about the staff...
The youngest of two, I grew up in San Diego, CA. My parents divorced before I was a year old and my mother later married a Navy man. I moved around a lot as a child and finally landed back in San Diego when I was 11. By the time I started High School I had gone to 4 different schools and had yet to have a friend for more than a school year. Needless to say, it was a lonely childhood.
I graduated at 16, two years early; not because I was smart, I just knew how to work the system. Home life was rough, so I moved out shortly after graduation seeking to do life on my own. I found myself in a full time job and frustrated. 60 hours a week at 16 is hard to grasp, especially for a beach bum in southern California. As it was, full time work didn't last long; and, within a year I found myself back at home. Humble pie didn't taste good at all.
I joined the Navy and shipped out to boot camp just after my 18th birthday. While in the Navy, I did many different jobs in the medical field and travelled some. I was stationed in San Diego; just outside of Seattle; Panama City, Florida and last in Virginia Beach, VA. It was in Virginia Beach that my life took a remarkable and crazy turn.
It was in Virginia Beach that I met God, and the healing grace of Jesus. At 27, the world was my oyster… but something just wasn’t right. I was starting to struggle at work, my marriage was beginning to fall apart and nothing I did managed to keep my world from circling the proverbial drain. I decided that I would give church one final try. I remember as a kid, going to church was this big ordeal, but there was never any connection with the people or with God. Jesus was just some dude stuck on a cross and God was this big, unfeeling object to be feared. Then I found a little place called Forefront.
Forefront Church in Virginia Beach showed me community, what faith in action looked like, and grace for the very broken hearted. And, believe me, I was very broken hearted. I realized that I wasn’t the man I thought I was; I was someone very different. It was thru the relationships there that I saw God, and experienced the grace and love of Jesus. It was also the place that I started to hear God speak to me, about what he was calling me to…ministry.
At the time I had been in the Navy for 11+ years. I argued with God, “Are you kidding me? I’m past the half waypoint. I can retire in just 9 years with a pension and medical benefits for me, and my family, for life!!” For the better part of a year this went on, until finally I relented and said, “Ok God, you win. What is my next step?” It was about that time that a guy I knew was thinking about planting a church. A church for people who don’t “do” church, a place where relationships matter, where stories are told and then grafted into God’s epic love story for his people. A church that would later be named, Legacy.
So, here I am. I left the Navy after 14 years of honorable service to embark on this journey that God has called me to. I am stoked to be a part of the Legacy team, and even more stoked to see how God moves in this story that is being written around us; one conversation at a time. What is your story?