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Biography

I was born in Richmond, Virginia and raised in the small community of Mechanicville. My parents were Christians, I went to church every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, and every Wednesday night. Our church started a Christian School so guess what? I went to a Christian school until Junior High.

I was a pretty good kid until the teen years. I think I had had enough Christian "this" and Christian "that." So when I hit the teen years I cut loose and started experimenting with most of the stuff that a lot of teens mess around with during those years. My most embarrassing moment, or maybe the most embarrising moment for my parents, was burning down over an acre of forest while sneaking a cigarette with my friend - and on a Sunday afternoon at that! What made it even worse was my dad was a leader in the church we attended, and being a small town, by church time on Sunday evening, everyone knew. I even had one of the older members of the church to jokingly nick name me "smokie."

By the end of my High School senior year I was beginning to get my act together and even went on a tour of the Holy Land. I really wasn't all that "spiritual" but the two daughters of the family sponsoring the trip were that attractive.

God even used my wrong motives and through that experience I decided to go to Bible College and become a Youth Pastor.

I attended Roanoke Bible College in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and graduated in 1977 with a BA Degree.

It was there that I met my wife to be, Ann Lipscombe, and we were married the summer between my sophmore and junior year of college. Yikes! I was so young but at least I was mature for my age.

We have been married for 31 years and have a son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Jen, who live in Paris. France. They gave us our first granddaugher, Maisie Rae, on December 3, 2006. I have another son, Nathan, that I love still having around the house to keep me young and share my enthusiasm of 24.

After graduation I continued on for one more year as the Youth Pastor of the Plymouth Church of Christ in Plymouth, NC.

We then moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where I became the Associate Pastor of the Fairfax Christian Church. I was there for three years. It was a great ministry until I got fired. That's a whole nother story!

I stayed in Indy and became the Associate Pastor of the Oaklandon Christian Church. During that time I received a Master of Ministry degree from Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, Kentucky.

After eight years at Oaklandon I got the notion to start a church. One of my professors said to a bunch of us in a class one day, "For some of you guys if you are ever going to be in a growing church, you are going to have to go out and start one." Those words became the seeds that launched my wife and me on an investigation of what starting a church was all about.

After pursuing some church planting associations, and some pursuing us, we made the decision to move to Portland, Oregon at the invitation of the Northwest Christian Evangelistic Association, and started Abundant Life Christian Church.

After establishing some contacts and developing some great relationships, Abundant Life was launched in June of 1989.

Soon after Abundant Life began I enrolled in the Northwest Graduate School of the Ministry, now Bakke Graduate University of the Ministry, and received a Doctor of Ministry Degree in 1997.

Abundant Life has been a great ride. We met in rented facilities for 15 years until we were finally able to build our first facility in 2003 and completed a second phase in 2006. Check us out at www.coolchurch.com.

Now what? If God sees fit, my prayer is to not only have had the joy of planting Abundant Life Church, but also to retire here. I figure I have about 15 or so years left.

Interests

I enjoy several sports, especially racquetball, golf, and softball. I do some cardio vascular exercising, not because I like it, but because I know it's good for me. Weighlifting with one of my associate pastors is a part of my regular exercise routine, too. My radio in my Pathfinder is set to country music but I listen to easy jazz in my office. If I listened to country I would be singing all the time and not getting any messages written. I ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle and love to take rides with my wife, but we don't get to ride near enough. Admittedly my reading interests are not too broad and are limited to books that have something to do with either church growth, church culture, leadership, or personal spiritual development. My favorite authors include Irwin McManus, Bill Hybels, and Max Lucado.