Hey! Thanks for being curious enough about me to actually click onto this page. I’m the High School Pastor at MISSION Community Church (mission68.org). That’s my wife Lindsay and my boy Griffin in the photo.
There’s another baby in her belly as I write this, so we’ll be a party of four this April! Our baby boy Gavin was born on April 24th! We really need to get a new photo of the 4 of us…
I’m married to a hottie named Lindsay and we live in Gilbert, Arizona with our son Griffin. I grew up in Arizona, Linds in Ohio.
As a kid I was a wrecking ball. I was arguably the worst student in the history of Supai Middle School and Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was labeled “incorrigible” by one teacher in the 8th grade, which means “beyond correction or reform“. I was proud of that label. I embraced it. I loved the attention. I would later prove her wrong
I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was 16 after watching him lose his battle with alcoholism for six years (I had no idea that the battle had been going on for two decades before that. He hid it well, for a while). I lived on my own starting my junior year in high school, which was a bad idea (I should have moved in with my mom but I wanted “freedom”). I got drunk just about every day from the time I was 16 until I was 21. It was a common thing amongst my circle of friends to drink, get high, take acid, ecstasy, shrooms, coke… whatever. We were in endless fights, arrested a dozen times, and spent a good chunk of my senior year in high school in Towers Jail facing a list of charges.
In short, I pretty much sucked at life. I was so, so, so lost… but here’s the catch: I loved it. I loved not caring about anyone but myself. I couldn’t have cared less about you, or God, or anything else. There was a sense of joy in my emptiness. Little did I know…
I was renting a room from my two cousins Allan and Nicole in 2000, and on one Sunday morning they were all awake and ready for church. I was hungover from a long night of partying with some friends, and I stumbled out into the kitchen to get some water. They had been attending a church for the past five years, and for those five years they had been praying for me regularly. They had watched me nearly destroy my life, but still letting me move in with them on two occasions. On this morning they invited me to church, almost jokingly because they expected me to laugh and say no.
“We’ll buy you lunch if you come.”
Fast forward: A year later I was walking away from everything I had ever known to follow Jesus. I spent that whole year investigating this whole Christianity thing, and in the Fall of 2001 I was convinced. And then I went from being convinced to remade. I took a huge step towards Jesus and nothing has been the same since. I had the hardest, darkest, most pessimistic and angry heart on the planet, and it was ripped out of my chest and replaced. It was unexplainable. I loved my old life, I really did, but I wanted nothing to do with it after getting a taste of this new life. I’m still a work in progress for sure, but my 180 degree turn was a remarkable thing. I never, never, never would have guessed this was going to be my life.
I shared my testimony in front of that church on a Sunday morning soon after, and not too long after that I left my job to join the staff as an intern. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. So I interned in the high school ministry with one of the pastors who had discipled me that year, while also working as a program coordinator in our kids ministry. A year later I was asked to fill in as the interim junior high guy. With much fear and trembling they later gave me the reins and let me run the whole thing. I’m a year into my walk with Christ and leading a massive youth ministry… what??? Three years later, in 2005, I would transition into the high school ministry. I’ve been a high school pastor ever since.
I graduated from Arizona State with a degree in Religious Studies/Communications, and I’m currently at Fuller Seminary working on my MA in Theology.