It is such a joy for my family and me to call Greenville Grace our home church. It is an even greater privilege to be able to serve alongside the Elders and their families. My first glimpse of Greenville Grace came not too long before my wife Melanie and I headed to Papua, New Guinea as Associate Missionaries with New Tribes Mission back in 2005. Daniel Pierce allowed us to share with the body about our future ministry. Little did I know what God had in store in my future here at Grace.
But first let me back up to my childhood. My family and I began attending Community Grace Brethren Church in West Milton in 1988. At the age of ten I came to a saving faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10). As a young man I knew the Gospel and that there was nothing I could do on my own to make my life right with God. It is only through the saving power of Christ’s work on the cross that I can find grace and forgiveness (Romans 3:10-26). God calls me to live a life of repentance and to proclaim and live out the Gospel in every area of my life.
Throughout high school and the first couple years of college I had become consumed with accomplishing my own goals and desires in life. Although I loved being actively involved in my church I was very resistant to serving outside of the church and avoided missions trips! All of that changed during the summer of 2000. I reluctantly went to Papua, New Guinea, where God really opened up my eyes to missions. By the end of the year I put off finishing college and went to New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Ml. It was there I really began to grow in my understanding and knowledge of God’s Word.
The following summer I was able to return to New Guinea and spend five weeks learning and studying about cross- cultural church planting. It was amazing to see God change my heart and for me to recognize that I am not the one in control. My heart was burdened for tribal missions. After returning home from this trip, I went back to Bible school. During my last semester I met my future wife. Unbeknownst to both of us we had actually crossed paths and rode on the same truck while I was in New Guinea in 2000 on my first visit.
In 2004 I married my wife Melanie and together we pursued foreign missions. In 2006 we embarked on an adventure of short-term missions work in Papua New Guinea with New Tribes Mission. After nearly a year on the field we returned home to Ohio for the birth of our second child. We settled back into our home church and I returned to full time work. As we continued to grow as a family both in size and maturity, we felt the Lord was moving us on from our home church. We had visited Greenville Grace a few times and after prayerfully seeking the Lord we began attending regularly in the fall of 2010 and became members in 2011. God has grown, challenged and encouraged us as a family hare at Grace and we are so thankful to be here and be a part of what God is doing.
Melanie and I have been married for eleven years and we currently live in West Milton. God has graciously given us three children: Madison, Mikey, and Mallory.