I am a Mainline Presbyterian Orthodox Evangelical Socially Minded Prophetic Contemplative Preacher sharing the Winsome Story of Christ as I try to muddle through as a husband, father, friend, head of staff, colleague, and disciple. I am a third-generation church-planter from Atlanta, Georgia who is distantly related to the great revivalist preacher, Johnathan Edwards. I have served a small-town church in northeast Georgia, served as one of the Ministers of Evangelism under Dr. Frank Harrington at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, founded the first church on Disney property in the town of Celebration, Florida, served as Head of Staff for a large church in Tacoma, Washington, and returned to central Florida in 2012 to DeLand, Florida. Since January of 2018, I have served as Pastor, Head of Staff at First Pres, Fort Lauderdale and am a member of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida in the Presbyterian Church (USA). I received my D.Min. at Drew University in 2,000 with distinction as a Dean’s Fellow under the tutelage of Drs. Leonard I. Sweet, William Elkins, and Michael Christensen. In 1988 I received my M.Div. at Columbia Theological Seminary and received my B.S. in Communications from Georgia Southern College in 1982. Married over thirty-five years to my sweet bride, we have two adult daughters and two awesome sons-in-law!
1998 – 2000 D.Min., Drew University, Madison, NJ. Graduated with distinction; Dean’s Fellow of Dr. Leonard I. Sweet.
1985 – 1988 M.Div., Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA.
1978 – 1982. B.S. in Communication, Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, GA with an emphasis in Journalism and Rhetoric.
• Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL 2018 – present.
Head of Staff to a large urban church of 1,200 in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.
• Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, DeLand, FL 2012 – 2017
550 members, 380 average worship attendance, ten staff, three worship services, active mission outreaches locally and overseas with Young Life in Nicaragua. Led the congregation through the vision process, team building, & leadership development.
• Senior Pastor, University Place Presbyterian Church, University Place, WA 2007 – 2012. 1,400 members, 800 average weekly; 30 staff in a suburb of Tacoma, WA. Worked directly with the church’s Executive Team, Ministry Team, staff and Session in directing a new vision and securing financial stability within the congregation.
• Founding/Senior Pastor, Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, FL 1996 – 2007. The church started in a new urban development of Walt Disney World in south Orlando, FL. Beginning without a base, the church began worshiping just two weeks from my moving on the field, chartered in 9 months with 161 members and by 2007 had shy of 900 members and worshipped an average of 800. During this time, the church became self-sustaining and completed a $3.5 million state-of-the-art facility, and began work on its third addition.
• Minister of Evangelism, Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA 1989 – 1996. 12,000 members, 3,000 average weekly. Along with my fellow Minister of Evangelism, I was tasked to grow the church 1,000 members a year and assist members in assimilating into the congregation.
• Pastor, Summerville Presbyterian Church, Summerville, GA 1988 – 1989. Located in a northwestern Georgia mountain community, the church had 121 members with an average weekly attendance of 75. Served as Stated Supply Pastor for the Bethel Presbyterian Church during this time.
• Adjunct Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary, Northwest. 2008- 2012
Taught Masters level courses in Evangelism and Culture.
• Adjunct Professor, Drew University 2003 – 2006
Taught doctoral-level courses in Evangelism and Mission
Publications & Presentations
- Building the Kingdom of God in the Shadow of the Magic Kingdom. This is a book on building a Mainline Presbyterian Church in a new urban, postmodern community in the Disney World development at Celebration, Florida. Currently searching for a publisher.
- It’s All About the Story. This is a book on evangelism in the local church. Specifically, it addresses what invitation and evangelism is and is not, biblical foundations in the New Testament for it, and how to help local church members learn “how to do it.” This is a piece I am working on currently.
- Building on the Pillars: The Essentials for Being a Member of the Church. This is a curriculum designed for new members to be used in a small group setting. It has also been used for current small groups looking to brush up on what it means to be a member of the church. It is shaped around the Great Ends of the Church.
• Presbyterian Tall Steeple Pastors Gathering
• West Coast Pastor’s Conference
• Training events at Columbia Theological Seminary ranging from postmodernity and the emerging church to preaching and evangelism.
• CTS’s Thompson Scholar program for evangelism
• Seminars at Princeton Theological Seminary, Willow Creek, the National Leadership Conference & Leadership Network events
• Montreat Conferences for Wee Kirk and for Evangelism
• Pastoral Spirituality for Ministers by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Seattle
• Several National Pastor’s Conferences
• Trained as a ChristCare Small Group trainer
• Trained as a NavPress’s Small Group Ministry trainer
• Completed two units of Appreciative Inquiry and have attended one unit of Interim Pastor’s Training.
Spiritual Gifts and Assessments
• The Meyers-Briggs Temperament Assessment: ENTJ
• Spiritual Gifts: Preaching, Teaching, Pastoral Care, Evangelism and Administration
• Pastoral/Professional Gifts: Preaching, Teaching, Evangelism, Spiritual Direction, Stewardship, Administration, Pastoral Care, Mentoring, Shepherding Disciples
I hope 2022 is a good year for you. For lizanne and i it will be 10 years in June thanks to you. I assume you were watching the Mich. Georg. game. Since my inlaws were Mich. State alumni, Mich is sort of a favorite. The B.dogs are looking pretty good right now. Happy new year.
my twradioguy email still works.