John

I come from a small town in rural Missouri. My father was a pastor, and I  grew up hearing about and knowing Jesus.  I was saved at VBS at the age of 7, but didn’t really develop a relationship with God until I was in my twenties. I spent a lot of my childhood just trying to “fit in.” I got pretty good at developing very shallow relationships. About a year after high school I joined the Marines, and was fortunate to get a job as a loadmaster on KC-130 cargo planes. I served 5 years, including one tour in Iraq.

After the Marines, I moved to south Florida where I began playing in a worship band, met my wife, Julie, and was offered my first job at a church. I spent five years growing and learning about ministry in a large church. My wife and I had our first child and had another one on the way when God moved us to Knoxville, TN. I had the opportunity to be the worship pastor at the first campus of a multi-site church. As my family grew with three more children, I was also diagnosed with major depression and anxiety disorder. This began a long journey of struggles, but also of growth, forgiveness, and healing. The process has led me to be more open and vulnerable which has led to much deeper relationships than I had before.

After 6 years in Tennessee, God allowed my family and I to move to Franklin, NC and join Discover Church as a part time employee. Julie and I were called to be foster parents during one of our first Sundays at Discover, and we have now fostered 6 children over the past 6 years. My role at Discover grew into a full-time pastor position, which I love. I am thankful to live in an amazing town where I can also enjoy section-hiking the AT, decorating like crazy for Christmas, kayaking, and spending time with friends.