I was born into a large, Irish Catholic family, the third of 12 children – 6 boys & 6 girls. I was educated in Catholic schools, but (much to the embarrassment of my family) I was expelled from Mater Dei High School near the end of my freshman year, in May of 1967. I continued my education (and my rebellion) at Anaheim High School. It was during those high school years that I began drinking and experimenting with drugs. I will not bore you with the regrettable details, except to say that God truly had His hand upon my life and spared me from my foolish and often reckless lifestyle. It was during that same period in my life when I began to hear of many kids on campus “getting saved” after attending concerts in a small chapel and later, in a “tent” in Costa Mesa, a neighboring community to ours. I straight-armed the kids that began witnessing to me (telling of their new found “personal relationship” with Jesus) by answering one and all, “I’m Catholic!” End of conversation! That rebellion and recklessness continued until the summer of 1979 when – following the death of my just-younger brother and in the midst of a very tumultuous time in my life – I finally “surrendered” and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. It was August 25, 1979, and by the amazing grace of God, I have never looked back!
My conversion was radical and the transformation in my life was immediate. The drug & alcohol abuse of many years was quickly replaced by a hunger for the Word of God and a great desire to serve the Lord. I joined the pastoral staff of Harvest Christian Fellowship (a Calvary Chapel affiliate) in Riverside, California in August of 1983 and was “sent out” by the church to the Washington, DC area in January of 1987. In addition to establishing an office for A New Beginning (the radio & television ministry of Pastor Greg Laurie), I began teaching Bible studies in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. After several months, the Virginia group birthed a church which became known as Harvest Christian Fellowship of Reston, Virginia. It was both an honor a great privilege to pastor the dear people of that wonderful congregation for 25 years.
At the Lord’s leading and with the agreement and support of the church leadership, I transitioned out of active pastoral ministry at the local church level (in January of 2012) and passed the proverbial “mantle” to a long-time assistant; a young man with a fresh vision for the community, called by the Lord and recognized by the church leadership for just such a time as that. The church has since renamed itself as Calvary Chapel Reston Station. This they did as a means of better connecting the church to and aligning the church with the other Calvary Chapel churches in the greater DC, Maryland & Virginia area. The name change didn’t change anything else about the church: it’s still the same seed in the same soil, just a whole new vintage.
Since my departure from HCF Reston I have focused my ministry efforts and energies as an itinerant pastor and teacher, employing my gifts to equip, encourage and strengthen the church through practical, in-depth bible teaching. My passion is for “…the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Eph. 4:12)
As I conclude, let me acknowledge Kathy, my patient, loving, beautiful wife of more than 35 years. We are the parents of five incredible children, two wonderful daughters-in-law, a son-in-law and 6 grandchildren. To be continued…