“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it” (2 Cor 8:11). I am thankful to God for his providence in helping me complete my MDiv from Reformed Baptist Seminary. Because RBS is a church-based seminary, my coursework was always connected to ministry opportunities in my local church. Through the mentoring and example of pastors at my local church and professors at RBS, my coursework did not remain ‘theory’ only, but often became ‘practice.’ This hands-on approach makes RBS a critical asset in preparing men for ministry while allowing them to remain stable and useful in their local churches.
I am a native of the Chicago area and was involved in college campus ministry early in my Christian life. In 2010, reformed teaching transformed my view of the gospel, the church, and my role in it. My wife Mercy and I transitioned from our campus parachurch ministry to a confessionally reformed and baptist local church (New Life Fellowship Church, Waukegan, IL) where doctrinally-grounded preaching and Christ-exalting worship fed our souls. One key impact of reformed theology in my life was a felt call to pursue training for pastoral ministry, so in 2011 I enrolled in the MDiv program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) where, after completing one year of study, I transferred to Reformed Baptist Seminary, which allowed me the (time/cost) freedom to continue my studies while holding down my gradually expanding family, job and ministry responsibilities. At New Life Fellowship Church (Waukegan, IL), I was privileged to serve in ministry and be mentored by Pastor Louis Love Jr. My time at New Life was a spiritual oasis for me and my family: there I learned how Christ-centered local church life ought to be lived out, and being licensed to preach in 2012, I was given consistent opportunities to exercise this gift. In 2016, my family and I relocated to West Michigan to be closer to relatives. Mercy, Christian, Joanna and I now attend Harbor Reformed Baptist church in Holland, MI, where God has opened more opportunities for me to serve in preaching and teaching.
To maximize my usefulness in the local church, theological institutions of higher education, and the mission field, I am currently pursuing a ThM in Biblical Studies at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, equipping myself for a possible call to the pastoral ministry, increasing my productivity in Biblical Studies research, and preparing for possible doctoral study in the future.
I want to thank Pastor Louis Love Jr., Elder Alton Grant, Dr. Robert Gonzales, Pastor Greg Nichols, Pastor Mark Chanski, and Pastor Kevin Filcik for the countless hours of mentoring, guidance and encouragement, whether over the phone, face-to-face, or in their opened homes. I also want to thank all the pastors and professors who have had a hand in bringing me to this point through their lecuring, writing and interactions with me in the context of RBS coursework: Pastor Bob Selph, Pastor John Reuther, Dr. Sam Waldron, Dr. Richard Barcellos, Pastor D. M., and many others. “esteem them very highly in love because of their work.” (1 Thess 5:13).