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My goal with this blog is to publish posts on life, leadership and the happenings at ORBC (my church). I plan to post something every couple of weeks so please SUBSCRIBE if you want to receive them by email.
My Short Bio:
I have been married to my best friend, Lisa for over 30 years. We have three beautiful daughters, and four awesome grandchildren. I received my Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999 and a doctorate in Leadership from Liberty University in 2014. I have had the incredible privilege to be the lead pastor of Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury, Maryland since 1999. I also have a passion for coaching pastors and have taught thousands of church leaders all over the world. I am also the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for Purpose Driven Coaching.
My Salvation Story:
My Extended Bio
I was born in 1965 and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the youngest of three boys.
Like so many other American families, we had the unfortunate experience of an unwelcome stranger who entered our home and wreaked havoc on our family – DRUGS. Drugs affected nearly every aspect of our home.
When I was in the 8th grade my mother began attending a support group for parents of drug abusers. Wanting to break away from the pathway of drugs, I started attending the group for kids and soon found myself totally immersed in their 12 Step Program.
While attending the program I began to seek out a personal relationship with God for myself. With faint memories of the Bible and Jesus that had been taught to me by my grandmother, I surrendered my life to Christ one summer night in 1979.
My early Christian journey could properly be described as a bottle-rocket experience. I started off totally on-fire and unstoppable, but after about 3 years I began drifting away from God.
I eventually dropped out of high school and after a very short stint in the construction industry, I decided to return to school. I attended DeVRY Technical Institute and graduated in 1985. I was offered a position with Amdahl Corporation as a Field Engineer working in Tulsa, OK.
I wanted to be successful in the business world and make a lot of money! Thankfully, God had other plans. Living away from all friends and family, I had a lot of time alone to reflect on life and God began working on my heart. I knew I had drifted far away from Him, but I wasn’t sure if I could start fresh. I needed His forgiveness. He directed me to a Christian concert (ok, it was Whiteheart for inquiring minds) where I recommitted my life to Christ. The experience was as exhilarating, if not more, than my initial salvation had been.
God put me in a great church in Tulsa (Gracemont Baptist, now the Church at Battle Creek) and the spiritual growth I experienced over the next few months was phenomenal! In December of 1985, following a business dinner, I went home to my apartment exhausted from a long day and expected to pray a simple goodnight prayer. However, God had other business. Though I cannot fully explain what occurred that night – I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He called me to become a pastor.
Not having grown up “in the church,” I was unsure for some time what to even do about this calling. During that time God was training me. I met my wife Lisa and we were married in 1987 and we had our first daughter, Sarah Rebecca in 1989. In 1991 my mentor-pastor advised me to quit my job and go to Seminary. I put a “For Sale” sign in the yard and we moved to Fort Worth, TX. I spent 2 years at Dallas Baptist University completing my Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Pastoral Ministry and then went on to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I graduated with my MDiv in 1999 and two more daughters, Rachel Elizabeth and Anna Ruth!
Following graduation I was called to pastor a church that had gone through a near death experience: Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury. I started as a bi-vocational pastor, continuing my job as a computer systems engineer, but God quickly grew the church and I finally left the computer industry in 2003. God has grown our church from about 35 when we first came, to now over 1,400. We have seen hundreds of people come to faith in Christ. It has been the greatest thrill and privilege to pastor this church.
Here’s our church’s history video:
In 2016 our church was presented with a church health award by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church:
One of my passions is to equip church leaders to grow and develop the local church. To that end, we began the annual DREAM church conference in 2011 and have now trained over 1,500 leaders in the United States, Africa, India, China, Japan, and Macedonia.
Who’d have thought that God could do so much with a high school dropout? If He can do something with me, he can certainly do something with you!