Dear Eatonton First UMC,
Greetings from Athens in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! On behalf of my wife, Sarah, and my daughters, I write to offer this initial “Hey, y’all!” and to help you know a little about me and our family. I will try to be brief. Of course, I cannot wait to get to know you all, too!
I was raised in Canton, fifty miles north of Atlanta. I have deep roots in those foothills. During my teenage years, I was a member at Canton First UMC. I very unexpectedly and undeservedly received a call from God to become a Methodist minister while receiving Holy Communion. I was 17. The next day I said, “No thank you, God” and I began trying to convince myself otherwise.
Later, I graduated from Cherokee High School and attended Georgia Tech. I graduated from Tech with a bachelors degree in civil engineering (cooperative plan) in 2001, having attended church maybe five times in five years. But while working in construction management in Atlanta and in Charlotte for three years, I really could not shake God’s calling on my life. The Holy Spirit would not let me forget it, and though I was fine to continue work as a civil engineer, the work was not fulfilling my soul. In a series of events that only God could have offered, I found myself returning to my call and the UMC on July 31, 2003 alongside my former MYF youth directors, who were serving together at Hickory Flat UMC!
The Lord then led me to attend Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. There I studied to earn my masters of divinity degree in 2007. While there, I met my beautiful wife Sarah, who earned the same degree there. She is a lifelong United Methodist from West Hartford, Connecticut. We have been married happily for ten wonderful years. She has been and continues to be my greatest blessing in life. We have two daughters, Eliana (Ellie), who just turned 6, and Hannah, who will be 3 in August.
I have served under episcopal appointment in the North Georgia Conference for 12 years. I served at Big Springs UMC in Woodstock for two years, at Saint James UMC in Atlanta for four years, and at Young Harris Memorial UMC in Athens for six years. I really enjoy being in pastoral ministry. I cannot think of a more rewarding way to offer my life of service to God. As Sarah, Ellie, Hannah and I prepare to make our transition to Eatonton First UMC in June, please pray with me for Eatonton First’s next season of ministry to Putnam County and beyond. May our days together be an offering that glorifies our amazing, creative, transformative, and renewing God!
In Christ alone,