I was a Christian teaching in a public school when I felt God’s urging to go into ordained ministry. I was single and teaching 8th grade science in Atlanta and dearly loved my students. I built a high ropes course and we used it to blast apart cliques. I took them into the north Georgia mountains where they learned how to be real with each other. Those kids were my ministry even while I was heavily involved in my United Methodist Church. There was however this nagging desire to teach the Power behind the science.
On a spring break after teaching five years I drove to Panama City Beach, pitched a tent in the sand, and wrestled with God. At sunrise I was sitting on a picnic table reading the Bible, Matthew 28 to be exact. At some point a decision needed to be made. I could only wrestle and think and pray so long. The sun blazed across the horizon, warming my body while I read those commissioning words of Jesus, “Go into all the world and make disciples…” I focused on one word, “Go.” Just go. It was at that moment that my decision to leave my school and go to seminary was made.
And I never viewed my call into ordained ministry as better than my ministry as a teacher. Both were different callings and one was not more important than another. So I went without doubts, but with a sense of excitement about this new adventure. That road took me north to United Seminary and Sidney, Ohio. It led me to my wonderful wife now of 29 years, four beautiful children, 10 years of ministry in Ohio, and 19 in Alaska. I am so glad that God chose me to walk this amazing journey.