I grew up in Eunice, Louisiana and was fortunate to be born to Christian parents who raised me in church and sent me to a Christian school. My parents always opened their home to people in need, college students missing home, and evangelists or missionaries who needed a good Cajun meal as they were passing through. I was blessed to have great spiritual mentors who encouraged me to be serious about my faith and to care about the world around me at a very young age.
I became involved with my youth group and loved small group bible studies. I began training to lead small groups and to disciple others on a personal basis. When I was 15, I went on my first missions trip, and that changed my faith forever. I really considered becoming a world missionary for a while because of this love of mission trips, but felt like God had other plans for me. I just didn't know what they were.
When I started at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, and after experiencing the freedoms of being in college, I didn't take my faith seriously. I visited a Chi Alpha service the first week, and enjoyed it, but didn't know if I would be part of it. I did meet a guy that night named Kellen. We started hanging out and quickly became friends. He was a bible study leader for Chi Alpha and kept inviting me to events and services, but I wasn't really caring about my relationship with God. When they announced that they were going to go on a Mardi Gras missions trip, I applied to go because of how much I love missions trips. During my interview, Charles, the campus missionary, stunned me by saying that he didn't know if I was really a Christian. HE WAS 100% RIGHT. I knew all of the right answers to his questions, but I was not acting like a Christian. After this, I went back to my room, prayed, and rededicated my lifestyle to the ways that I knew God wanted me to live. This trip changed my life in two ways, 1. I started the path to being a true disciple of Christ, and 2. my future wife was on that trip, Courtney.
I became heavily involved with Chi Alpha, helping put on events and eventually leading a weekly bible study after the missions trip. I loved meeting with students on a 1-on-1 basis, and doing the discipleship aspects of ministry, but I still did not know what I wanted to do with my life. In a conversation with Charles, he asked me why I had never considered campus ministry. I prayed about this and considered world missions again, but felt the Lord telling me that I would be the one who brings others on mission trips. Many other confirmations happened during the next few days, including when I asked out the girl I liked (Courtney), and told her that I was going into campus ministry. She was not surprised because God had been speaking to her that I might have a change in my future.
After graduation, I proposed to Courtney and then left for an internship at Western Washington University's campus ministry, Campus Christian Fellowship. CCF is one of the oldest Chi Alpha ministries in the country and its director, Brady Bobbink, was one of the founding members of Chi Alpha. Brady started the first internship for Chi Alpha and built his ministry on a foundation of discipleship. I spent two years being stretched and challenged in my faith and understanding what campus ministry is through that internship. I spent the last two years that we were in Washington helping another campus pastor pioneer a ministry at Skagit Community College, but we always felt like we were going to be heading back to the south one day. Once Aaron was born, we definitely knew it was time to come back closer to family.
We spent a year and half of support raising and figuring out where God wanted us to settle down, and then God opened the door to come to Columbus State University and work on staff with Ouida Bradford in the continuing growth of the Chi Alpha here. We transitioned into the role of Chi Alpha Director in 2013, and are excited now be watching all the dreams that He put in our hearts 10 years ago coming true.