John

Personal and Family Information:

Married my wonderful wife Ann in June of 1994 , then 13 years later had our first of two beautiful girls. Halen Elise is 4 and Selah Page is 5 months. Looking forward to being members of the AARP and the PTA at the same time. Was educated at Hewitt-Trussville where I pursued what I thought my calling was, Commercial Art, then spent 6 years in the printing/converting field. Then God moved me to my dream job, at least my dream job from when I was 8 and Smokey and the Bandit and BJ and The Bear owned my attention: I started driving a truck. Ok, that’s my shallow secular experience. I also grew up the grandson of two Southern Baptist ministers, well steeped in what one would call a “traditional church” setting. At age 11 at Argo Baptist Church where my grandfather Rev. J.B. Edge pastored at the time, while my mom played “I Surrender All” on an upright piano, the Holy Spirit grabbed me and said “Let’s Go”. Was radically saved June 7, 1984 and baptized June 17, 1984. Grew up the “good little Christian kid” (for the most part) until I graduated high school. At that point I systematically walked away from God. Small compromises here, selfish desires there, and a handful of bad relationships with females. I carried that rebellion and baggage into my marriage. The summer of 1999 , at the coaxing of friends and family, we visited Agape. I HATED IT ! It wasn’t the traditional setting, no hymnals, and all these people I had never met were pouring out love on my wife and I. I couldn’t hide there ! The next week we visited again and during the invitation my wife of 5 years gave her heart to Jesus. I knew in that moment I had to do business with God. I prayed. I asked for forgiveness for the last few years of rebellion. God answered. “John, YOU were supposed to lead your wife to me, but you missed the opportunity”. Went home that night from work and had to apologize for not being the Godly man she deserved. Hard stuff.  The summer of 2006 we had Halen and the summer of 2010 our Selah came.

I started playing worship music at Agape in 2000 when it was just 2 vocalists, David Moore, the Minister of Music on keyboards, and me on guitar. Learned a lot during His tenure and He was a mentor and is good friend. The praise band grew. Greg Cussimano came in upon David’s departure and that was great too. Greg and I had met at Tres Dias, a Christian retreat weekend, and had become good friends before he ever came here. Serving under Greg was like hanging out with one of your best friends, because that’s really what it was. Greg led with a deep concern for our spiritual growth. With his mentoring and upon his departure, Agape selected and confirmed me as Worship Pastor. Ain’t God good!?

Ministry Calling:

Worship. Notice I didn’t say music. Music is a response to worship. Worship is putting God FIRST and loving Him through any means of expression you can. Worship is dance, painting, poetry, shouting, silence, hands lifted high, laying on your face, or tears. Mostly, worship is getting in line with what God says. It’s saying “you’re right”.
What is one thing that grabs you about each of your kids?

Halen LOVES music. She dances with all her energy and sings LOUD ! She shows me what I am called to do: Worship God completely unashamed as King David did dancing before the ark. Selah has a smile and an innocence that would calm a charging lion.

What is your passion in ministry?

Seeing someone who longs for more of God “get it”. Seeing a person learn that anything I do from playing an instrument to doing my best at work is worship and brings glory to our Father.

What is your favorite thing about being a husband?

My favorite thing is also my scariest thing. My wife loves me and depends on me. The value of being needed. Being essential. She tells me from time to time “It doesn’t work without you.” That, and I’m blessed to be married to my best friend.

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

Perspective. I see through my girls how God’s love works and how patient He is with me and how overflowing His grace truly is.

What is your favorite date night activities?

Rare steak and Coldstone Creamery. We could do any activity and that would be fine, but if it includes beef and ice cream, then it’s a good night!

What are your hobbies?

Hunting, fishing, camping, softball, and obviously MUSIC!

What is your favorite restaurant and why?

Cracker Barrel, because they serve good country food and my Halen adores their dumplings. She calls it “Chicken Barrel”.

Favorite chapter in the Bible?

Jonah chapter 4 because God shows His sense of humor if you pay close attention “what about the cows ?” LOL

Revelation 21 because it’s the promise. It’s what we’re waiting on. All the pain and suffering gone and God with us. Glory!

You are given $1000 on the condition that you MUST spend it on yourself – what do you buy?

Fender American Stratocaster in 3 tone sunburst with gold hardware and a Floyd Rose tremolo

Same question but $100,000 – what do you buy? (ONE item)

A 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a big dining room, a big den, and big front porch for when friends come and hang out.

Top five favorite Christian books of all time?

  1. Ground Zero : starting all over again… with God – Ron Cook
  2. And The Angels Were Silent : Walking With Christ Toward The Cross – Max Lucado
  3. Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller
  4. To Own a Dragon: Reflections On Growing Up Without a Father – Donald Miller
  5. Sex, God and Men – Douglas Weiss

Top three favorite other books of all time?

  1. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  2. Where The Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
  3. White Shark – Peter Benchley

Top five favorite breakfast cereals?

  1. Life
  2. Golden Grahams
  3. Cocoa Crispies
  4. Corn Flakes
  5. Special K with strawberries

Finish this sentence – The key to revival in Birmingham is…

Christians realizing that the Great Commission is NOT just to pastors on Sunday mornings, but it’s to mechanics on Tuesdays and nurses on Thursdays and lawyers on Saturday afternoons. We are the carriers of the gospel.  We need to share it!

Favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a kid?

Superfriends

List three worship songs that mean a lot to you:

  1. “The Lamb” – The Booth Brothers
  2. “How Great Thou Art”
  3. “Love Lifted Me

Ask me sometime why they’re my favorites…

What five ministers do you have on your iPod (or other mp3 player)?

  1. Ed Young
  2. Mark Driscoll
  3. David Jeremiah
  4. Charles Stanley
  5. Tony Evans