My parents divorced when I was three and I was raised in a broken home. At the age of six, I personally remember making a profession of faith in the car on the way home from Wednesday night meeting. My life from six to sixteen would be nothing close to that of a Christian. In the Fifth Grade and in full rebellion, I left my mother’s to go live with my father where I would have greater autonomy and less discipline. I took full advantage of the situation. I became a foul-mouthed, brawling, lying, thief — to put it nicely. I was verbally abused by my family. In return, I verbally and physically abused my own father all while maintaining an appearance of sainthood around my mother and my grandparents.

On a particular Friday in May of 1994 and after a most unbecoming bus trip home from school, I drove to my mother’s for the weekend. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had recently gotten right with the Lord and my brother and step-father had both came to faith in Christ. They told me on Friday that I would be going to church with them on Sunday. I reluctantly agreed. As I sat in the service at Gateway Baptist Church in Lexington, NC, I had every intention of darting out the backdoor as service was over. Father had other plans. The message pricked my heart like none before. My hard, bitter heart was broken. As I stood up during the invitation and began to execute my exit, my heart and my foot betrayed me. Conviction filled my heart, remorse and guilt broke my will, and my foot that I lifted to lead me out the door went the other way. Immediately, the other foot followed and I found myself face-down on an altar where Father worked the miracle of salvation. I repented of my sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as the propitiatory sacrifice for my sin. I left that day with full assurance of my salvation and forgiveness of sin. My attitude and my outlook were instantly changed. All weekend, I had planned a particular fight for the next Monday at school. The rest of my Sunday was in planning my apology and how I would begin to try to explain that I wasn’t the same person as people had last seen at school on Friday.

Almost immediately, Father began to burden my heart and fix my mind on ministry. On July 7, 1994, after counseling with my pastor, I announced that I felt impressed to pursue a life of ministry. Three days later on July 10, I preached my first message at the Brian Center rest home in Asheboro, NC. In June, 1995, I moved to Farmer Baptist Church in Asheboro, NC where I served as youth pastor and eventually assistant pastor under Jeff Lamb until August, 2011 when I accepted the pastorate at New Center Christian Church in the pottery capital of the world, Seagrove, NC. New Center is an independent New Testament church that was founded in 1872.