My earliest memory of church takes me to the New Hope Baptist Church just a couple of miles outside of Hope, Arkansas. The occasion was a Christmas pageant retelling the story of the birth of Jesus. Other than getting a box of animal crackers that is about all I remember.
I remember long and emotional testimonials, summer revivals with preaching in the mornings and in the evenings, strong ‘fire and brimstone preaching’, and sitting on the back pew with my best friend.
During my junior year of High School, I started visiting the Hope Church of Christ with my girlfriend. That was a completely different experience. The preacher was gentle and loving and kind, and the people accepted and loved me. After a year, I felt the need to make a deeper commitment to the Lord. A couple of weeks before graduating High School, I was baptized again.
When I started college at Arkansas State University, I walked into the Church of Christ Student Center (now called Wolf Life Campus Ministry). It was in that setting that I discovered a real community of college students who loved each other, loved God, enjoyed having a good time, and really were serious about living a godly life and sharing their faith. I had a new home.
Kim and I were married in 1976. We have two children: Our son, Grant, and his wife
Bethany, Isabel, Hadassah (and a third child to arrive in the summer); Our daughter, Laura, her husband Alex, Norah and Juniper (come in the Spring).
After entering graduate school, I accepted my first full-time ministry position with the 7th Street Church of Christ in Columbus, Mississippi. My wife, Kim, and I married a few months later.
I have served at the Columbus Church of Christ in Columbus, Mississippi, Madison Street Church of Christ in Clarksville, Tennessee; the Carteret Road Church of Christ in Brunswick, Georgia; the Cameron Avenue Church of Christ in Colonial Heights, Virginia; the East Brainerd Church of Christ in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Hermitage Church of Christ in Nashville. There were years that were very fulfilling and exciting and years when it seemed that loss and discouragement were constant companions. In 2016 I came to the realization that it was time for a change, so I left the full-time ministry to pursue a life of helping in a new and different way: Life Coaching.
Thus, Until Hope Returns was born.