January 7, 2010
1) Where do you pastor?
I am the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. We are a predominantly suburban congregation made up of middle-to-upper-class individuals and families trying to figure out how to forsake the American dream for the sake of Christ’s glory in all nations. The great evidence of God’s grace is that these brothers and sisters have stuck with me as their pastor as long as they have.
2) How did you come to Christ?
I was born into a context where I have always had full access to the Gospel. I was also born into a context where I have never been without food, water, and shelter. Needless to say, I am totally overwhelmed by God’s grace when I consider that I had nothing to do with where I was born. As further evidence of His grace, God provided parents and men who poured the Gospel into my life when I was very young, and as a result, I was born again when I was 8 years old. My life as a Christ-follower since that time is the fruit of those who have invested their lives into mine.
3) Describe your call to ministry.
Two of the men who have invested their lives in mine, Eddie and Gregg, spent considerable time with me during high school, encouraging me in my faith and giving me opportunities to lead in ministry. They showed me how to share the Gospel, taught me how to study the Bible, and then gave me opportunities (under their supervision, which I so desperately needed!) to teach and preach the Bible. Through their influence, God formed in me a passion to communicate His Word. By the time I went to college, God had confirmed this call in my life, and in the years since then He has continually refined that call.
4) Tell us about your family.
This year, I am celebrating ten years of marriage to Heather, my first and only girlfriend (this initially sounds great, but the reality is I was just socially awkward all throughout high school and couldn’t get up the nerve to ask anyone out until He brought a beautiful woman into my life who, by God’s grace, was somehow attracted to my social awkwardness). We wanted for about 5 years to have children, but God was not providing in the way we expected Him to. During that process, however, He led us to adopt our first son, Caleb, from Kazakhstan (who is now 3 years old). Two weeks after adopting Caleb, Heather was pregnant, and nine months later, our second son Joshua was born (now two years old). Praise God for withholding Joshua from us until the Father to the fatherless led us by His grace to an obscure city in northwestern Kazakhstan to adopt Caleb. We are now in the process of adopting a little girl from Nepal.
5) What are some of your favorite activities with your family or personal hobbies?
The first two words I hear when I get home are, “Hey Daddy.” The second two words are, “Let’s wrestle.” I love playing with my kids – whether it’s wrestling in the den, football in the yard (or in the den), or toy trucks on the driveway. The ideal family night for us involves pizza and games with the kids before they are off to bed while Heather and I enjoy a quite evening alone. Besides my time with the family, my ideal time is either playing competitive sports or sitting in a corner alone with a book.