I was reared with a saved mother and an unsaved father. My mother was faithful in taking me to church and Sunday school as a child. However, when I entered my teen years, I followed the example of my unsaved father.
In January 1972, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During my tour of duty, my drinking of alcohol increased until my life revolved around getting the next drink. In 1976, I received an honorable discharge with the rank of sergeant. After trying several different jobs, I purchased a tractor-trailer and became a truck driver.
Joanne and I began to date just prior to my discharge from USMC. In August 1977 we were married. She was a Methodist and I was a Baptist. However, neither one of us were saved. Because of the conflict with our families over going to one or the other church, we began looking for a church to call our own. During the process, my mother had begun attending an Independent Baptist Church where the gospel was preached. She wanted my father to go to a revival meeting to hear Dr. Tom Malone preach. She asked me to go so that my father would go. I agreed. Joanne and I went to the service. What a powerful preacher! I was under great conviction and the following week in the middle of the night I called out for God’s forgiveness. Hallelujah, He saved me and set me free from the bondage of alcoholism. A week later, Joanne trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. Unknown to us, while we were looking for a church, Jesus Christ was pursuing our souls. So, in September 1979 both of us were born-again by grace through faith.
God continued to direct our lives, and in September 1980 we moved to Michigan to attend Midwestern Baptist College. During those years, we watched God provide for our every need. Miraculously God would feed us and provide for our every financial burden. We worked in the bus ministry and saw a multitude of children and adults trust Christ as their Saviour.
In 1984, I graduated and God led us back to New Jersey to start a new church. Once again, by faith, God would enable us to start the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Oakhurst, New Jersey. They were hard years with working a full-time job and pastoring the church. In the summer of 1988, I resigned from the church and turned it over to a younger man. During the next year, my wife and I would be refreshed in the Lord. It would prove to be time of understanding God’s grace and trusting His leading.
In the fall of 1989, God opened the door for me to be the Pastor of the Dividing Creek Baptist Church. Joanne and I would once again step out by faith trusting God to meet our needs. The church had an attendance of about thirty people on Sunday mornings. During the next six years, God would bless in a great way. A youth group was established, AWANA ministry began and flourished, Sunday school attendance would increase and a high attendance in church was one hundred sixty nine people at a Christmas Eve Service. The church would see an average attendance of one hundred people with missions budget that increased each year. What an exciting time in our lives to see God’s blessings.
It was in the spring of 1995 that I was called to preach at the Ocean County Baptist Church. It was not my desire to leave Dividing Creek Baptist Church, however, I sensed God beginning to direct my life. After preaching on three different occasions, Ocean County Baptist Church called me to be their pastor. Joanne and I would be challenged by moving to a new area and ministering in a new church. We both felt overwhelmed with the burden of responsibility to minister in a church that was more than twice the size of Dividing Creek Baptist Church. However, God’s grace is always sufficient. I became the pastor of OCBC in September 1995.
Since that time we have seen God bless far beyond our expectations. Souls have been saved, the Church has doubled in attendance, the bus ministry has been established, the Christian Academy began in 2003, and a new addition to the building was built in 2005. Year after year we have witnessed great and magnificent things that the Lord has done! I praise God for a wife who stands with me in ministry. Anything that has or will be accomplish in our lives will be completely due to God’s grace. It is by His grace we are saved, called, secured, and used. To God be the glory!
8:30 AM - Early Morning Worship
10:00 AM - Sunday School All Ages
11:00 AM - Morning Worship
6:00 PM - Sunday Evening Worship
7:00 PM - Wednesday Evening