I was raised Southern Baptist in North Carolina by two loving parents, one of whom was (and is) a Southern Baptist minister. Though I attended public schools from kindergarten through fifth grade, I was in private Christian schools for both middle and high school. During this time I began to doubt the Christian faith I had been brought up in and ultimately ended up becoming an atheist at 15. I remained an atheist for the remainder of my secondary education and graduated from my fundamentalist, Evangelical high school known to my peers as an avowed atheist.
When I entered university I did so as a Communication major, but took “Introduction to the Old Testament” as a course to fulfill a GEP requirement for my degree. Through this course I was introduced to a way of reading and interacting with Scripture that I had never encountered before and I became fascinated with it. To nurture my budding interest in religious studies (particularly Judaic Studies at the time) I began attending a local synagogue.
This synagogue, like the Old Testament course, opened my eyes to new things. I ended up attending services and activities at this synagogue for about a year and during this time my atheism began to soften. I was later introduced to a pair of Episcopal priests, one of whom I began meeting with semi-regularly for pastoral care (though I would not have called it that at the time). During one of our meetings the priest gave me a copy of The Book of Common Prayer and I began using some of the prayers in it meditatively.
As the softening of my disbelief and my prayer continued I found an internal, spiritual life I had not ever had before being cultivated. As this grew I eventually came to a point that I found myself actually believing what I read in the prayer book, and shortly thereafter I realized that I had accidentally become a Christian again. After this realization I began attending a variety of different churches to find a new religious home. I ultimately ended up in a parish of The Episcopal Church where I felt as though I was truly experiencing church for the first time. This led to me being confirmed into The Episcopal Church in 2015 by the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry.
Throughout all of this I had transferred universities and begun pursing my BA in Religious Studies at NC State University. As I approached graduation I found God to be calling me to continue my education, and I also believed I might be being lead to ordained, vocational ministry as a career. I applied to and was accepted by Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA in 2017 and enrolled of my own accord (not as a postulant for Holy Orders) that fall.
In addition to being accepted to Union, I was offered a job as the Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at a local Episcopal parish, Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Through my studies at Union and my work at Grace & Holy I have discerned that, at least for the foreseeable future, God is calling me to continue my education and serve as an educator rather than an ordained minister. To that end I am undertook additional studies at Union and earned the a Master of Theology (ThM) in May 2021 in addition to my Master of Divinity (MDiv) from May 2020.
After earning both of these degrees my wife and I moved back to NC and I now serve at Youth and Families Minister at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Wilson, NC. My hope is to pursue my education further via PhD research through a British university while continuing my service with the people of St. Timothy’s starting some time in 2022.
I enjoy teaching and preaching and am happy to do either or both in a variety of settings. If you are interested in having me preach or teach at your church or elsewhere please contact me through this website.