portray Christ through our lives. My wife and daughters have been led by God to be conservative in dress and appearance. We are a KJV only family and believe that it is the only accurate source from which God has given His word to us.
There is no other way to see it; God was waiting for me to give Him everything, not just my heart. Once I did that, God began to move in ways that I would have never thought. I have recently received my Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry and I recently completed my Master’s Degree. We pray every day that God will show me where we can serve Him. I am also very excited that I have been called by God to share His love with a world that desperately needs to hear about Him.