In early August of 1997 Leigh Ann and I moved all of our earthly possessions in a small moving van from Los Angeles to Colorado Springs. I had graduated from seminary just a couple of months earlier and we were now headed to our first ministry assignment with excitement and eagerness. I had been called to serve as the Youth Pastor at Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free Church. Little did I know that I would serve in this position for just 15 months. ABEFC’s senior pastor at the time was soon called to another church and as the only other staff member, I became the church’s interim pastor. Nine months later, at the age of 28, I accepted the call of the church to serve as their next Senior Pastor.

Having served now at ABEFC for twenty years, I’m so thankful for the Lord’s providence, grace, and guidance. I’m thankful for a patient and loving congregation who all along has been eager to listen to the preaching of God’s Word and put it into practice. I’m thankful for faithful fellow-elders who have encouraged me, discipled me, and helped me grow as a follower of Jesus and as a pastor. I’m thankful for fellow-pastors who have served alongside me in day-to-day ministry and with whom I have shared both the joys and burdens of life and ministry. I’m especially grateful for Pastor Rob who has faithfully served together with me now for 16 of these 20 years. I’m thankful too for the saints who serve in countless ways, doing the work of ministry to the building up of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12)

Me leading the youth in worship as their youth pastor in 1997

A newspaper ad from The Gazette, announcing my installation as pastor

Being prayed for as part of my installation as Senior Pastor on October 3, 1999

In the pulpit on the day of my installation as Senior Pastor

Twenty years on, my heart is filled with gratitude to the Lord who has gifted and called me to serve here. He has given me a wonderful wife who is an incredible helpmate, encourager, friend, ministry partner, and pastor’s wife. He’s given me four beautiful children who have grown up in the context of a gracious church family that has loved their dad well. He’s given me wonderful friendships with ABEFC members both past and present. How blessed I am!

I have been reminded recently from 2 Corinthians 4:1 that all ministry is a mercy from the Lord. No one is entitled to it or deserves it, but God in His mercy calls, equips, and empowers us to serve Him. And since it’s all from Him, He deserves all the glory. So all that’s left to say is soli Deo gloria!