My Story

I met Jesus in a white circus tent in the low mountains of Marietta, South Carolina. I don’t remember what was said- I only remember a sudden, irrevocable realization of God’s love for me, weeping while my friends looked on. Such was my introduction to the good news of Jesus, and the beginning of the story that leads me now to seminary in the rolling hills of Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

I was raised somewhere between the church and the salt marsh of John’s Island, SC. My great-great-great-something-grandfather was an Anglican minister there a hundred years before, and we went to church at every opportunity. My closest friends were cousins and some fellow youth group members. I grew in faith there, in small groups and youth retreats (like that pivotal retreat in the mountains), and eventually stepped into leadership at Camp St. Christopher. I had several formative summers there, learning to speak and lead discussion, to read the Bible thoughtfully, and to worship. It was there that I first ‘heard’ God, in a way I could not deny, and there that I began to consider ministry (youth/music ministry, at the time) as a calling. And it was there that I first understood forgiveness, forgiveness even for the darkest moments of my youth.

College brought me to Furman University, where a campus ministry called Reformed University Fellowship opened my eyes to height and breadth of the gospel. I remember my first week or two at RUF, thinking, ‘He’s preaching the gospel again. I had that figured out in middle school.’ But I kept finding myself drawn again to hear what I thought I had understood. The cross seemed to apply, well, to just about everything. And so I fell in love with the good news of Jesus all over again, and my passion for His word and His people and His world deepened.

Several church internships (and a long period of doubt later), I found myself back in Charleston, working at St. Andrew’s Church and beginning to lead a group, and then groups, and then to preach at St. Andrew’s City Church downtown. I worked part-time and then full-time for the church, taking classes and leading the St. Andrew’s LifeGroups ministry for several years. I fell in love with the church, with my friends and leaders there, and with my role serving them.

After serving as a pseudo-interim pastor there for nine months, my gifts were affirmed and my desire to lead and to preach within the church burned ever brighter. And yet it became clear that to use the gifts of mind and tongue that I had been given to the best of my ability would require significant devoted study- study that could not fit into the evening hours of a ministry workweek.

And so now I’m headed to Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, to learn and to grow and to prepare to lead the church again, but this time with a deeper, richer theological well from which to draw Christ’s living water. I hope to complete my MDiv in two years (I’m bringing a good many credits with me), and then to return the serving in the local church. Even as I grieve the leaving of my family (spiritual and biological both) in Charleston, I’m thrilled to pursue the Lord further north for a time. I covet your support, especially your prayers. You can find more specifics for those prayers on the prayer page of the site, and some stories from the journey on my blog.

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