- I’m the kind of guy who reads on vacation because he finds it relaxing, so I guess you could say that I like to read.
- My wife and I love going out and exploring local coffee shops together, and I am a firm believer in black coffee.
- I really enjoy watching sports; baseball is definitely my favorite, but football and soccer follow closely.
- While I wouldn’t say I’m anything special, I really like to cook and try to make new things, and when it turns out good that’s a plus.
- I love the outdoors! But I am also a bit of a homebody, so I may take some coaxing, but I love it when I get there.
- I’m a huge Bible nerd.
- Being real. Netflix occupies way too much of my free time.
I have lived my whole life in California, being born in the Bay Area and raised just south of Chico. My family would attend church nominally, usually around holidays, so church was never a big part of my life growing up. I would have called myself a Christian as long as I can remember, but in reality I had no idea what that really meant. My Christianity at that point was a result of my culture, and nothing more.
There were a couple of churches that we frequented as a family, but we were often church shopping and visiting new churches on the occasions when we would decide to go. When I was seventeen, a new friend of mine named Grady invited me to visit his church. In a couple weeks they were going to be giving away an iPad through a raffle; every time you came you got your name in the raffle. So naturally, I agreed to come, and we made a pact to sell the iPad and split the profits if one of us won. That next Sunday I made the twenty minute drive to the north end of town to go to church and hang out with my friend. I had never been to this church before, so when I pulled in and parked I texted Grady and waited for his reply. And waited. So I texted him again. And waited. Being pretty close to when he said church was supposed to start, I decided to call him, at which point I finally got a hold of him and he informed me that he was stuck out of town for a basketball tournament. At that point I had to make a decision; leave and come some other time, or go into this church where I knew no one, and had no idea where I was going. Had it been closer to my home, I probably would have left, but because it had been a bit of a drive (the truck I was driving at the time consumed a quarter tank of gas for that length of a trip, and that’s expensive when you’re seventeen) I decided to stay.
I went into the church with a lot of apprehension, but I was greeted by the youth pastor who was incredibly kind and welcoming, which made me feel a lot more comfortable. I really enjoyed the services that day. There were a few things they did there that were new to me that I thought odd, but overall, I really enjoyed my time there. After the service was over I returned home happy that I had stayed. I didn’t come back to that church for another two weeks when the iPad was to be given away. This time Grady made it to church, so I was at least with someone I knew. The service went on, and honestly, I don’t remember any of it. I didn’t pay attention until the very end when the youth pastor asked us all a question that hit me like a ton of bricks. He asked if I were to die today, if I knew where I would spend my eternity. I had no idea. I didn’t even know that was something I could know. Moments later I responded apprehensively to an offer to speak with someone about my eternity. I met with a kind, older gentleman who took the Bible and showed me that I was separated from God by sin, and because of that I needed a Savior. He showed me from the scripture that Jesus is that Savior, and by his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, he paid the price for my salvation and won victory over death. These were all things that I had heard at some point, but they never made sense to me as a unified story as they did in that moment. He showed me that through faith alone I could trust Jesus as my Savior and know that I would spend eternity with him. In that moment, the gospel finally clicked for me, and I chose to trust Jesus as Savior.
While I didn’t know it yet, my life was about to change dramatically. Three months later I found myself attending a camp that my church put on for a week. I had been to plenty of other camps, in fact I worked at a summer camp the eight weeks prior, so I figured that I knew what to expect. However, I had never been to Christian camp before, so what I didn’t realize was that I had just been tricked into going to church in the woods for a week straight. While I felt like I had been deceived, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. First of all, I met my wife for the first time there, so that was a plus. But I think even more importantly, as a result of the messages I heard, I decided to become a committed follower of Jesus, and not just one in name only. From there, the drastic changes in my life expounded.
Within five months of that camp I decided that I wanted to spend my life in ministry to teach others the same truths that had so wonderfully changed my life. Because of that I decided to attend a Bible College in Southern California where for the last four years I have had an amazing hands-on education. In that time, I learned the Bible and how to study it, how to have a relationship with God, how to be a servant, and, my favorite, I married the love of my life. For the last year we have had the privilege of serving at an amazing church plant in Pasadena. It has been awesome to watch lives be changed by the Gospel, and having a small hand in that has been a highlight of our lives.
Moving forward, we are incredibly excited about being a part of the CityLight team! I met Jon for the first time in 2015, and the first conversation we had was about church planting. In January of 2018, he asked us about being a part of the team. I was immediately able to see us helping to start this church. When we visited Seattle for the first time, we fell in love with the city. After a lot of prayer, it became obvious to us that Seattle would be the place where we would spend the next several years of our lives. In addition to my responsibilities with CityLight I am working on an M.A. in Apologetics to hone my ability to help others to understand that Christianity is a reasonable faith, and that it presents a coherent worldview. We are excited about what God is already doing through CityLight, and cannot wait to see what he is going to do next!