I picked up the pew Bible and began to read. I knew many of the stories, but I had never studied them as an adult. I realized that I needed to know what the Bible says.
At first, my involvement in church was limited to Sunday morning worship. I didn’t participate in any other way. But one day I was driving to church and started praying about my life. My business was struggling. I was single with no prospect of getting married. I poured out my dissatisfaction with God. My angry prayer continued when I reached the church. As I sat down in the pew surrounded by faithful Christians, I continued to pray. Then I heard a voice. God spoke to me and said, “It’s in the book.” I knew exactly what this meant. I picked up the pew Bible and began to read. I knew many of the stories, but I had never studied them as an adult. I realized that I needed to know what the Bible says. So, I started to go to Sunday School classes, Wednesday Bible studies, and church retreats.
After four years of teaching Bible studies, I sensed that I was ready for more. I made plans to start the ordination process of becoming a pastor.
I participated in a Bible study called the Bethel Bible Series. When it was finished I experienced a strong call to teach the Bible. I enrolled in a pastor-led teaching class. But before I could start this class my life was rocked again. I had dated a girlfriend for a couple of years and was hoping to marry her. But she broke up with me just days before the teaching class started. I didn’t think I could return to that church after the breakup. But that night a person I highly respected called and asked me to be a Deacon. I believe that call was God telling me not to leave the church. I remained there and became a Bethel Teacher and a Deacon.
After four years of teaching Bible studies, I sensed that I was ready for more. I made plans to start the ordination process of becoming a pastor. I enrolled in Fuller Theological Seminary to begin working on a Master of Divinity. I knew that I was finally doing what God wanted me to do when I met Grace and we were married.
Since my ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. I have served churches in Eagle Rock, California, Pocomoke City and Ocean City, Maryland, Middletown, Delaware, and Daretown, New Jersey. My ministry has focused on three areas. I want people to engage in meaningful worship experiences every Sunday. I want people to be involved in Bible studies. And I want to encourage people to pray every day. Through these three things, I have experienced transformation in my own life. I want others to experience this as well.
More Faith Stories
I’d been drinking all day long and pulled out into the path of an oncoming vehicle with a with a woman and all of her children packed into this car. They T-boned me and at that moment everything went blank.
One Sunday the music director said the handbell choir needed more members. I thought, “No, I wasn’t ready to get involved.” At the end of the service I found myself volunteering for bell choir!
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?”
This past year I found a black dot on my thumbnail that looked like a pencil point. Nothing much to it. Then it became an abrasion at the end of my nail. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who found it to be malignant skin cancer.
At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.