Jesus is who we hope and pray will be the face of this ministry
a Story of Salvation, and Why I Felt Called to Start this Ministry
I grew up in a Christian home, going to church and youth group on a weekly basis but not truly accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior until years later at the age of 23. I spent my middle school, high school, and college years more or less doing whatever I wanted to do. I excelled in every sport I played and in every academic course I took— I was All-Conference in three sports in high school, earned Central Davidson High School’s Spartan Award for being the best student athlete in my graduating class, and also received the Principal’s Award before graduating.
I went on to attend Lehigh University, where I played Football, while majoring in Finance and minoring in Engineering, receiving another student-athlete award in my senior year. During my time at Lehigh my friends and future wife begged me to go to church but I only attended once in 4 years. I felt I could do anything I set my mind to, but God was nowhere in the picture and received none of the credit for my accomplishments. Everything was going according to plan as I accepted a job offer six months in advance of graduation at Grant Thornton in Philadelphia, a top 5 accounting firm as a business consultant. That all changed on one faithful day when the unimaginable happened during the week of Thanksgiving in 2012.
I was driving on the turnpike, heading north to Bethlehem with cement barriers on each side of the road, when I began to feel something wrong, like I was about to have a stroke. With the sides of the road blocked off, I realized that there was nowhere to go if I lost control of the car and in that moment, I made the decision to start to drift into the barriers, causing myself to crash but making it so no one else would be harmed. Right as I began to drift my car, I called out to God: “IF YOU ARE REAL AND ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE, HEAL ME RIGHT NOW AND I’ll GIVE YOU MY LIFE”. Within what seemed like an instant, the pain vanished— I was healed. As I sat back in my seat and kept the car on the road, I told God that day that I would go where He wanted me to go and do what He wanted me to do.
Within a week, following God’s pull on my heart I left behind all my alumni connections, close college friends, and a very promising career I had worked extremely hard to get. The fact that I would be making one third of my salary to move back home did not even cross my mind as I knew it was the right thing to do. It paid off in the most beautiful way as I ended up marrying my high school crush, Austin, and God has since blessed us with three amazing kids: Wyatt, Vivian and Hollis.
Over the 9 years since my move back home to North Carolina I have chased after what the Lord has called me to do and served in ministry in a number of ways. However, the one way that won my heart from the get-go was ministering to students, and this is what has led me to start Students Loved to Life. I want to do everything possible to show students the love of Jesus while helping to lead them into a relationship with Him. What we pour into them now as youths will greatly influence what will come out of them as adults.