Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
December 5th, 1999 – It was the first Sunday of the month and, at that time, had no particular significance to me. However, it was to become a pivotal moment in my life. The day before, as a 21 year old Marine living in the dorms at Keesler Air Force Base, I made up my mind that I needed to return to church as I hadn’t regularly attended in years. I looked through the yellow pages and found the advertisement for Grace Independent Baptist Church in Ocean Springs, MS. That Sunday morning, I woke up, put on the only suit that I had at the time, and drove the 10 miles to attend the church. I arrived in time for Sunday School and stayed through the morning service. I don’t remember what the Pastor was preaching, but he spoke directly to my heart. I ran to the altar at the conclusion of the service, and I surrendered my life to the Lord. (I have been asked, “Is that when you got saved?” No, I was saved as a boy and grew up in church, but I went out to see what the world had to offer. I have commented to my wife that I may do something stupid sometimes, but I can’t do stupid for long! My experience in the world soon taught me that there was nothing in the world that I wanted to keep.) I went to the altar surrendering my will to the Lord. When he saved me as a boy, he also called me to preach, and I had been running from that calling my whole life. Immediately on that Sunday, He brought that calling back to my mind. I initially resisted but on February 15, 2000, I finally answered that call to preach. I have been preaching ever since. It has never been easy, and it certainly hasn’t been a bed of roses; but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I started out preaching regularly to the teens at GIBC. I attended some Rock of Ages prison revivals in Leakesville, MS; Parchman, MS; and also Angola, LA (America’s worst prison). I attended those week-long meetings with other men from the church, and we became burdened to preach regularly in a jail or prison in our local area to see what the Lord might do to save souls. We began going to George County Regional Correctional facility in Lucedale, MS, and holding services. We started out with 8 men from the church going each Friday, but it dwindled down to just me and another man fairly quickly. With the Pastor’s blessing (He had now become my father-in-law – Hallelujah!), I took the reigns of that ministry, and we saw it grow from just 20-30 inmates attending to 65-75 regularly attending all in a facility that only housed 250 inmates. That ministry still operates today. The inmates had some tough questions for me over the years, and it really honed my preaching. One highlight of preaching over the past 16 years was the opportunity to street preach at the 2012 Superbowl in Indianapolis. God moved in and brought conviction to the hearers. I even remember some ladies sitting on the steps behind me and praying for God to work! Who were these people and where did they come from? I do not know but it was evident that it was providential. You can see some videos of that event here. I have also been given the opportunity to fill the pulpit for many different churches around the country over the years. I have preached in Washington, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Nebraska! It is my desire for that list to get even longer! I have been a bus worker, Sunday school teacher, deacon, music director in a few churches, Assistant Pastor for two different pastors, Youth Pastor, and now I am preaching wherever the Lord opens the door with an eye on the future waiting for what the Lord has in store. It is my desire to be in “my ministry” by the time I am 40 where I can spend the next 20-30 years before the Lord calls me home. In all this time, the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 beautiful children. We are not wealthy and, frankly, are tighter financially at this point than we have ever been; but we have never missed a meal, and we have seen the Lord provide for us in so many special wonderful ways. God is not a debtor, and all we have given him is just a drop in the sea of what He has given us. December 5th, 1999, was just a normal Sunday for most people; but, for me, it was the start of a wonderful journey for the Lord.