In tandem with our sermon series on the Book of Acts, we thought it would be helpful if the leadership of the church each shared their testimony. Testimonies are powerful. They’re personal stories of what God has done in our lives. Along with the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the Enemy by the “word of our testimony.” Our hope is that through this series of articles, your faith will be strengthened, you’ll get to know all of us better, and you’ll see that Jesus can and does redeem all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.
I grew up in a home with my mom, dad, brother, and sister. We were very much a loving family and very active in our community in Harrisonburg, VA. Even though I grew up with my mom and dad always teaching me right from wrong, personal responsibility, being a good person etc.… none of this was ever from a biblical or godly perspective. Occasionally, we would go to church whenever my mom could wrestle us into our “Sunday best” or on holidays. I basically grew up like a lot of people believing in God or just whatever my parents believed in. The belief I had was, “If I’m a good person and believe in God, then I am good to go.”
I was a good person as far as the world could tell. I was nice to others, joined Boy Scouts, played sports, did my homework, and served others. As I was getting older, I met my best friend, Gordon. We were basically inseparable from 1st grade-to age 34 (my current age). Gordon and his family were Christians, so naturally they would take me to church with them when I stayed the weekend at his house. They took me to every VBS his church had, even to youth group when we got older, and eventually Wyld Life in middle school. I started to learn a little more about God each year. But I was still missing a true understanding of what it meant to be a follower of Christ.
That was until 10th grade when Gordon invited me to Young Life. Young Life partnered with the church and was led by college students in my home town. Through Young Life I was introduced to even more about who Jesus was. The summer of my 10th grade year I went to a Young Life camp called Lake Champion in New York. The entire week had this message of a life before Christ, what Christ did for us, and a life after Christ. For the first time someone explained to me that God wasn't just a big distant guy in the sky that wanted me to be good, but that He wants to be relational and personal with me. So that summer of July 2002 I gave my life to Christ and began my personal relationship with Him. I’ve had my ups and downs through life but have always had that rock of a relationship to lean into.
Student and Family Pastor