I grew up in a Christian home and have parents who love the Lord and who preached the Gospel to me daily. I can remember going to church from a very young age and my parents have had me in church since I was a newborn. I grew up at First Baptist Church in Greenville and decided to be baptized at the age of eight and can remember making that decision but not fully understanding what that meant for me. It wasn’t until college however that I fully surrendered my life to the Lord, the summer after my freshman year in college. Throughout high school I never went through a rebellious stage but was actually the opposite. I struggled with legalism, comparing my sin to others and feeling better about myself through seeing that I wasn’t doing what others were doing. I was essentially a Pharisee. I went to youth group, bible studies, could tell you all the right things, but my heart had not been changed.
It wasn’t until my freshmen year of college that things began to change. The Lord stripped everything from my life…my community, my family, my friends, sports, and my church. I was in a new town and new school with absolutely no connections or community. I was miserable. I became very depressed and thought that I would transfer. I remember calling my mom that whole freshmen year and looking to her to help me and fix my hurt. She bluntly told me that she loved me but that she couldn’t be my Savior. Only Christ could fulfill that for me and I was looking for that fulfillment in all the wrong places. It was then that I understood the sweet truth of the Gospel. I was a sinner, who had been trying to work at my salvation my whole life. I essentially thought I was my own God and in control of my own life. I understood that Christ had died for a Pharisee like me and that his death and resurrection meant that I could have a relationship with a Holy God and become a new creature. Through Christ’s sacrifice I would no longer be separated from God and could have eternal life through Christ Jesus.
My walk with the Lord since then has grown and blossomed so much. I still struggle with legalistic tendencies and views but the Lord has burdened me with my sin and has shown me my black heart. I am grateful for how he has given me a love for Him and for others and to know His word and Truth more fully. I realize that I will never fully arrive while on this Earth and that the Christian life is one of repentance and believing again. I have had to embrace that every day and preach myself the Gospel every day because I know that my sin is ever before me. It is sweet to know that God’s grace is bigger than my sin and that I can rest in His grace completely.
By Gods grace I ended up at summer project. Even though I had grown up in church and heard The Gospel a thousand times, God allowed me to actually hear The Gospel for the first time. I realized it wasn’t about me or what I could to bring to the table, it was about God and the fact that he sent his Son to pay my debt. That summer I learned how to walk with the Lord, the importance of community, and other things like how to pray, how to read the bible, how to deal with sin, etc.
When I went back to the campus God used my failures to give me a bigger picture of the cross and what Jesus did for me. I started leading bible studies, sharing my faith, and live mission minded. The following summer I went to Thailand with the ministry and God used it to fuel my vision and heart of all tribes and nations coming to His Glory. I am humbled and exited to labor on the campus and watch God change lives, just as He has done mine.
Growing up in Lexington was such a blessing, but up until my senior year of high school my life was strictly performance driven. I believed that in order to be loved by others I must perform well in all stages of life, especially in order to be loved by God. Thankfully a girl I liked invited me to a bible study where the Gospel was preached, and it was there through community my heart was softened to the Lord's immeasurable grace.
College was a pivotal time where I learned from other men the importance of growing in Christ-like character. This cultivated a heart and core belief in the importance of life-on-life discipleship and what it means to invest in others. I learned how to struggle through sharing my faith in my fraternity, on Georgetown's track team, as well as on the campus. I'm thankful and excited to be apart of this ministry in raising up the next generation of Christ-like leaders.
Until I went to college, I knew a lot about Jesus Christ, but new nothing of Him personally in my own life. I grew up in church, but there wasn't a pesonal relationship with Christ in my life. God, in his perfect Providence brought a man named Josh Duncan, who is on staff with Campus Outreach, into my life and he boldly shared the good news of Ephesians 2:8-9 with me that: "for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast." God used Campus Outreach to develop and deepen my faith in Christ alone, build convictions for life from the Bible, as well as giving me training opportunities to reach college students, like myself, with the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ. Over this time, the Lord has given me a burden to see college students come to know Jesus Christ and a vision that God could use me to reach them