|I was a very
fortunate child being brought up on a family farm in rural Oklahoma. We
were taught to work hard, respect others and that Sunday School and church
related activities were a part of our life from the very beginning.
Baptized April 15, 1972 at a small country church in Pryor, Oklahoma I
began this adventure with Christ. Though I drifted through the years
He never let go of me.
God led me to the University of Oklahoma through a music scholarship. Upon arriving at OU I joined the Pride of Oklahoma marching band, greatly expanding the opportunities to share my music. During my freshman year at college I began having severe abdominal cramps and was passing large amounts of blood. I immediately returned home to be examined by our doctor. Through testing we found that I had ulcerative colitis. The doctor explained that there was no cure for the disease and that it could be controlled by medication and a modification of diet. I began the medical regimen immediately and quickly felt much better. Later I would find out the dangers of the medicines I had been taking for so long.
After marrying, my family began to attend a small church in Duncanville, Texas. We began raising our family (Ryan, Quinlan and Haley) in the church and soon began building our lives around what God was giving us through the church. After a couple of years in the church I began serving as "part time" minister of music and my wife as secretary to the Pastor.
A few years later I began having more severe attacks from the ulcerative colitis and consulted a doctor in the Dallas area. Again, God led me to a great man that took great care of me during a time in my life that I had no insurance and no way of paying for lots of expensive tests. Dr. David Winter at Baylor Hospital knew my situation and monitored me closely through just a minimal number of tests. I went through a period in my life where I was anemic and absolutely torn up inside where I could not eat or sleep. My weight dropped 30 pounds below my weight in high school. This continued for nearly two years, Dr. Winter doing monthly exams in order to be certain that the colitis didn't turn to cancer. Suddenly in 1993 the attacks were constant and very severe. Dr. Winter returned the test results to me which showed that I had a portion of my colon that had cells in a pre-cancerous state. He urged me to have the colon removed in order to eliminate the possible spread of the cancer. We were still without health insurance during this time which limited my options. Within a week of the test results our pastor called with amazing news. Due to the fact that my wife and I both worked at the church we qualified for the ministers insurance plan. The short enrollment period was immediately upon us and we hurried to complete the necessary paperwork in order to take part in the plan. Another huge benefit was that the insurance was not dependent on pre-existing conditions. Once the paperwork was complete and we were allowed to use the insurance I began the process of working through their doctors to have all the tests run in order to get to a surgeon that could take care of removing the colon. After 5 months and dozens of painful tests I went in to have the colon removed. The once pre-cancerous cells had become cancer but not gotten outside the colon. By removing the entire colon I was now free from cancer and ready to start a new life without constant abdominal pain and severe sickness. While in the hospital I had plenty of time to realize what God had done for me. I also was able to look back and see how He had provided for me, even when I was outside His will. Knowing how fortunate I was I promised to make the most of the days that He would supply in the future to do His work. After a 6 month recovery I was getting around really well and continued serving in the small church.
Doors began opening throughout Texas and
Oklahoma for me to share my testimony and music. The Lord gave me a
special blessing in 1996 to have the opportunity to sing with Michael W.
Smith, Larnelle Harris, Anointed, Ray Boltz and Avalon during the
"Emmanuel" concert in Dallas, Texas. 16 people were
selected to sing with the noted Christian singers in a Christmas concert
in front of over 10,000 people. We had an opportunity to visit with
the "stars" of the concert for a brief period that afternoon.
It was an incredible experience that energized me to get back in the small
church and sing for Him.
In 2010, I went through a divorce which was a devastating experience. With great support from friends and family I have recovered and began a wonderful new marriage with my wife Margaret. Her involvement in my ministry work has been a great encouragement and created a wonderful "team effort" in serving the Lord.
This ministry has the opportunity to share in many great works:
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