I grew up in Southern California in the burbs of Lawndale and Gardena, across the street from El Camino College. After graduation from Leuzinger High, I attended El Camino Jr College and transferred to Cal-State Univ. at Fullerton,
When I was 14, I attended the Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade at the L.A. Coliseum. It was there that I heard the good news about Jesus for the first time in my life and after 3 nights of hearing Billy Graham present the case for why Jesus is God and why he is the only way to eternal life, I became a follower of Jesus. That changed everything in my life including my future direction. Upon graduation from Cal-State Fullerton, I along with 8 friends moved across the country, from Manhattan Beach to Burlington, Vermont to start a Christian commune. That is a story all by itself. I remember telling friends that I was moving to Vermont, and the typical So. California response was “Where’s that?!!” For some, there is no life outside of the South Bay.
In 1978, I moved from Vermont to the Rochester, NY area where I met Renee. We were married in Brockport, NY on May 12, 1979, and a year later, moved back to the South Bay in So. California where I joined the staff of Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach. It was and still is one of the greatest experiences of my life serving with the staff there. Hope Chapel was and still is a city on a hill shining brightly throughout the South Bay area and beyond, where many have discovered the Good News and have received hope and new direction for their lives. There are Hope Chapels all over the world, and they all offer a place where people can be themselves and discover the love and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior.
In February, 1982, our first child, Sarah, was born at Torrance Memorial Hospital. What a blessing!
In 1983, Renee and I were sent out to start Hope Chapel of the Valley, with a rag-tag band of young believers who grew and became strong leaders in their own right. While living in the Valley, the twins, Noah and Josh, were born in 1983 pre-mature, and we spent several weeks making the long drive through rush-hour traffic over the Hollywood Hills back down to Torrance Memorial to visit Josh and Noah who needed to gain almost a pound before they could come home. In 1986, Renee and I along with Mark & Lisa Gallego, moved to Merrimack, NH to plant the first Foursquare church in the state of Vermont.
Much has happened since our arrival in New Hampshire in 1986, and there are now more than 25 Foursquare churches in New Hampshire making an impact for the kingdom, throughout New England and the rest of the world. I am grateful to have been used in some small way as part in God’s plan for New Hampshire, which is also where our three kids: Sarah, Josh and Noah, grew up and still consider their home. Sarah just recently moved back to Somersworth, NH. near the seacoast.
On Dec. 28, 2006, Renee and I moved to Western Kentucky. We arrived in Kentucky on January 1, 2007 with a mission to help care of my Mom, since my dad had died quite suddenly 6-months earlier.
That brings us to the present. We’re still here in Paducah, KY. where I work part-time at LYNX Services, taking calls for State Farm, Church Mutual Insurance claims, and Wheels. Renee works
part-time as a nurse at Baptist Health. We’ve finally connected with a good church, Grace Fellowship, here in Paducah (our experiences with churches here in Paducah would fill up several posts!) Needless to say, I have much more empathy for those who feel a disconnect with the local church, and many often have valid reasons for staying away. It’s not always because they’re “backslidden” or “prodigals.”
I now have a greater appreciation for those believers who choose to gather in homes on Sunday morning or any other time to nurture their faith and encourage others. In many cases, small is good-maybe even better, and home churches and fellowships are the norm for many Christians around the world.
About 2 yrs. ago, Renee created a blog for me at blogger.com. She was tired of hearing my continual rants and felt that I needed an outlet, so that’s how all this was started. Now, I have relocated to WordPress with a new title, “The Brainwashed Pilgrim.” What does that mean? I heard a Christian singer, Barry McGuire (Eve of Destruction) say years ago, “We’ve all been brainwashed. I’ve just chosen who it is that is going to do the ‘washing’ of my brain.” That pretty much sums it up. At the age of 14, Jesus began the process of “brainwashing” my head, changing my thinking and my worldview–and it continues to this very day. It’s an adventure and you’re welcome to join me on this pilgrim journey!