Growing up in Richmond, VA, as the middle child of three, I used to have dreams of flying; well, doing the breast stroke into the air. When I entered the Army as an armor officer, I had the chance to also fly helicopters, which a dream come true!
My dad used to take us to historical sites around Virginia (there’s a ton of early American history within 2 hours of Richmond). This developed an interest in the Civil War, and now, the closest city to The Shepherds tavern is Appomattox, where General Lee surrendered to General Grant. Where we live now is also only about 25 minutes from Green Bay, VA, the small town where my grandparents lived and my mom and 7 siblings grew up. I have great memories of Mother’s Day picnics and softball games with all of my cousins, Aunts and Uncles and grandparents. I remember riding along washboard red clay roads in an old truck with my granddaddy and Uncle Bob to visit the farm where tobacco and soybeans were grown. It’s where I met my first hogs and piglets as well as watching a chicken lose her head. Somehow, that farming connection settled in my soul and was formative in our decision to move to the 26 acres of The Shepherd’s Tavern.
I went to Va Tech and majored in Political Science (yuk), but most of my time was focused on the regimental band, the Highty Tighties. By my senior year, I wrote all of the halftime shows for a band of 100 members. It was also at Tech that I met Jesus in a very personal way while on a weekend retreat with Campus Crusade (Cru). Most of my discipleship was through Cru and Navigators on campus. I still know some of those memory verses! I remember as a new follower of Christ asking God for wisdom, and I’ve watched that prayer come true.
I married Debbie right out of college (I had recently graduated, she was a sophomore!). Nothing has shaped my life like this decision and long-term commitment! Two lives following Jesus and merged together over 45+ years brings about an amazing ministry focus and investment. We have clearly entered a new chapter in our lives that we openly invite people to enter into.
I love watercolor painting and am drawn to them whenever I’m at an art exhibit/sale. I’m not very good, but I still love the movement of the paint on the paper. I like physical labor and sweating and working out. I love the early morning and have since I was 15 when I realized that it was so quiet before the day starts. I’m an extravert and derive personal energy from being around groups of people. I love mentoring young men and have enjoyed doing that while a professor at Judson for 15 years. Some of those relationships continue even now.
Some of my all-time favorites passages in scripture involve the absolute freedom we have in Christ and the depth of his love for us; like Romans 8:1, John 15:1-8, Galatians 5, and Psalm 139: 17 and following. His word is life giving!
Moving to The Shepherd’s Tavern in rural Virginia is clearly God’s leading in our lives. PLEASE come visit! Come for rest. Come to work. Come to share a talent. Come to be alone. JUST COME!