My Credible Ordination Journey
Credible Ordination Journey
John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” This motivation drives me, both personally and professionally. Currently, I am a Religious Affairs Airman in the United States Air Force as part of the Chaplain Corps. I work alongside our chaplains to provide for the spiritual needs of our military community. I also volunteer as a local Boy Scouts of America Troop Chaplain, and in local ministry teaching and preaching. Now, I am on this credible ordination journey with Christian Leaders Institute.
Though my Air Force experiences and volunteer ministry opportunities are varied, one link ties them all together. I desire to educate others and equip them to be the leaders they never envisioned themselves to be. I am an educator with a heart for ministry and a desire to serve my country. These passions strategically drove my career choices, the pursuit, and obtainment of an M.Ed and M.Div, and developed me into the leader I am today. Whether in the classroom or the ministry field, I hope to utilize the gifts I have from God to serve, edify, encourage, challenge, and motivate others.
Call to Faith
I grew up in Georgia in a small town where my father was in the U.S. Marine Corps. I had a great childhood, but faith in Christ did not define it. Though my parents would surely identify as Christians, church and spiritual disciplines were not practiced within our family growing up. Occasionally, we attended services here and there, and I would sometimes go to VBS with friends over the summer. I did not participate in a relationship with Christ but rather as a means of something to do.
In 1994, my father took his own life. As such, an occurrence would impact any child; my world completely collapsed. I had many unanswered questions and a void that could not be filled. However, in His providence, the Lord used this time to begin calling me to Himself. In time, my mother remarried to a man who I came to love as my father. Frank was a strong man of faith. He not only taught me matters of faith, but he set an example that left me desiring the Spirit that consumed him. God used Frank to bring me to faith and to grow me into a man after His own heart.
Call to Ministry
As I continued to grow in my faith, I became hungry to learn more and more about the Lord. This thirst developed into a desire to share this knowledge with others. I could feel the Lord calling me into various ministries, even in high school. This awareness would ultimately shape me and prepare me for the increasing calling that He placed upon my life. From youth ministry to college ministry, to teaching Sunday School, and even at times preaching, the Lord used volunteer ministry to hone the spiritual gifts He gave to me. He also used it to confirm His calling of me to ministry.
Though I serve full time in the Air Force, every assignment has brought new opportunities. I get to plug into local ministries and become a part of God’s ministry in each community. His calling is, in fact, a calling of my entire family! My wife and boys have been a part of this journey alongside me. The Lord has used each of them at every assignment to be a part of His ministry, as well.
After years of volunteer ministry, I felt a desire to pursue chaplaincy in the Air Force. I enrolled in Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary to pursue a Master of Divinity and graduated in 2015. Interestingly, what I believed to be my Chaplain calling and initially drove me changed throughout my studies. At the start of my degree program, I retrained to become a Chaplain Assistant in the Air Force, and to this day, I love every aspect of my career!
After my M.Div. Studies, I realized that I was providing ministry where I was as a Chaplain Assistant. I believe the Lord used the desire for Chaplaincy to lead me to the M.Div. Program. God then shaped that calling as the years went on. Though I did not pursue becoming a chaplain, the ministry training I received has been indispensable to my ministry work. This ministry includes working as a Chaplain Assistant as well as the volunteer ministries I engage in within my local community.
Credible Ordination Journey to my Future Ministry
Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart, a man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.” My future ministry is founded in this understanding that the Lord guides me to where He wants me. At some point, my Air Force career will end. Every bit of training and experience I received throughout my years of service prepare me for the plans the Lord has for me.
I hope that this preparation leads me to fill the role of business pastor or education minister at a local church, or maybe even to a ministry that uses those skills outside of the church. It is also possible that the Lord opens doors to chaplaincy in a private setting for me in the future.
Though I am uncertain, I do know that the Lord will open the doors, direct me, and equip me as I move towards that calling. This ordination program with Christian Leaders Institute has been instrumental in helping to develop those skills I need. My ordination with the Christian Leaders Alliance provides the ministry credentials required for my ministry work.