I was born and raised here in Charlotte, and had the gift of parents who raised me in the church. And so my life has been marked by seasons of coming to know Christ more and more – eyes opening wider to who he is, heart sinking heavier over what separates us, voice growing louder in gratitude for my life in him.
The Lord saved me at a young age. I still remember running into my parents’ bedroom one night at the tender age of seven, after several weeks of butterflies during the altar call at my little baptist church, and telling them that I wanted to give my life to Jesus. Unfortunately, the years following were a display of a very shallow understanding of the decision I had made. Through middle and high school I found myself wrapped up in sports, then music, but always pride – certainly more concerned with what people thought of me than what they thought about the God I had given my life to however many years before. But God was faithful throughout, still blessing me with friends and mentors who would slowly but surely help me to see more of Christ. And a middle-school-sweetheart who would one day become my bride.
Then came college. My freshman year at UNC is what I look back on now as a ‘gospel awakening.’ Attending Campus Crusade and The Summit Church, along with the development of true Christian community, the Spirit began to set fire to what I had shut out for so long – a desire for God’s glory over my own. The Lord grew within me a passion for his Word, prayer, sharing the gospel, and an increasingly-loud call toward leading worship. He used the rest of my years in college to continue that gospel work in me, providing me with an education I love and appreciate, friends that mean the world to me, and a newly-matured relationship with the woman I love more than anyone else.
Two weeks after graduating in 2013, Ashley and I got married and moved back home to Charlotte. We had been back in town for a couple years, Ashley working in substance abuse treatment and me grinding out the beginnings of a career as a singer/songwriter, when The Summit Church announced they would be planting a church in Charlotte. We knew immediately that this was what the Lord was calling us to, and we jumped onboard as soon as we got the news.
Now we’re walking with Christ in the midst of the closest community we’ve ever known, coming to know and see the Lord in ways that we’ve never experienced before. Eyes wider, hearts heavier, voices louder.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him, all creatures here below,
Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.