Like Jake, I grew up in a Christian home. Like many people in our society, my mom lived a Spirit-led life and was very active in church. While my dad was a Christian, he was not involved in church at all. At the age of nine, after my best friend and neighbor joined our church, I vividly remember deciding it was time for me to join the church also. Unfortunately, because I was already active in the church, no one talked to me about what I was doing or the significance of confessing Christ as my Savior, and little changed in my life. I was active in church, but I was lost. As I got older and moved into high school, my closest friends became involved with the high school ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) where I, too, became active. During my time in CCC, I realized that there was so much more to being a "Christian" than just being a church member! I committed my life to Christ when I was sixteen and continued to participate in CCC through my freshman year at college, where I studied music.
While in college, I was offered the opportunity to serve as a music director in a small church near Atlanta, Georgia. I've been serving my Lord bi-vocationally ever since! That's not to say that everything has been perfect in my life, but God has been faithful through poor choices, job transfers, sickness, teenagers (!), death, and daily life. I am grateful for God's amazing mercy, grace, and His willingness to allow us to serve Him through second chances.
Speaking of which, I met Uneita, my wife, here in Roanoke while serving in the music ministry at First Baptist Church. In 2003, we were married before the first presentation of the Roanoke Christmas pageant with a thousand of our closest friends watching, and again for six more times during the pageant as the bride and groom in the wedding at Cana! She has been a wonderful partner in Christ. I am grateful for her friendship and glad to have her as a true "help meet" and co-worker (not to mention soloist and speaker)!
In August 2005, Villa Heights Baptist Church contacted me about serving in the capacity of Interim Minister of Music and Worship. Later that fall, they extended me an invitation to join the staff permanently, which I accepted. Uneita and I have been grateful for the opportunity to work with people, helping them to develop both musically and dramatically as well as encouraging them to grow in their walk with the Lord. When the church invited Jake and Dana Huffman to become our pastor and first lady in January 2008, we found co-laborers who greatly love the Lord and have led the church to deepen its roots. It is my delight to work with Jake and the church to share Christ in the Roanoke community, especially through music/drama ministry.