I am deeply grateful for the contribution Bethel has made to my life and ministry. I first came to Bethel in the summer of 1975 as Bethel’s first seminary intern. While at Bethel, I met Cindy and we were married the following summer. Following seminary, we spent six years helping start a church in southeast Texas and then eventually came on staff at Bethel in 1983. For the next eight years, we thoroughly enjoyed life and ministry at Bethel. Personally, I was deeply blessed by so many of the godly saints the Lord had mercifully brought to our church. Elwyn Parks, John Brickner, Frank Jones, Lois McCall – these dear saints were giants at Bethel even decades ago. What a spiritual heritage to share in as a pastor.
My years at Bethel as a young pastor were formative years for me and instrumental in launching the next segment of ministry life. In 1991, we left Houston to pastor an international, expatriate church in the Middle East. What a wonderful experience being part of a body made up of Christ followers from dozens of countries, representing scores of various theological, denominational, national and ethnic backgrounds. I was surprised at how unified and cohesive the church was. A key learning for me at that point was the discovery that what unites a body is not necessarily theological sameness (though that is certainly helpful), but a shared love for Christ and a heart to honor Him.
The cross cultural nature of pastoral ministry in such a setting was huge preparation for the next segment of my ministry life. After 19 years pastoring in the Middle East, Cindy and I returned to the USA and I joined the staff of Equipping the Saints (ETS). ETS is a ministry founded by a dear friend and mentor to me of 25 years, Dave Dawson. Dave has been with the Navigators for well over 50 years. He has developed discipleship materials that are used in over 60 countries around the world. My job with ETS involves training pastors in developing countries to focus their ministry on “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12)
Since ministry belongs, not to pastors, but to the whole body of Christ, the body must be “equipped” or trained in order to fulfill their God-given calling. I thoroughly enjoy working with pastors and church leaders in helping them focus their ministry on what matters most – making disciples. Since returning to the States, Cindy and I have been attending Bethel and recently helped start the Sojourners class for young couples. These young couples at Bethel have been a huge blessing and a great joy to us.
Currently, I am between travel assignments with Equipping the Saints and am available to serve Bethel as an interim pastor. I have great confidence in the mercy of God and His future for Bethel. Know that I consider it an honor to serve you and the Bethel staff in this interim capacity. I enjoy working with the elders, several of whom have been dear friends for decades.