I was born and raised in Suffolk, VA - the peanut capital of the world (#proud). Suffolk is a very small town that is about 40 minutes from Virginia Beach. My parents were (and still are) pastors of a non-denominal church where I could be seen banging on the drums after church, hiding under the chairs, or running around outside throwing pecans at other kids. I went to a Baptist-Christian school from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
After high school I tried community college and bounced around from random jobs like: cooking at a restaurant, working at a golf course, stocking shelves at Wal-Mart overnight, and selling paint at Sherwin-Williams. When I figured out the band I was in wasn't going to "make it big," I finally decided to pursue a path in Biblical Studies. In 2008, I graduated from the International College of Bible Theology with a B.A. in Practical Theology.
During this time I got a part-time job as an assistant producer for a radio broadcast that was part of a large religious-rights organization based out of Virginia Beach. In 2010, I got engaged, married, and then moved with my new bride to Nashville, TN where my company had transplanted its media headquarters and a few months would make me the chief engineer of the radio program.
Nashville would become home for me and my wife. We found a great local church, bought a house on the East Side, and would go on to enjoy more than five years of great music, coffee, food, and friendship.
Towards the end of 2015 (through a series of random or God ordained events) I would connect with an old friend of mine who was in the process of becoming the lead pastor at his local church. He would go on to offer me a staff position at his church. After many conversations, prayer, family talks, and crying - my wife and I made the bittersweet decision to leave all that we knew in Nashville and start the next step of our adventure in Florida where I currently serve as the Student Minister at the Rock Church of Daytona Beach.
I am married to my girlfriend Hannah. It's the age old story of: boy meets girl at a concert, boy falls for girl, girl doesn't feel the same way, boy pursues girl for 7 months, girl finally comes around and likes the boy, and the rest is history. We have rescued two dogs: Mr. Bojangles and Foxy Cleopatra. We're living in Port Orange, Florida, and we're very excited about being part of this local community.
I too was born and raised in Suffolk, VA. And I am the eldest brother of three wild men, Nicolas being the middle brother. My mother was never supposed to have children; but she prayed and told God she would dedicate her son to Him if he gave her a child. I came into the world covertly as no one knew I was coming until 4.5 months into the pregnancy. Most of my childhood was steeped in Christianity - from Sunday School to private school. I guess you could say that I was raised to be a dang good Christian. However, my faith didn't mean a whole lot to me beyond always having the right answer.
That all changed nearing the end of middle school. I met the real Jesus.This is going to sound bizarre but I am going to tell you anyway. He came in my room and told me what I was looking for: His love. It wasn't the sappy sentimentality we see displayed in our world; it was the kind of love that was gutsy, suffering, steadfast, and visceral. He saved my life that night and since then I have been on a journey to know him as the one and only thing holding the universe together.
I went to Liberty University to be a youth pastor. First day of class, realized there was no way I could ever work with youth. I became a Biblical Studies major instead and got real nerdy and even double minored in Greek and in Speech Communications. I worked in the Campus Pastor's office for three years and served in every student leadership role I could find. I became hardcore about small groups, community, and discipleship. I graduated with my B.S. in Religion in 2006, which still makes me laugh to say out loud.
After years of leading worship, I gave it up for the sake of discipleship only to have my love of music resurfaced in 2006 when I pursued a Master of Arts in Religion at Liberty Unveristy in Worship Studies. Shortly thereafter, I moved home, worked for my parents at their church in a multiplicity of roles, and then went back to school to be a professor of Old Testament at Regent University. Big shocker, but I changed my degree to become a Master of Divinity student and graduated in December of 2013. During that time, I started working for the school as a Worship Coordinator and then was hired as the Discipleship Coordinator, and now I have been serving as the Director of Campus Ministries for the last two years.
Other notable moments in my life include: being hit head on by a drunk driver in 2004, which resulted in a metal elbow; an un-engagement in 2009; dating, getting engaged and married to the best woman I've ever known, Danielle Renee, in 2011; having our first child, Mercy Rae Claire, in 2014, who is the funniest kid I've ever met, and now expecting our second child August 2016. Oh, and we still live in Suffolk, VA.