I’ve always struggled with the term “call”. Some ministers can point to a pivotal moment when they felt they were “called” by God. I’m not disputing that in anyway, I just always struggle to point to that “one” moment. However, if you pushed me to it, I would have to say it was on a Sunday night one summer in 1999 in Montgomery, AL. We were members at Landmark Church of Christ and I was surrounded by some incredible people who gave me opportunities to do things that most wouldn’t trust a 15 year old to do. My youth minister at the time, and long time friend, Al Millergren, we jokingly said was a master delegator. The reality was, he knew he was raising up leaders, and he pushed people to do things they didn’t think they could do. So this was a Sunday night and my preacher and good friend Buddy Bell, with the prodding of Al, asked me and two other teens to preach at a Sunday night service. I remember leaving that night with the feeling and affirmation that God may want me to one day do something with this, but I never thought much about it for a long time.
Fast forward almost 16 years and I’ve been gone from Alabama almost as long as I lived there. I’ve also found myself working full-time in the world of ministry, although I took a somewhat crazy path to get here (That would be another blog post. However, it looks something like this: Bible major, transferred to Civil Engineering, graduated and did mission work overseas, worked full-time in engineering, and then landed in full-time ministry in Midland TX. Crazy 10 years!). I’ve been feeling the urge to preach full-time for probably a year now, but have been waiting on God to make that clear to Sarah and me when his timing was right. Well, we feel like that time has come. Yesterday, we announced to the Golf Course Road Church of Christ that we would be resigning from the position of Associate Minister. At the same time, the Hunter Hills Church in Prattville, AL announced that we were moving there in March and have agreed to serve their church as the preaching minister. If you had told me 3 years ago what was going to transpire over the next few years, I would not have believed you. It’s been a wild 3 years, but we have loved every minute of it.
First, I want to say something about my church family at Golf Course Road. Our family has absolutely loved our time here. This truly is an incredible church with incredible people. From the first moment we pulled into town, we have been welcomed with open arms and loved like we were family. I have been surrounded by incredible mentors and friends, and I could not have asked for a better place and people to work with here. This church took a great chance on hiring a civil engineer with minimal full-time ministry experience, but they did and for that I will always be grateful. This is a great church, and I know God has great plans to continue using this place to serve his kingdom into the future. This church also has wonderful leadership that I have been honored to work with. In addition, this place has provided us with some lifelong friends that we dearly love. Given all of this, it is obvious that this was not an easy decision. We love it here at GCR. My friends back in the deep south often ask me, “Why would you want to live in Midland, TX? What’s it like there?” To which I respond, “You just have to live there to know!” This is a neat place, and we feel honored and blessed that we got to be here.
With that being said, we felt like God was leading us to the Hunter Hills Church of Christ in Prattville. From the time I began conversations with their leadership, all the way to getting to meet with the vast majority of their church, I could tell this was a special place. The leadership has been wonderful to us, and the church body was very warm and welcoming. We believe God has big plans for Hunter Hills, and we are honored and excited to be a part of those plans. I am also deeply honored to serve this church in this capacity. It is a role that I feel God tagged me for on that summer Sunday night just 20 miles away from the Hunter Hills church building. We have loved getting to know some of you there already, and can’t wait to get to know you all better.
So to our GCR family, we want to tell you thank you. We are sad to leave you, and so thankful for all that you have done in loving us and accepting us as one of your own.
And to the Hunter Hills church, we want to tell you how excited we are to join your family. I think 2015 is going to be an exciting year for Hunter Hills, and we are honored to be a part of this story with you.
As I reflect on these past 15 years of my life, I’m astounded at the faithfulness of God. Even though I constantly prove myself unworthy, and even though I don’t deserve this incredible opportunity, he keeps giving me one more step to take. As my dad told me through a text one morning before I preached, “Don’t worry. You are not that great, but God is. Let go and let God.” That is what we believe, and that is what we are doing. Thank you to all who have joined us in prayer and supported us on this exciting journey. We love and appreciate each of you.