The Ones Who Hit the Hardest by Chad Millman & Shawn Coyne and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
Remember the Titans, The Last of the Mohicans, and Footloose.
Historical Figures that I Admire
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson: He inspired me in college to fight for what you believe in. I loved seeing him represented in “Gods and Generals” — his desire to do the Will of God and his interaction with the tension created by all of his loyalties.
Also, Patrick Swayze and Kevin Bacon — they taught me strong men can dance too.
I was born and raised in Chesterfield County by a wonderful church-going family. As a young boy, I got into AWANAS; I wanted to beat my arch-rival Toney at learning Bible verses (don’t worry, we’re friends now), which caused me to learn so much about scripture that I began to see who Jesus was and wanted to be a Christian. I was baptized and kept growing in my faith, feeling called by God to ministry from the very beginning.
All my life, I wanted to fit in and be accepted, so when I got to high school, I started to do anything for that, both inside and outside the Church. This divided my loyalties: I was the youth leader at church, while doing everything else to be accepted in school. By the time I got to college, I had no Idea who Kevin Kyle was, besides someone who was willing to do anything for acceptance. As I sat in my college dorm struggling to have a quiet time, I was overwhelmed by the weight of the hypocrisy of my life. I realized I was trying to serve both God and man, and that I needed to stop seeing Jesus as a safety net and, instead, as the Lord over my life.
This changed everything. I cut old ties and started seeking Jesus and who I really was. It led me to the Virginia Military institute, where I graduated in 2013. I then headed to Gordon Conwell Theological seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. While there I met my beautiful wife, Megan, and we were married in June of this year!
I knew about Hope through high school friends, and the first time I came, I felt loved and encouraged. I served as an intern for two summers: one in Student Ministry and another in Hope Kids. Hope was a place where I consistently felt loved and cared for, as well as pushed to dig deeper into an authentic relationship with God.
My wife and I now live across the James, and I serve as a Praxis Resident for Spiritual Formation, while I also train for the Navy as a Chaplain Candidate and work part-time at the McGuire Veterans Hospital.
If you see the beard, stop and say hi; we’ll have a great time, or at least a laugh.