It was my privilege to answer God's call to First Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach in 2012 when there was a need for an interim Pastor, and my greater pleasure to have been ratified by the church body a year and a half later as the Senior Pastor, according to God's divine will and design. I believe that to be a leader called of God, one must really understand how to be a servant first and always. For this reason, I take very seriously my role as a teaching Pastor. It is my passion to study, teach and share God's word, and to encourage His followers to do likewise, that we would make disciples of believers in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and reconcile a lost world to Him by shining our light brightly into the darkness.
Too many people have been brought up to believe that John 3:16 is enough to get them to Heaven, and that's as far as many who call themselves Christian feel they need to go. But, God has not told us to go and make believers, He has commanded that we go and make disciples (those committed to the discipline of following after Christ). To be a Biblical Christian is not only to believe with our heart and confess with our mouths, but also to repent of our sins and surrender our will to our sovereign Lord. It is to the disciples that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit. So, it is my determined purpose to follow God's call and make disciples as He leads.
I was born and raised in Alabama, where as a child I attended church with my family. My father was a Baptist Minister; and he with my mom helped sow the seeds of faith in me at a very early age. In fact, there was never really a time in my life when I did not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born to die to redeem us from sin. When I was 7 years old, I went forward at Bible camp to say the "sinners prayer". I admit that at the time, I was more motivated by the fear of not being with my parents in Heaven one day, than a solid confession of my personal faith, but I understood all the same, prayed for salvation, and was first baptized later that year.
When I was 12 years old I once again went forward to be assured of my salvation. Then at the age of 17 I first knew God was calling me to be a preacher, and I was terrified. My teen years ensued and as often happens, I drifted away from God and His Word. But, God never left me, and He had never stopped calling me into ministry, though at times I ran from His will. At the age of 17 I met the woman who would later become my wife.
Stephanie and I were married in 1996 on the island of St. Thomas where we lived for a short time as I taught SCUBA. We moved to South Florida in 2000 where I continued as a SCUBA instructor, until a student and friend of mine, a real man of God, invited me to his church. Stephanie and I visited Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, and began attending regularly. I was still somewhat resistant, but she grew closer to God than ever before. Then finally, one fall night in 2003, I finally stopped running from God. I saw the destructive path that my own steps had taken me down, and I finally saw myself the way God saw me... a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness. That night I surrendered my heart and my will to God, and was filled with the Holy Spirit. On October 1, 2003, I was made a new creation, and God reaffirmed His call in my life. In November of that same year, both Stephanie and I were baptized down at the beach, and our new life together as Disciples of Christ had begun.
My heart is for building real and lasting relationships in the Lord and His body (the church), where we are not fostering an atmosphere for superficiality and hypocrisy, but cultivating one where we can be "real" with each other and doing and sharing life with one another, not merely going to church but being the church. That said, while it is important to have a church that welcomes believers and non-believers alike into the fellowship of God and one another, I believe a church (as a place) should not be limited to inviting those who are needy and lost in, but rather, the church (as a people) should reach outside of our four walls, outside of our comfort zones with open arms, helping hands, and caring hearts, as Jesus did during His ministry, to a lost and needy world who may have never before experienced the unconditional love of a caring God.
My hope and dream for The Church at Deerfield Beach is to be a part of an "awakening" in Deerfield Beach that will spring a revival, first locally, then to the state, then to the ends of the earth, according the the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ.
His call in my life...