In January 2020 I discerned the call to move into a new ministry in 6 months. At the time, I was completing my 10th year as the Chaplain of Virginia Wesleyan University. I loved sharing Christ with college students and helping them walk as disciples. Yet, I sensed God prompting me to step out and pursue a major life change. There was a bit of fear and when the pandemic hit, it certainly increased! I asked God numerous times, “Did I hear You, correctly?” It was clear. Since stepping into this new ministry, I’ve perceived that I’m right where God wants me, serving as an Evangelist. I love meeting varieties of congregations, pastors, groups and individuals along the way. It is quite different from the 18-24 year olds that I worked with for a decade. My preaching and teaching schedule is full, which is a joy! I’m grateful for the support of the Board of Life in His Name Ministries: Rev. Brian Sixbey, Michael Senecal and Dustin Shambach. Early on they gave a green light to hire Ashley Kline to develop and maintain our website as well as help with communications, social media and our monthly e-newsletters. Ashley is a Biblical Studies student at Asbury Theological Seminary and has been an incredible help along the way! Financially, we are good and growing! We have almost 70% of our budget covered through monthly giving. However, we have received 100% of our budget this year! In addition to families and churches giving monthly, many people and churches have given some very generous initial gifts to help us launch. We currently have 27 families/individuals and 6 churches giving monthly to Life in His Name Ministries. We’ve had another 41 families/individuals and 14 churches give at least once, plus the Elizabeth River District of the United Methodist Church. If you or your church are interested in supporting this ministry financially, please reach out. I was so glad that I was able to offer online evangelism training for free because our finances were in good shape! In the last month I’ve met with more than a dozen Virginia Wesleyan alumni and a few current students who desire to grow in their faith and in service to Christ! It’s so good to have relationships that span many years!
MAY 2014, Oxford, England: Then student Gabe Higgins and I at the home of C. S. Lewis on a travel course covering Lewis, Tolkien and the Wesleyan Revival.
JUNE 2021, Town Center, Virginia Beach: Hanging out with alumnus Gabe Higgins talking about Jesus and the Kingdom! Gabe and his wife Faith are currently attending Asbury Theological Seminary and will move onto the Wilmore, KY campus this August!
I’ve met with men’s groups, small groups and individuals to share Christ and equip them for ministry. I am currently meeting with some people who are not yet Christians, but are considering Jesus and his message!
Some Highlights from Year One:
Started a men’s group with some friends which met outdoors through the pandemic! We had a rule that if the temperature was below 40 we would cancel. A few times we broke that rule and met anyway!
Led two online evangelism training courses with 17 students who were hungry to grow as disciples and fishers of people!
Led multiple seminars for churches on small group ministry, evangelism and discipleship.
Preached at 17 churches on 34 different occasions.
Partnered with United in Him Ministries whose mission is to transform and empower at-risk communities through the love of Jesus Christ and power of Holy Spirit.
Rejoined a Pastors' meeting I started with Pastor Bill Powell in 2007 and joined another Pastors' Band Meeting.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING GENEROSITY! I am so grateful and moved by the financialsupport, the prayers, encouragement and affirmation I’ve received from the body of Christ!
Looking to the Future:
August Revival at Joliff UMC in Suffolk, VA, where Rev. Brandon Nichols is the Pastor. Brandon is an alumnus of Virginia Wesleyan University (Class of 2012) and Duke Divinity (2015). He was one of my student leaders during his time at Virginia Wesleyan University. He has served as the Pastor at Wesley Chapel and Joliff UMC, both in Suffolk.
Mission Trips to Latin America! My team of students from Virginia Wesleyan were a couple weeks away from a mission trip to Cuba where we would work with the country's Methodist Church. However, the trip had to be canceled. I am eager to help churches here connect with the church in Latin America.
Online Small Group and Evangelism Training this Fall – details coming.