When I look back over the path which God has had us on, I am truly amazed. God says, in His Bible, that He has plans for us … plans that flow out of His greatness and goodness and love for us … plans to bless us; plans to give us hope for the future. God says that His plans will bring good into our lives and will reveal His glory, though our lives, to others. In fact, God says that you and I haven’t seen or heard or even imagined what God has prepared for us … has prepared for those who love Him.
My first “look what God did” encounter was when I was very young. When my brother was only two years old, he swallowed a piece of hard candy and it blocked his airway. At the time, I was four years old and knew God could save my little brother’s life. My Dad was working nights, so as my Mom and Grandmother frantically worked to help my little brother to breathe again, I ran into my parent’s bedroom and knelt at the foot of their bed and prayed to God, asking Him to save my brother … and He did.
My Dad was a college professor. His job moved us around the country a couple of times, but I spent my high school years in a rural Missouri, college town … and that’s where I met Susan.
Susan and I were high school sweethearts. We both attended the University of Central Missouri for our undergraduate degrees. We were married in 1986, during our junior year in college. Here is something else the Bible says … A virtuous and capable wife is hard to find – she is worth more than the best this earth has to offer. (Proverbs 31:10) Virtuous and capable are just two of the adjectives that describe this beautiful woman to which I am married. After spending all these years with Susan, here is what I know …. God puts a team together, for His purposes and His plans.
Susan and I have two wonderful sons. Here’s another thought from the Bible … life goes fast! Our two sons used to be little guys … now they’re men. We are so thankful to God for the blessing of our sons!
In 1991, I completed my master’s degree in counseling from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I have been a counselor for 24 years. I have been shepherding God’s people for nearly that long. I was ordained a Pastor in 1996. My ministry began in the Sedalia, Missouri area. And in 2000, the Lord moved us to Saint Joseph.
Ever since God called me into ministry, I have always been a bivocational Pastor. The word bivocational means “two jobs”… while serving as a Pastor, I have always worked concurrently as a counselor. There are immense blessings in both of those roles, and as you can imagine, there is a lot of overlap between the two. My spirit has always related to the fact that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and a Wonderful Counselor … both of those roles, at the same time.
Which brings me to Strong Tower … about 19 years ago, God began to speak to me about planting a church. The name of the church comes from Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a Strong Tower …” Back in September of 2013, God made Strong Tower Baptist Church a reality. Strong Tower is another one of those “look what God did” encounters. When God first planted Strong Tower, we were meeting, every Sunday, in a Firefighter’s Hall. Around December of 2013, we received a phone call from one of the members of a local congregation who told us that they had heard of our need for a more permanent home for our congregation and that they were prayerfully considering giving us their church building. In February of 2014, Strong Tower Baptist Church was blessed with the building at 3406 Saint Joseph Avenue.
The congregation called Strong Tower Baptist Church has experienced Jehovah-Jireh (The God Who loves to reveal Himself as our Provider). God’s work among us is a miracle, but of course, that is Who God is … and wherever He is working; miracles happen! If you are reading this, God is working in your life … and it is our sincere hope that you will step out in faith, come to Strong Tower and become part of the miracle.