I was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and raised by my parents in Pickens, SC, with my older brother, Thad. I was converted to Christ at the tender age of eight at the Red Hill Baptist Church in Pickens. Our family owned a local hardwood sawmill and I grew up working in our business. I played golf as a teenager on the golf team and traveled to tournaments throughout the summers. My dad took me to all the Clemson football and basketball games from the time that I was 8 until I was grown. After graduating from Pickens High School in 1987, I attended Clemson University and studied business management. Our family moved to Seneca, SC
While a student at Clemson and studying for an accounting exam, I met Linda Abercrombie.
Linda grew up in the bulging metropolis of Walhalla, SC. She was and still is the girl of my dreams. We married on July 28, 1990, at the Utica Baptist Church in Seneca, SC. My uncle, Michael Cloer, performed the service. Linda and I completed our senior year at Clemson as the ‘married couple.’ We graduated back to back with Bachelor degrees in Management. Yes, she had better grades than me. Before and after graduation, we both worked in our family business.
In November of 1992, I sensed God’s call to the ministry. We left Seneca and moved to Memphis, TN, to begin Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. God blessed us with two sons while in seminary, Nathan and James. They are incredible young men and devoted followers of Christ.
I completed my Master of Divinity (1995) and Doctor of Philosophy (2000) degrees at Mid-America Seminary. God allowed us to serve as Sunday School teachers at Bellevue Baptist Church under Dr. Adrian Rogers, as pastor of the Highland Baptist Church in Senatobia, MS, and as the Executive Pastor of the Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, under Dr. Bob Pitman. Those were great years in some great churches. The Lord allowed me to teach some courses at Mid-America Seminary as well. My years at Mid-America were under the tutelage of Dr. B. Gray Allison. I served as his assistant for eight years. He greatly impacted my life.
During those years in Memphis, I studied missions and traveled overseas to many of our mission fields. God gave me a heart for the world in those days.
In the summer of 2003, God called us to Florida to serve as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Central Florida. We began our ministry here on October 5, 2003. We love it. The people have made us a part of their family. The church has blessed us far more than we have blessed her. God has given me some opportunities to serve in our state as a board member of the Florida Baptist Convention and President of the Pastor’s Conference (2009).
I have some serious loves in my life. The Lord Jesus, Linda, my family, and reaching people are my first loves. Anything Clemson, golf anytime, and wood of any kind are three other big ones. Go Tigers!