God has given me the opportunity to study the Bible under some incredible scholars. Yet, despite all of the formal training I received, I still regard my grandmother as the greatest theologian I ever knew.
"Mamaw Truelove" had a sixth grade education, was married at 15, but taught herself to read using the Bible. I have vivid memories of her sitting on the front porch of her home, in a rocking chair, holding a massive bowl of freshfly picked vegetables between her knees. She talked as she worked, telling stories, and often to me, her favorite Bible stories.
She told those stories as if she lived them, not merely as if she had read them. She would talk about her day, the news, the activities of the week and attach Bible verses to the things she had seen and experienced. By the Word of God the universe was created and it was by the Word of God that her world continued to be formed.
I can also remember spending the night in her tiny, two bedroom house. The walls were thin; every sound made within the house could be easily heard. I can still hear her, late into the night, on her knees in her bedroom praying to God before she went to bed. Included in that prayer would always be the request, "God, please give me a preacher from my generations."
Mamaw had 10 children. When she died, well into her 90's, she had 6 generations. Of her direct descendents I am the youngest grandchild and the lone preacher of the generations. I firmly believe my calling is an answer to her prayers.
As a preacher, author, and speaker I love to explore the deep things of God, but because of her I can easily see how the deep things of God collide with our souls in the everyday intersections of life. The Word of God is so vast that lifetimes and institutions have been dedicated to studying it, but if it cannot also enter into our conversations over bowls of beans, we have missed the message God most desires for us to hear.
Student Pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Ringgold, GA (1992 - 1995)
Interim Student Pastor, Atco Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA (1996)
Lead Pastor, Lantana Road Baptist Church, Crossville, TN (1996-2002)
Lead Pastor, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL (2002-2012)
Lead Pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Dalton, GA (2012-present).
Bible Teacher, The Christian Heritage School, Dalton, GA (2012-present).
Creative Communication Professor, Global Institute for Youth Leadership, Chatsworth, GA (2015-present).
Books and Publications:
Good News Magazine
The Mission Book (Upward Collective)
The Christian Index
Grace, Hope, and Love Daily Devotional (2016)
B.S. Tennesse Temple University, Chattanooga, TN
M.Div. The New Orleans Theological Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, LA