- Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
I grew up in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin…a small town of about 25,000…on the outskirts of the big city. I am the second oldest of five children. My Dad was a blue collar worker and my Mom “raised” us kids. We did not have a lot of extra stuff growing up…but, we never lacked anything…we had what we needed…shared things a lot amongst us kids. We grew up in a closed knit neighborhood. My childhood was pretty typical of those in the 50’s and 60’s…not a lot of extras…but never went without. Dad was a hard worker and great provider. Mom kept us straight.
- What kinds of things did you like growing up?
I always enjoyed sports…loved basketball and baseball…always had a pickup game going on in the neighborhood. I started working at a very young age…at 12… I worked on a farm and continued working on farms from that time all the way through high school…everything from plowing, cultivating, planting, picking and taking the vegetables to market. I made 60 cents an hour and if I was lucky, in the summer, I could work piece work and make near 90 cents an hour. My parents taught me the value of money early…one third of what we made was given to the family to help with the family expenses.
- Tell about your schooling – high school, college, etc.
I graduated high school never intending on going to college. My parents were straight forward with us and told us that they could not afford college for all five of us. So, I developed a “trade” in high school…that being a draftsman. The day after high school graduation, I started an apprenticeship with McGraw Edison as a draftsman. As my career developed, I was encouraged by my co-workers to attend college. I enrolled in the evening program and pursued an Electrical Engineering degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. In 1973, the company announced it’s moved to Greenwood, Sc and I accepted the transfer.
- When and how did you meet Gail? Tell a little about her. What “drew” you to her?
Gail and I met in the spring of 1975…it was a setup by her cousin and her husband, a golfing buddy of mine. We were engaged a month after we met and married five months later. Her smile, sense of humor and gentle caring attitude is what drew me near to her. Needless to say…I married way over my head. Gail is most definitely a “Proverbs 31 woman”.
- Tell a little about coming to know Christ.
I grew up in the Catholic faith, going to Mass six days a week and following all the Catholic rituals and practices…actually, even considered going into the priesthood at one point. Throughout those growing up years, I always felt something missing…as it turned out…it was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I accepted Christ as my personal Savior as an adult. I finally understood God’s grace in a very personal way. I understood that I was saved by grace through my faith in Him…not by my works.
- Kids? Ages? Grandkids? Give some info on them
Gail and I have three children…Ashley, Stephen and Eric. Ashley works for the Burton Center and is married to Lin. They have three children…Tyler 11, Jordan 11 and Savannah 5. Our son Stephen lives in Simpsonville, works for Fluor and is married to Shannon. They have a daughter, Avery who is 2 years old. Eric is our youngest and is married to Cheyanne. Many of you know of Eric’s battle with cancer. He graduated from Lander with a degree in Finance. He is looking forward to the opportunity to work in this field and start a family.
- What jobs have you had since High School/College?
I worked for McGraw Edison for 17 years in numerous engineering and marketing positions. In addition, I have started and managed a number of small businesses throughout my 30 plus year career. I have been blessed with a tremendous amount of experience in both the large corporate world as well in the small business world. The Lord has allowed me both successes and failures in my life to bring me to where he has me today.
- When did you start at NSBC? What was and is your job?
I came on staff here at north Side in October of 2001. The Lord called me to a staff position at North Side through Jeff Lethco. We had worked together on a capital stewardship campaign and an SCBC evaluation of our office systems. When it was recommended that North Side consider hiring a Business Administrator, Jeff approached me about the position. I accepted the position and worked part time for about 8 months. At that time I came on staff full time as Minister of Administration and Education. Today, I serve in the role of Executive Pastor. I serve behind the scenes in executing the plan. I work with the other pastors and leaders in providing the resources to allow them to do ministry. I am definitely a “behind the scenes guy”. Titus 1:5 describes my position…Paul said to Titus “…that you should set things in order that are lacking…”
In addition, I do get the privilege of leading our special needs ministry…Sonshine Ministry. The Lord has used the people of this ministry to teach mean the true meaning of unconditional love.
- How have you grown while at NSBC?
I cannot begin to tell you how much I have grown since being on staff here at North Side. In one area, the formal education of obtaining both a Master and a Doctorate degree Church Business Administration which has been invaluable to me. On the other hand, the Lord has grown me tremendously as a pastor….caring for, feeding, leading and protecting the members of North Side Baptist Church. He continually allows me to see how He can use me and all my life experiences to serve Him.
- What is the most important thing you get out of your job?
The most important thing that I get out of my job is serving others.
- How has being a grandfather changed your life?
I like to tell fathers that becoming a grandparent is God’s blessing for not killing your kids! All joking aside, being a grandparent is a tremendous blessing. While our children were small, I was busy climbing the corporate ladder or pursuing a business dream. I was an absent father in many ways. Gail did a great job in raising our children. Being a grandparent has allowed me to stop and live in the moment. I love spending time with our grandchildren.
Hope you found it a little bit interesting and maybe found out something about me that you did not know.