One of the greatest blessings in my life was being born into a Christian home and we always attended a fundamental Church. I was literally in church every time the doors were open. But it was not until I was in high school that I born again. My family was living in Buffalo NY at that time and we attended a Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. I was saved on Sunday night October 6, 1962 the day before my 16th birthday. I can tell you the date because my pastor suggested that I write it down in my Bible. I have no idea what he preached about that night; but I know without a doubt what the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. I needed to give my life to Christ. That is, to repent of my sins and invite Jesus to be my Savior and start on the road of allowing Him to be the Lord of my life. The next Sunday I was baptized.
Almost immediately I sensed God’s call on my life to be more than just a Christian. He wanted me in His service, full-time. But I was like Jonah, reluctant and rebellious. So I backed away and spent several years running from God’s Call. In the intervening years I met and married a wonderful woman, Blossom, and the Lord used her to draw me back to Himself and into His service. I came back to the Lord, rededicated my life, in a little Independent Baptist Church in MS. Within just a few months I was involved in teaching and helping to lead the Worship services. Then I was asked to serve as the Youth Pastor. It wasn’t long before I found my way to Toccoa Falls Bible College in N.E. Georgia. After graduation I served briefly in a couple churches in GA and AL. Then I moved to Victoria MS, just south of Memphis TN and did a church plant that became the First Southern Baptist Church of Victoria MS. After a couple years of working there as a bi-vocational pastor I moved to our present location in Russellville, Arkansas.
Even as I served as pastor I felt a growing desire to somehow reach out side of the Church walls and touch the community with God’s love. In 1987 I attended a Church Growth Seminar and was introduced to the idea of serving as a Police Chaplain. I came home from that conference with a conviction that God wanted me to get involved in Chaplaincy ministry. I contacted the local Police Department and the International Conference of Police Chaplains and that started me on a new and wonderful road of ministry that has continued for over 25 years now. In 1997 I founded Cross & Shield Ministries, Inc., a 501 (c) (3), and became a full-time volunteer Chaplain serving all Emergency Service Agencies in a three county area. That ministry continues to grow all because of God’s marvelous grace. C&SM now has nine certified Chaplains serving in a variety of situations in this area.
First of all I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally I am an ordained minister with the SBC and the C&MA denominations and Certified Master Level Chaplain with the International Conference of Police Chaplains; I am an approved Chaplain with the Billy Graham Evangelist Assoc. Rapid Response Teams; I am an approved Chaplain with the Christian & Missionary Alliance as well as with the Southern Baptist Convention; I am a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Chaplain’s Training Academy. I am certified in CISM; Certified EMT First Responder; FEMA Training: ICS-100 and NIMS IS-00700. In addition to these I have certifications as a Chaplain from: Marketplace Ministries, Cooperate Chaplains of America, Hospice and many others. Additionally I am a certified Law Enforcement Officer in the state or AR.
In addition to serving as a volunteer Chaplain for all Emergency Service Agencies in this area since 1987; I have been deployed to disasters around the nation. Incidents such as: wild fires in CA, Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, NYC after 9-11, and scores of Tornados and floods all over the country. I am the on-call volunteer Chaplain for our local hospital. I have served many years as a Hospice Chaplain and in many other places over the last quarter century. I also serve many local businesses and corporations as their Chaplain. In the last few years I have helped to train scores of others that are now serving as Community Chaplains but not directly under Cross & Shield. To God be the Glory!