The Word Ministries
In possessing certain gifts, temperament, and desires, the man or woman of God is made responsible to all who would hear the Gospel proclaimed from their lips and manner of life. New Testament Christians need not look for special revelation from God as proof of oneís calling. Yet, as with any spiritual gift, the voice of Godís people should be consulted. Honest feedback from trusted, mature saints and church leaders should be sought out and rightly considered. One of the many functions of the church as the people of God is to give public recognition and approval of Godís gifting and direction to individual members as they seek to discover their place in His kingdom. The church alone cannot call a man or woman to ministry; It may only publicly confirm that God has indeed invested the necessary gifts, temperament and desires in a personís life for a particular ministry.
For a fuller discussion on the topics of spiritual gifts, ministry, and what many people refer to as the "call of God" please read the brief articles Intro To Spiritual Gifts and God's Call To Ministry also located on this website.
My Own Journey
Following what I believe to be the New Testament pattern of (1) spiritual giftedness, (2) proper temperament (3) accompanying desire, and (4) due recognition by the people of God, I offer the subsequent details of my path into teaching [and what some call my "prophetic"] ministry.
As far back as I can recall, I have always been strongly attracted to the Word of God. (For particulars, please read the separate account of my personal testimony). Even as a young Catholic I read the Bible regularly, trying to understand what it said and why. I truly wanted to know more about the awesome God who wrote it. The more I learned, the more I wanted to communicate to others what I believed the Bible was teaching me. As I grew older I often talked with the priests at my parish over how the simple, seemingly straightforward, Christianity of the New Testament conflicted with the traditions and teachings of the Catholic church. I strongly considered becoming a priest, but after a summer of taking meals with some of the priests at my parish and a small group of Jesuit seminary students, I decided I didn't want to remain celibate for the rest of my life. As well, I could no longer reconcile many of the Catholic traditions I had learned with an historical reading of the Bible.
In June, 1984, my wife and I came to faith and repentance in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Sometime afterward we began attending a Bible teaching church in the area which was noted for its strong witness, corporate worship, and times of fellowship. While there I realized I could be married and still serve the Lord by teaching and preaching His Word. I soon began preaching regularly at the Buffalo City Mission and helping my wife lead Bible studies at Teen Haven Ministries as I continued my personal theological studies.
In 1986, at the request of the church elders, I became a pastoral assistant at Armor Bible Presbyterian Church in Armor, New York. It was here that my preaching and teaching gifts were first tested and commended. The church elders and several visiting seminary professors encouraged me to attend their seminary in order hone my gifts and prepare for a life of vocational ministry to which the elders and I felt the Lord had called me.
In 1987 my wife and I quit our jobs on faith, said goodbye to family and friends in WNY, and relocated to Tacoma, Washington, where I studied the Bible and Theology at Western Reformed Seminary and the Center for Biblical Studies (CBS). Though I had no formal training in the Scriptures before starting, I had read widely and deeply and apparently taught myself well. I had learned Introductory Greek well enough on my own to move right into Intermediate Greek and Introductory Hebrew classes my first semester. I graduated from WRS with a Master's Certificate in Biblical Studies in 1990 and a GPA of 3.5.
From 1991 to 1993 I served as assistant pastor at Maranatha Fellowship in Tacoma, Washington. I ministered in this capacity for two years, preaching on Sunday evenings and teaching or visiting most Wednesday evenings. During this time (1991) I was licensed to minister by the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC) to which I also belonged. In 1992 I was ordained to the Gospel ministry after a lengthy, in-depth examination by a council of independent area church pastors and seminary professors (also pastors) assembled at the invitation of the Maranatha Fellowship Church body.
From 1994 to the present Iíve taken advantage of teaching invitations and contemporary worship music engagements at various churches as time and opportunity allows. I continue to study and reflect on a variety of Christian topics, maintain a fruitful online ministry, participate in events with the Buffalo Unbound ministry team, and play guitar in both worship and mainstream music circles.
As always, "to God be the glory!