(Pictured L to R: Derek, Jubilee, Judah, Kristin, Josiah & Joash)

I was born and raised in Indiana, until I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2004. There I attended and graduated from Johnson University with a degree in Youth Ministry/Preaching. After graduating, I took a position as a student pastor at a church in the Knoxville, TN area, and was there for ten years. One of the things I constantly tried to communicate to the students in my ministry, was the call to obey God, no matter what or where God leads. A few years ago, God then began to challenge my and my family to obey that same calling, whether it was comfortable or not. Matthew 10:37-39 ESV says,

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

In doing this, the Lord began to give me and my wife Kristin, a great burden for those who did not yet know the Jesus of the Bible in the greater Salt Lake City area. We began to seek the Lord on what He desired for our family concerning this burden He had given us. As we began to seek the Lord and the counsel of others around us, we came to see that God was leading our family to move to Salt Lake City and plant a church. In February of 2017, my family moved to the southwest part of Salt Lake County into the city of Herriman, to plant Awaken City Church.

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