I was not brought up in the United Methodist tradition. I started out as a Presbyterian and then later moved to Episcopal. It wasn’t till my parents found some great friends from a neighborhood we lived in in Texas that they made the transition to United Methodist. I initially was a teenager and stayed Episcopal for a season before leaving the church completely. I would like to say that I was off doing the right thing but then I would need to go through a whole other testimony.
We as a family eventually moved back to middle Tennessee, which is home for us and after a short stay in Brentwood, settled down in Hendersonville. I was working retail full time in management training and still not really involved in church but the few times I would go or get involved was with student ministry. At First UMC Hendersonville I fell head over heels for a girl that remains to be my wife today of 28 years. Robin also works for the United Methodist Church as the District Admin for the Cumberland River District. We have three children that grew up in the church. We got married at First UMC Hendersonville on a Tuesday because my retail job was moving me to Louisville Kentucky.
We went to a United Methodist church in Kentucky and with all 15 moves in retail always found a United Methodist church to plug into. I seem to struggle the most because of my work schedule and some addiction issues. However, it was in the UMC that I found my recovery. It was also at a “Dying moments” at walk 109, Walk to Emmaus at Hermitage UMC where I knew God was calling me into ministry. It didn’t come into fruition until years later, but it was through the United Methodist Church.
It was at Berkmar United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA under Rev. James Gwin where I took my first leap of faith into ministry as a student minister and finally out of retail. It was the United Methodist Church that confirmed my call when they said “YES” to me being an Associate member just two years ago.
So, why am I staying United Methodist? I could say it is the love of John Wesley’s doctrine of grace or I could say that is because of the theology on sacraments but to be honest…I am staying United Methodist because it is where I found Christ and where I found my calling. It is where I get to live out and do the one thing I love, see the lives of people transformed one person, one community at a time. I just can’t see me doing this anywhere else but the United Methodist Church.