I grew up Roman Catholic in Duluth, MN. We did not have much money but my parents gave us a great childhood. Jesus Christ and the church were an important part of our lives. In 1980 a friend of mine who had just given his life to the Lord told me I was going to hell and shared scriptures out of the Bible. I am competitive so I went out and purchased a Bible to prove that he was wrong. For the next 3 years I read and studied. I initially utilized the public library for my reference books as I researched the definitions of the Greek and Hebrew words that were translated into English. I never did get to vindicate myself to my friend as the more I studied, the more I realized he was right. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1983, was baptized and born again. Life has not been the same since.
Over the next 15 years I studied, became the church youth leader, was put through training and classes by the church and pastor. I never wanted to be an ordained minister, I just wanted to do whatever I could to support the brothers and sisters that were part of the church I attended. Eventually the church asked me to be ordained and in 1998 that occurred. Shortly after that the pastor of our church heard God call him to move to the twin cities 150 miles south of the church I was attending in Cloquet, MN. The church asked me to be the pastor and after much prayer and discussion with my wife Kim, I accepted.
I am still the pastor of this church. The journey has been difficult at times, bringing me often to the point of wanting to give up. The confidence in myself eventually was broken and replaced by confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ. My goal of filling the church with people was replaced doing all I can to disciple the people that are in attendance. Initially I validated my ministry by the number I talked into attending church. I have seen too many people who have sat in church but never did die to self and live in Him and soon learned the numbers are not a way to know if the ministry is producing fruit. The fruit exhibited by there lives did not fulfill the fruit described in scriptures. Just because they were in church and said the “sinners prayer” or had a special moment at camp or a revival did not mean they were saved and right with God. I now see my goal as helping those the Lord places in my path to grow and mature in Christ. To sort out the clutter that confuses people and share the Simplicity of the Gospel and rebirth in Jesus Christ.