The Hill Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples who worship and enjoy him, and who seek the good of the city. We do this through cultivating communities that are centered on the gospel as it defines and directs us into gospel transformation, authentic community, missional living and a lifestyle of worship.
My life story begins before I even entered into this world. For circumstances that are unknown to me, my biological mother put me up for adoption. This display of love has impacted me in several ways,
1st) that despite her situation, she chose to give me the best life possible over her own conveniences. In other words, she was the first person to model for me the love and the grace of Christ, and for that I am grateful.
2nd) My parents, who adopted me brought me into a loving and Christian home where I would hear the gospel and come to faith at a young age. Now for some, that testimony might seem boring, but the reality is because of the depravity of humanity, the story of a seven-‐year old living under the roof of a Christian home who believes the gospel is just as miraculous as a 30-year old atheist junkie who comes to faith. I am thankful and praise the Lord that he pursued me and wooed me unto him before I could fathom what a life of disobedience was like.
I grew up in Oklahoma City and went to the University of Kansas for college. It was at KU when I first began teaching the Bible through the involvement of ministries like CRU, the K-Life chapter in nearby Kansas City, and my own on-campus Bible study called The LockerRoom. After graduation I went to the Kanakuk Institute and earned a masters in Youth and Family Ministries through John Brown University. Then in 2007, I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to start a K-Life chapter there. While in Tulsa, I met my wife, Raelyn, and we were married in August 2009. In May, 2010, we moved to Dallas so I could attend Dallas Theological Seminary where I received a Masters of Theology degree. It is in my time in Dallas, that the Lord began to stir in my heart a passion for planting The Hill Church in Fayetteville through my studies in seminary and my involvement at The Village Church. My wife and I moved to Fayetteville in May of 2013.
My hope for the Hill is that we would be a people who rightly worship the one triune God and find all of our hope, fulfillment and identity in Him. Second, that we become a family who fully understands the impact of the Gospel, and the implications it brings in our relationship with God, each other, and to our community.
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas in a loving family who had me in church at least once a week. As a result, I knew of God from an early age and tried my best to follow all of the Christian “rules.” I believed for a long time that if I spent part of my Sunday morning in a pew and was a “good person” the rest of the week the God would be obliged to let me into Heaven. It was not until I was sixteen, after countless sermons on the grace of God through Jesus, that I actually encountered grace. I was standing beside the White River in north Arkansas, gazing at the stars when God opened my eyes and I realized that I could not be saved by being good enough, but only through His free gift of salvation, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
After high school, I attended the University of Arkansas and earned a degree in Landscape Architecture in 2008. While there, my life was turned upside down after my father took his own life. Through God’s grace, I looked to the example of Job, a man who suffered deeply and continued to rely on the Lord. There is nothing as constant or as firm as God our Father. In the fall of 2009, decided to move to Dallas to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Though earning a Masters in Theology is was big accomplishment, it was not the greatest gift I received in Dallas. The greatest gifts I received during seminary came from my church, Watermark Community Church. Through their authentic relationships, commitment to my becoming a more devoted follower of Christ, and the opportunity to lead an apologetics ministry have given me more than any degree could.
My hope for the Hill is that we would be a people who are marked by love (John 13:35), are committed to making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), to teaching Biblical Truth (2 Timothy 3:16), and to living authentically with one another (Heb. 10:24-25; Proverbs 28:13). I pray that this would be a place of life transformation, not behavior modification. I care little if we are the largest or coolest church in NWA; my hope is that we would wake up each morning determined to be found faithful to God and lay our heads down at night without regret of failing that call.
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