I was born in southern Alabama, but my family later moved to a small town called Graceville in northwest Florida when I began first grade, and I went on to complete all my formal primary and secondary education there. However, I still consider Alabama as my home state.
I have been married to my wife, Ellen, since 1981. We have two children, Amy and Joshua. Amy gave birth to our only grandchildren, Makenzie, in 2004, Connor, in 2007, and Aiden in 2016. Joshua finished high school in May 2004, and, due to some developmental limitations, continues to live with us. I am as proud as any father could be of ALL their accomplishments and success in life.
I am also a conservative, Christian minister who retired as a chaplain from the Alabama Army National Guard (AL-ARNG) in February 2012, after nearly 31 years of combined active duty and reserve component service. Furthermore, I retired from active pastoral service with The United Methodist Church on 31 December 2011, with the hope and plan of establishing a new, non-denominational ministry. Unfortunately, my dream of establishing this ministry has not progressed as I had planned, but I haven't given up hope yet.
Additionally, I surrendered my ordination credentials when I withdrew my membership and affiliation from the UMC in 2013. This was a long time in coming, because I had been distressed about the unbiblical stances by General Church officials for nearly the entire time I served in the UMC. Nevertheless, I had stayed with it in hopes that good would eventually prevail. Once I observed the travesty of replacing the authority of God's Word with cultural nonsense had spread to the Conference where I was serving, I lost hope that upholding the Wesleyan principle of being a people of One Book would ever be restored, and that's why I chose to part ways with the UMC. Recent events in both the denomination and the Conference where I once served have proven to me that I made the right decision. I am just waiting on the Lord now for further revelation as to what He wants me to do with the remainder of my life on earth.
Despite retiring from both the AL-ARNG and the UMC, I can't begin drawing either of these pensions until ages 60 and 62, respectively. Therefore, I am forced to maintain other gainful employment, so I presently work in the call center of a local medical clinic taking messages for medical staff 8 am till 5 pm CT, Monday through Friday every week. It's hard and humbling work, but the Good Lord won't let me move on to anything else just yet. I say this because no matter how many other jobs I apply for that are more in line with my formal education and training, no one else has sought to hire me yet, though I continue to search and hope.
Furthermore, while I have gained great pleasure from operating my independent Christian publishing venture, it has never been quite successful enough to provide a viable source of personal income. In fact, I have put far more of my own money into it than it has ever returned to me. Due to the significant drop in my own personal income that I've experienced, that is simply not an option anymore, so I've basically trimmed it back to a very bare existence. I still have plans for keeping Parson Place Press in operation; it just isn't as prominent among my endeavors as it once was.
Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day, so I frequently get behind on reading and replying to my email, because I'm simply too limited with my spare time. Whatever leisure time I have at the end of each day and each week, I must divide with my family and other personal responsibilities. Although I continue to use my computer and other digital technologies for serving Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, my Parson Place ministry and other personal ventures -- such as my efforts as a Christian author, editor, and independent publisher -- are all part-time endeavors.
For hobbies, I enjoy fishing, gardening, writing, and, yes, using computers, though not necessarily in that order. I especially enjoy writing of any kind and creating Web pages. You can check out my Articles from the Parson page to see what I mean. Everything on that page is personally authored by me. You can also check out my Parson Place News and Views blog, though I rarely find the time to write on it as I used to. While you're browsing around, let me also invite you to vist my Parson Place Software Creations page to see some of the programs I've personally created in bygone years. Unfortunately, most of them are incompatible with contemporary computers, but you can see what I accomplished nonetheless. One of my more recent creations, however, is my special Be Your Own Publisher digital software package for those interested in becoming an independent publisher like Parson Place Press.
After I graduated from high school in Graceville, Florida, I went on to earn an Associate in Science degree from Wallace College in Dothan, Alabama. Following that graduation, I took a break from college to enlist in the U. S. Army, where I served three years as a chaplain assistant. After my discharge from the Army, I was appointed to serve a two-church, United Methodist charge in the Dothan District of the Alabama/West Florida Conference. I also joined the Alabama Army National Guard (AL-ARNG) soon after my discharge from active duty. At the same time, I resumed my education and went on to complete a dual baccalaureate degree in history and English at Troy State University (now simply called Troy University) in Troy, Alabama. I next received my Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I was ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church in 1991. I served a total of 12 years as a local parish minister in the Alabama/West Florida Conference, and as a member of the AL-ARNG, before being selected by the Army Chief of Chaplain's Office in 1996 to serve on active duty as an Army chaplain. However, after nine-and-one-half years on active duty as an Army chaplain, I developed a couple of health issues which prompted a medical board evaluation. Although I was ultimately found fit for duty, the process cost me my active duty career. I was twice passed over for promotion to the rank of Major (the grade of O-4), so I transitioned into the Army Reserve in 2006 in hopes of getting promoted there. After being lost in the shuffle of paperwork and not even being considered for promotion in 2006, a timely invitation from the State Chaplain of the AL-ARNG drew me back. In July 2006, I transferred back into the AL-ARNG in further hopes of being promoted and so I could drill a lot closer to home. I was having to drive 3.5 hours one way each month for drill, or battle assembly, as they call it in the USAR. I was finally promoted to Major in the AL-ARNG in 2007. The heart attack I suffered in late-2007 finally demonstrated why I was unable to keep up with the daily calisthenics and running regimen I was required to do in the Army. Alas, it was too late to make any difference.
As I mentioned above, I retired on 31 December 2011, from The United Methodist Church after 27.5 years of pastoral ministry, having served the final 4.5 of those 27.5 years as the full-time pastor of the Rosinton United Methodist Church near Robertsdale, Alabama. Thank God for His bountiful blessings, because I count those few, short years as the best of all I spent as a pastor. I can hardly believe how quickly my life has passed by!
Perhaps you're wondering just what it is that I believe. Well, I'll tell you anyway! I mentioned above that I am "a conservative, Christian minister." Let me tell you what I mean by each of those adjectives.
"Conservative" means I hold firmly to the Judeo-Christian principles and commandments stated in the Holy Bible, and I don't tolerate altering them in ANY WAY. I'm open to change in a lot of areas, but NOT by amending the Divinely inspired and written Word of God!
"Christian" means I adhere, as best I can in the weak flesh I inhabit, to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Apostles He commissioned with spreading the Gospel throughout the earth. If they said it, I try to follow it and obey it. It's that simple. That doesn't mean I ignore anything in the Old Testament though. I believe it is as relevant as ever. In fact, much of the New Testament is a restatement of the Old Testament and a clarification of its application for us as Christians today.
"Minister" means I try to live as a humble servant of both the Lord Jesus Christ and His beautiful Bride, the Church. That's about all I can say about that one.
You can stay posted on the latest news of my life and ministry by subscribing to my very-low-volume Parson Place email list. If you'd like to receive only slightly more frequent email communications from me via forwards of certain emails I deem pertinent and appropriate and direct personal updates, I invite you to send me an email request to join my small, private email list.
Well, that just about does it for now. Thanks for your interest in the Parson of Parson Place.