Personal and Family Information:
For those of you just interested in the vital stats, here they are: I married my college sweetheart, the former Janet Hall, in December of 1995. Together we have four children: Chloe Anna (10), Abbey (8), John Caedmon (7), and Kassidy (3) and one on the way. I went to school at Samford University, graduating in 1994. Following that, I then attended seminary, first at Beeson Divinity, and after a ten year break, finished at Liberty Theological Seminary, graduating in 2006 with a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies. I have been in ministry since 1992, when I first served as the Junior High Youth Pastor at Hilldale Baptist Church. Since then we have served at four other churches in the Birmingham area before coming to Agape in March of 2008.
Janet taught high school math and French for six years (First at Minor, then Clay-Chalkville) before taking a break with the arrival of our first child in 2001. She is an avid reader, and enjoys sports and activities like hiking, playing ultimate Frisbee and alligator wrestling. She currently home schools our kids through Agape Academy (AgapeAcademy.info). She is an invaluable partner in ministry, and is a very wise and compassionate counselor.
My original dream growing up was to be a superhero, but lacking any superpowers, that dream morphed into wanting to be an FBI agent. Upon graduating from Samford in 1995, I enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Alabama in pursuit of an FBI career. Though it was a lifelong dream, I sensed that somewhere along they way I had missed God. One late night in 1994, I was awake praying and wrestling with God, when I sensed his leading into ministry. The next evening, I shared that with our college Bible study. As I shared, one of our co-teachers began to cry, and told me that she had been awakened the previous night at the same time, and sensed a calling from God to pray for me, and that I was to follow His call into ministry – not the FBI. Receiving other confirmations along the way, I enrolled in seminary, and began a twelve year adventure in youth ministry, church planting, and pastoring. That adventure has led us to Agape.
My heroes of the faith are quite diverse, and include people like George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, John “Praying” Hyde, Leonard Ravenhill, Sundar Singh, Gladys Aylward, Charles Spurgeon, Jim Eliot and George Whitefield.
What is one thing that grabs you about each of your kids?
We have four kids, and I count it an incredibly rare privilege to be a father. I am amazed at how different all of our kids are, and how much they own my heart with just a glance!
Chloe is an artistic child who excels at athletics as well, but has a very delicate personality that can be easily wounded. She is quick to laugh and has a very bubbly personality.
Abbey is very different from Chloe in personality. When Abbey is sick, she tells no one – we have to know by observation. She is very tough in body and mind, but also incredibly loyal.
John Caedmon loves to wrestle and fight, but has a remarkably tender heart.
Kassidy is very demanding for a three year old, but also very loving. She can easily tie her father around her fingertips…and I am helpless to stop it!
Child #5 is difficult to see at the moment, but should be here in August.
What is your passion in ministry?
I believe that it is the calling of the church leaders to equip people for ministry. That means that “everybody gets to play ball”, or put another way – everybody has a unique calling and gifting from God, and that calling is not to sit on the “pews”, but to serve God in remarkable, adventurous and impacting ways. I also am passionate about revival and the Father’s desire to pour out revival on His people.
What is your favorite thing about being a husband?
Among the many things I can name, one of my very favorites is the deep conversations that I get to have with my wife almost every evening.
What is your favorite thing about being a dad?
I love simply hugging and playing with my kids – it gives incredible joy and delight.
What is your favorite date night activities?
An ideal date night involves good food with intimate conversation. A nice walk in an adventurous or romantic place is a plus. Every now and then a movie is nice as well. I guess that is not incredibly creative, but it is the conversation that makes the night – not the activity!
What are your hobbies?
Throughout my life, I have collected hobbies. My current hobbies include sports, gadgets/computing, reading, outdoor activities (fishing, hiking, spelunking when I can), and bicycling.
What is your favorite restaurant and why?
I love Surin West (great Thai food). Runner up would be Konomi, or any Japanese Steakhouse.
Favorite chapter in the Bible?
Matthew 10 – Jesus sends out the disciples – Or – Philippians 2.
You are given $1000 on the condition that you MUST spend it on yourself – what do you buy?
A pair of iPad 2′s.
Same question but $100,000 – what do you buy? (ONE item)
Some land with a lake or stream on it and lots of woods.
Top five favorite Christian books of all time?
In no particular order:
- Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill
- Whatever Happened to the Power of God – Michael Brown.
- Systematic Theology – Wayne Grudem
- The Life and Diary of David Brainerd – Brainerd (edited by Jonathan Edwards)
- Surprised by the Power of the Holy Spirit – Jack Deere
Top three favorite other books of all time?
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- Calvin and Hobbes.
Top five favorite breakfast cereals?
(not in order)
- Apple Jacks
- Frosted Mini Wheats
- Blueberry Waffle-O’s
- Fruity Pebbles
Finish this sentence – The key to revival in Birmingham is…
A move of the Spirit that leads the people of God into consecrating themselves and praying in unity, day and night and night and day.
Favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a kid?
Scooby Doo or the Superfriends.
List three powerful worship songs:
- In Your Presence – Jason Upton
- Revelation Song – Christ for the Nations.
- Rushing Wind – Keith Green.
What five ministers do you have on your iPod (or other mp3 player)?
- Tim Keller
- Mark Driscoll
- Mike Bickle
- William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith)
- John Piper(also: Dick Lucas, Francis Chan, D.A. Carson, Michael Brown, Graham Cooke, etc.)