My relationship with Jesus started when I was an eight year old boy. Even at a young age I always sensed a “call” of God on my life. That “call” however laid dormant for several years while I pursued other directions in my life such as a career in farming, getting married , having children, and working other jobs to make my dream as a farmer a reality. However, God had other plans for my life. At the age of twenty-four Jesus became everything to me, I could not hear, read, or study enough about Him. Out of this new found love for the Lord I surrendered my life to serve Him and to preach the gospel. On December 7th, 1979 I preached my first sermon. The following year I accepted my first pastorate and I have been pastoring ever since.
I graduated from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in 1983 with a Bachelor in Theology and continued my education at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY and graduated with a Masters in Divinity In December of 1986.
In 1992 God began to deal with me about my relationship with Him. Although I had my formal education and had been trained in ministry, it seemed like something major was missing in my life and ministry. What the early followers of Jesus were experiencing with the Holy Spirit and the works that followed their ministry just seemed like some distant story to me. I was not seeing miracles, signs or wonders, or the selfless sacrifice that acquainted their journey. I began to ask myself some honest questions. What was lacking in my life and ministry? Had Jesus changed? Was that just for the early church? Or was there something more for me and the body of Christ that I should pursue? So I pursued the Lord with all my heart and I discovered the answer to my lack was “power”, the power of the Holy Spirit. I asked the Lord to fill me with His Spirit and do the works in me and through me that He has always wanted to do, but my fear, ignorance, and denominational loyalty had not allowed. It is hard to describe the change that happened in me and my wife. I knew many would reject the changes, yet many would benefit from my own journey.
The Lord birthed in my heart a vision. A vision of a church where people could pursue the Lord and His fullness in freedom. A vision of a church whose focus would be on a relationship with Jesus and one another, and not on programs, buildings, or a denomination. A vision of a church where a pastor could hear from the Lord and lead his church without having to” vote” on what the pastor felt like God was saying. A vision of a church where quality worship experiences happened. A vision a church where the “distressed, and those in debt, and the discontented” (I Samuel 22:2) could find refuge and deliverance.
On July 16th, 1995 Living Hope Church had its beginning. For those of you who are searching for the “much more “of God may you join us in our journey to fullness.