I grew up a Christian home, never missed Church, and went to Christian schools my whole life, yet oddly, never recall the Gospel being shared in a way that required a response from me. I believed in my head, but never understood that God was after my heart…after a relationship.
Isaiah 29:13 says, ”these people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but there hearts are far from me.” That was me – all rules, all religion, and no relationship.
In my young 20s, with the help of a guest speaker in Church, I heard the Gospel, was challenged by the call to surrender and thought that I had surely done this…but then realized I wasn’t sure. That night I surrendered the rest of me, trusting that the work of Christ on the Cross was for my sin, and that by faith, I would cross over from death to life (John 5:24). I’ve never doubted my relationship with Christ since, even though I often don’t understand what He is doing.
This decision changed everything. I felt called to serve the Lord and wanted to offer my life to Him, to somehow make a difference in the kingdom for His glory. This path led to years of missions work and pastoral ministry and trials. But along the way, God was faithful to me. He even led me to my wife, Kristie, where now, with the addition of 4 great kids, we continue to stumble towards the cross and His will for our family. To Him be the glory.
I was born and raised in Kalamazoo. Because I wasn’t raised in a Christian home I didn’t know the truth of God or the Gospel. Not knowing the truth I began to believe the lies of the world, because of this I took a really bad path in High school, this led to drug and alcohol addictions.
When I was 20 my best friend came to Christ, I saw him set free from the drug and alcohol addictions. I knew it was a miracle of God. He then began to share the Gospel with me. At the age of twenty in 1978 I called upon Jesus and was saved. He set me free from my addictions and changed and transformed my life. Ever since that day I have been passionate about sharing the Gospel with others.
It was at that time that I met Cheryl; we were married in 198. We have three adult children who all love the Lord and seven wonderful grandchildren and another on the way.
In 1986 God called me into full time ministry with Kalamazoo Youth for Christ. For the last 32 years I have served as the Juvenile Justice Ministry Director. Every week I get to share the good news of Jesus with lost and hurting teens.
Cheryl and I have been Members of Recast for the last seven years. We love our Church and want to serve. After being asked to consider being Elder I prayed and sought God’s will. Cheryl and I are both confident that it is the Father’s will, may His will be done.