about the staff...
I was born and bred in the Lehigh Valley. Born at Easton Hospital and raised on the South-side of Easton on Wilkes-Barre Street for most of my childhood years. That was my permanent residence with my grandmother and my father who was going through a bunch of a mess relationally with his marriages and relationships. Most of my actual residence living however, was at the Sacred Heart Home and School for Children in Coopersburg, PA., and a couple of foster homes along the way too. My brother and I spent approximately 8 years in the children’s home until we finally went home for good in 1973 when I was 12 years old.
My teenage years were spent running from my past and I tried most every addictive habit one could try in order to self-medicate. Many of those years are a blur, and I eventually fled the Lehigh Valley and joined the Navy in 1978. Somehow in the midst of that, I met by beautiful bride during my junior year of high school. We fell in Love and two years after I left for the Navy, we were married.
I was very successful in the Naval Service, and moved through the ranks quickly. The Navy became my new addiction I suppose you could say. Karen and I had three children very quickly and Karen did a wonderful job being mom and dad for many of those years because of the schedule the Navy placed on me. Despite my success and happiness, I was still a bit of a mess emotionally and spiritually. I had never dealt with the issues of my past. In 1989 I was reintroduced to the man named Jesus and turned my life over to him in August of that year. The funny thing was, I was really adamant as a young man about being a priest and teaching and preaching for God – but the issues of my life and the world prevented that from happening for many, many years.
My life began to change pretty drastically and things were very good, but I struggled a bit because I still had not dealt with the dirt and mess of my past. I stumbled many times along the way, but kept getting up and God would just brush me off and pat me on the head and send me back into the game. Finally in the late 90’s I decided to get the help I needed and committed to some real counseling to get myself fixed/restored. It was the best decision I had made in my life to that point besides marrying Karen. The counseling helped tremendously and I recommend counseling to anyone who struggles with life issues – it just works if you have the right counselor. So.., things were great and we were in cruise control for the next few years.
However, on Easter Sunday morning 2001, that changed drastically. Our 16 year old daughter Megan was killed instantly in a single car crash. Life would never be the same again – but God surrounded us with both His Love and the Love of a great church family. I tell folks all the time that we of course would never want to experience that ever again; but it has been a mixed bag of blessings that Karen or I would not want to return either. Instead of drawing us further apart from each other, Karen and I became stronger and our relationship with God grew exponentially. That unfortunately is not the normal thing that happens when parents lose their youngest child. So.., God blessed us immensely in the midst of a very tragic event.
Since that time, I wrestled with God and tried to find out what I was supposed to learn not only from Megan’s passing; but even my life and past. In the midst of that wrestling, God re-instilled in my heart the desire to serve him in some capacity. As I stated above, when I was a boy, I wanted to be a priest (preacher), but was misdirected for many years. Initially, I thought my service was to be solely working with Orphans of Aids in Africa and other countries with this awful epidemic (Approx. 43 million Orphans of Aids in Africa alone). However, it was in the midst of a class during my seminary training that God laid the idea of planting a church in the Lehigh Valley in my heart. Honestly, I did not want to do it at first and I tried to pray this task away; but...., God has a great sense of humor and so here we are – back in the land in which we were born and raised. By the way, we are still going to do work with Orphans of Aids, but now it will be through Legacy Christian Church.
So.., this is my story and how God’s story and my story were grafted together. I heard the call to join the greatest Love Story of all time and decided to jump in with both feet! Are you ready to jump in?