Growing up on Anna Maria Island I considered God to be irrelevant and organized religion a waste of time.
While attending college I played rock music to make a little cash. God used what I experienced at this time as well as some of the crude lyrics in our songs to get me thinking. Maybe it was time to consider the most important questions of life; “Is there a god and has he communicated to us?”
There are numerous religious books but I found the Bible the one with the compelling evidence. While reading the shortest books (I didn’t like to read) toward the end of the Bible the lights came on (I was a dead guy and God made me alive). God helped me see that He came to this planet to pay the penalty of every bad thing I’ve ever done and that, if I would place my trust in Him, I could experience total forgiveness and a close relationship with Him. In 1980, in my one room apartment by myself, by His grace I did.
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:15). That’s me, the “foremost,” like the ex-terrorist who wrote these words.
When God turned the lights on I also felt almost immediately called into full time service. I went back to college and then to seminary to prepare for service in His kingdom.
I am now experiencing the awesome privilege of being an elder with CrossPointe Fellowship, a grace-filled church family that sincerely loves God, loves each other and is really into living the mission our God has given us. They are too good to be true.
Karen and I were married about one half year before God interrupted my life… absolutely the dumbest thing she ever did (I was very self-absorbed; now in gradual recovery). But, by His grace God drew her to Himself about a month and a half after He drew me and we have the best marriage I know of today – mostly because of her.
Karen is a beautiful example of godly femininity and Christ like character. She is my example and inspiration. She is a total people person. She has a heart of compassion toward everyone. Karen is joyful, beautiful, intelligent, really, really, really patient and continuously forgiving. She is my best friend and the life of our family.
God has blessed us with 4 children.
Alyssa is our youngest. Like her mom Alyssa is a people person and brings joy to every gathering. She has Down Syndrome and has taught us so much about the meaning of life.
Our sons, Ryan, David and Jonathan, are the men on this planet I admire the most. I love hanging out and playing sports with them. I am so proud of them and it’s an honor to be their dad.
Each of them married up, way up…I mean way, way up. Their beautiful wives, our glorious daughters, are Emily, Natalie and Ashley. They are so gracious as they attempt to civilize our sons. We love to spend time with them and their families.
Spoiling grandchildren is so much fun it should be illegal. At the writing of this article God has blessed us with Mason, Hannah, Abigail, Miles, Titus, Nathan and Joanna. They are all geniuses.
Favorite food: seafood. Maine lobster is at the top of the pile. Florida lobster is second. I could live on smoked mullet and grits.
Favorite team: the Buccaneers and the Dolphins. My dream each year is that they play each other in the Super Bowl.
Favorite musician: Chick Corea and anyone who is really creative and presses the envelope melodically and rhythmically.
Favorite Movie: I would rather spend time with Karen on the beach. I also enjoy doing anything on the water including SCUBA, boating and skiing. And I currently enjoy playing football and soccer on teams at the AMI Community Center and church softball. I wish I could play hockey but I can’t skate.
Master of divinity, 1989, Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina
Bachelor of Arts, 1984, Southeastern University, Lakeland, Florida
Associate of Science, 1979, State College of Florida, Bradenton, Florida
Manatee High School, 1976, Bradenton, Florida
Anna Maria Elementary School, class of 1970! My greatest academic achievement
After nearly twenty years of having the privilege to work alongside my dad in the landscape business, I felt the Lord calling me to full time ministry. I’ve had the honor to be a part of the CrossPointe team since 2011.
I have a wonderful wife Ronda and two awesome, adult children, Nathan and Kelsey. I am a Desert Storm veteran with ten years of service in the Army reserve. I enjoy fishing, biking, softball, target shooting, playing in the dirt, chainsaws and blowing stuff up.
My passion is to know God and live in the truth of his Word. My invitation is for guys to walk with me in this pursuit.
Favorite Food: Tacos and all related Mexican food
Favorite Team: Green Bay Packers
Favorite Musician: Bryan Shanks
I was born into a Mormon family in the northwest state of Idaho and grew up not knowing the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I met the love of my life, Sally in 1976 and we’ve been married for 37 years. We’ve been blessed with 4 beautiful children who all have a precious walk with our Lord. My wife & I both came to know Christ only a couple months apart in 1982, and were called to serve the Lord overseas shortly after.
My desire is to see every tribe, tongue, and nation come to know our Savior and the Lord has allowed me to serve for the last 25 years in overseas ministry specifically focusing on the 10/40 window in Asia. We continue to serve in full-time ministry and are currently in a leadership role within our organization.
I’ve been privileged to be part of the CrossPointe team since 2012.
Favorite Food: Roast Beef with carrots & potatoes
Favorite Team: New England Patriots
Favorite Musician: James Taylor
Favorite Movie: Sahara
I see a boy born in a small central Pennsylvania town, whose youth, except for the all too frequent deaths of close relatives, was remarkable in no way, and that God bought his wife Shirley into his life when he was just 13. Somehow gaining admission to a small liberal college, he managed to graduate with average credentials but, may God be praised, an above average wife and son. After two years as a civil servant, law school beckoned, and a rather brief career as a practicing lawyer ensued. With an established practice and a two-son family, he became a recovering attorney round about 1979 when, under the Lord’s provision and call, and the unwavering support of his sweetheart, he ventured into Mission service, first in Palestine, then Belize, inner city Philadelphia and rural England, where he served as an Elder and received two years of formal seminary level instruction. Somehow he managed to squeeze in enough yachting experience to earn a Merchant Marine Officer’s License and enough building trades projects to provide for his family. Except for missionary tours, he has resided in Holmes Beach since 1994.
If you mention Blue Waters sailing, Scotland or Coastal Maine (where you’ll find him May-September), his eyes light up… just as when five special people call him “Pop Pop.” Being grounded in the infallible Word of God, he finds himself Reformed in his persuasion yet receptive in practice. He finds learning, a necessity; preaching, difficult; counseling, revealing; and praying, unquenchable. He offers himself in service to you and to Christ. His door is always open.
A verse he clings to mighty be Philippians 2:3-11.
I love talking to people about God!! But, it wasn’t always that way…Growing up in urban Los Angeles, I was in and out of trouble with juvenile authorities until we moved to the San Gabriel Valley when I was a sophomore in high school. I had distant memories of caring about God. Then while attending college, I paid bills and tuition by serving as a beat reporter and a magazine editor; perhaps that added to a growing cynicism in my life. I always intellectually believed in God, but obedience was something I felt could be put off till later. My life was all about what was best for me; right now. Regrettably, this self-centered attitude continued through most of my life.
I graduated from college, then served in the Army, then enrolled in graduate school. I married and had children, and when they were young, my wife divorced me. For many years I was a part-time Dad and focused on making money and having fun. I met and married the love of my life, Mirjam, at age 50 and together we warmed the pews of a church, and didn’t contribute much other than that. Mirjam is the sweetest woman I have met and is now a strong woman of God.
God had other plans for Mir and me: A youth pastor led our two daughters, age 15 & 12, to give their lives to Christ. And, in love and obedience, they set out to show Mir and I where we had missed-out on the best thing in life – a relationship with Jesus! Church friends answered questions we had and after some months of self-examination and repentance and many tears, we surrendered to God’s will and placed our faith in Jesus. We realized He died for all of our sins – past, present and future. Jesus is our Savior. He always was – we just had to believe in Him.
My priorities changed as the Holy Spirit began cleaning up the mess of my life. I fell in love with God through the reading of His Word in the Bible. After involvement in many ministries over a few years, the deacons at First Baptist, Lutz asked me to serve with them. After sharing life with many families for several years, a growth in understanding came to me concerning the power of God’s love to change the lives of people like me. Through this process, God used me to lead others to Christ. If Jesus can save a self-centered guy like me, He can save anyone, no matter how old or set in their ways and especially, no matter how sinful they think they are. We are all sinners called to follow Jesus and, then, point our friends and family toward Christ.
I am very blessed to have the opportunity to serve my brothers and sisters at CrossPointe fellowship. Call me…. let’s talk!
Favorite Team: Florida Gators
Favorite Food: Italian
Favorite Music: Contemporary Hymns
Favorite Sport: Fishing, Off-road exploring in our Jeep
About our Deacons and Elders
CrossPointe Fellowship is built on Jesus’ three priorities: love God, love one another and live the mission. Our primary means to help us live these priorities are our Life Groups and our Ministry Teams. For a list of our Life Groups and Ministry Teams and their leaders please check out those links.
Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
(1 Timothy 3:8-13)
Deacons are examples and, therefore, lead servants. We are the men who lead the way in meeting any needs which may arise in the church to free the pastors to devote themselves “to pray and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
You are invited to call a deacon any time about any needs you may have. We would count it an honor to serve you.
Here’s how we serve:
1. We are examples to the other guys of the normal Christian life as found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. In this passage God gives us the qualifications for deacons, all of which are qualities for every Christian man. The passage is quoted above.
2. We are responsible for watching out for and serving a select group of people appointed to be under our care. (Everyone who wants a deacon gets a one). We serve our deacon group by
a. building mutually edifying relationships with them.
b. praying daily for them and contacting them as Jesus guides us.
c. periodically contacting each member of our group to ask how things are going and how we can pray for them.
d. watching for each member of our group during church gatherings and contact them as appropriate.
e. visiting and ministering to each member of our group in time of need.
f. coordinating our ministry efforts with the pastors as needed.
3. We help steward benevolence.
4. We help the Facilities Team.
5. We prepare and serve the Lord’s Supper.
6. We help grow the church in a ministry lifestyle through our example and servant-leadership.
7. We mentor prospective deacons.
We invite you to pursue God’s call to be a deacon
Our church structure is an upside down pyramid. We are looking for men who are pursuing the bottom of the pile. If this is you, we encourage you to consider God’s call to be become a deacon or pastor.
If you think God may be calling you to be a deacon or if you desire to help the deacons with their roles as mentioned above or if you would like to train to be a deacon please contact the lead deacon, a pastor, or the church office.
The qualifications to become a deacon are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, the passage quoted above. These qualifications refer to one’s current condition, not one’s distant past. Please do not assume you’ve done something to be disqualified from being a deacon. Let’s talk about it. Remember, Paul was a terrorist before becoming an apostle, pastor and missionary.
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
(1 Timothy 3:1-7)
You are invited to call an elder any time about any needs you may have. We would count it an honor to serve you. Contact an elder.
All of our leaders, including the elders, are first and foremost servants who want to serve you. Our church is structured as an upside down pyramid and our pastors are at the bottom of the pile just below the deacons. By the way, if you join our church you start at the top of the pile.
Here’s how we serve
We invite you to pursue God’s call to be an elder
As mentioned, our church structure is an upside down pyramid. We are looking for men who are pursuing the bottom of the pile. If this is you, we encourage you to consider God’s call to be become an elder. If you think God may be calling you to be an elder, or if you would like to train to be an elder, please contact one of our elders or the church office.
The qualifications to become an elder are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, the passage quoted above, and Titus 1:5-11, the passage below. These qualifications refer to one’s current condition, not one’s distant past. Please do not assume you’ve done something to be disqualified from being an elder. Let’s talk about it. Remember, Paul was a terrorist before becoming a pastor, an apostle and a missionary.
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.