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Welcoming Jim Knauss to the Staff Team

Welcoming Jim Knauss to the Staff Team

This past spring we launched a search for a new role on our team, the Director of Discipleship and Theological Development, and shared the vision for this role in a blog, “A New Pastoral Role and A Vision for Deep Discipleship and Pastor Training.”

This past Sunday our elders were pleased to announce Jim Knauss as our man for this role. Jim has been a member at Heritage for a few years and interned with us a year ago now. He’s been teaching electives, showing hospitality, and discipling among our flock. In so many ways, he’s been doing the job in miniature.

Let’s get to know Jim. I’ve asked him a few questions here to help you get better acquainted with him, his family, and his story. The interview that follows builds on a previous blog that you should read first: “Meet Our Fall Intern: Jim Knauss.”


Jim, you were an intern with us back in 2022. At that time, we interviewed you on this blog to learn about your family, your salvation story, how you got to Heritage, and your vocational aspirations. We’ll get to the story of the last year. But let’s begin with this question: why is Hannah kicking you out of the office at home?

Hannah wants me out so that my books have a place to go besides the entrance of our home! Every time I go to a conference with the church or start a new seminary course, the first question she normally asks is, “How many books did you bring home?” It is slightly concerning how eager both my wife and children are to get me out of the house to make use of their new space….

In all seriousness, we look forward to a 4-minute commute to the church and being able to see each other a lot more than we do now.

We posted this job for the Director of Discipleship and Theological Development last spring. You spent thirteen years in Active Duty in the Airforce. Two years ago, you retired from the military and transitioned to be a pilot with FedEx. What’s the story behind your interest in this role and decision not only to change vocations but to give your life for the foreseeable future to the saints at Heritage?

The Lord’s road for me to pursue this role has been unconventional to say the least. I had been following the Lord for some time and was maturing in my faith in my young adult life. In my church at my first duty station in Wichita Falls, TX, the pastor noticed that I had a gift to teach others. He plugged me into the college ministry and that’s where Hannah and I found great community and joy serving Christ’s church. Each time we moved, we plugged into the college and young adult ministries teaching and leading. When I started designing curriculum for our college ministry in Valdosta, GA, I knew my knowledge level was lacking. I decided to pursue seminary utilizing the education benefits the Air Force provided at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eight years of one class per semester, and I finished with my M.Div. last May.

In that time, Abe Stratton (whose shoes I will never be able to fill) acted as my Ministry Supervisor during my last semester. During this Applied Ministry course at Southern, the professor usually likes to see you preaching, teaching, and leading. However, we had just moved here, and Hannah and I weren’t even members yet! Abe invested in me and created a program where I would write elective curriculum and teach alongside him to fulfill my ministry hours. During this time, I found a passion for serving the church that was new and invigorating. I began to look forward to my meetings with him as we talked over my work. With the Lord’s grace, I now had the training and experience, but didn’t know how the Lord was going to use the tools he had given me.

Then Trent approached me about our church’s pastoral internship. Just when I thought I was done for a bit reading books and writing papers, the next 12 weeks found me reading a book a week and writing 600 words on each one. Thinking this would be too much, too soon after seminary, I instead realized the joy I had working with Abe was directly transferred to working with Trent. We had great discussions, and I was able to interact with the elders in a “behind-the-scenes” way. After watching our leaders operate, I knew I wanted to serve Christ’s church in that way. I began searching out ways to become involved in more opportunities. I volunteered to teach every elective cycle, lead a shepherding group with my sweet wife, and completed the preaching cohort with Trent along with some other brothers. The Lord had aligned so many steps, but there still wasn’t a clear focus on what vocational ministry would look like for me. I looked into joining the Air Force Reserve Chaplaincy Corps, but several issues arose in that process. I knew the Lord wasn’t leading me to just any vocational ministry job; he was leading me to the right vocational ministry job. He was leading me somewhere that my gifts, his provision, and his preparation all aligned.

When the church posted the description for this position, it was everything I had always wanted to do in ministry. It described expanding and structuring our elective ministry; a ministry that I had worked so hard on with Abe and one I’ve had the privilege to serve in so joyfully at our church. It involved teaching, mentoring, and discipling. It described pouring into young men looking to follow the same path I’m following now. I am a product of the church’s discipleship ministry and this job would afford me the opportunity to expand that legacy. Namely, the job gave some brother the opportunity to lead. Looking back on the process, I am so thankful for the people God has placed into my life and the opportunities he’s afforded me. I certainly don’t deserve them. I pray God would use me in this job to serve the saints at Heritage with the purpose of bringing him glory.

This role is focused on two areas. First, the church’s discipling ministries through teaching with a focus on electives. Second, building on and building out our elders’ dreams for pastor training. What excites you about both of those areas of responsibility?

Before getting into the specifics of what you’ve asked, the excitement around this job for me carries with it the aspect of leading again. As a military officer, I received extensive leadership training and was able to employ my specific leadership style in a wide variety of contexts. I’ve had the opportunity to lead dozens of civilian, officer, and enlisted personnel throughout my career. The last few years have been great in settling our family down and providing a wonderful community. For me, however, it has been devoid of an ability to lead. I look forward to submitting to the godly leadership of those who have been in vocational ministry as I navigate leading in this new context.

With that, I’ve been thrilled to serve in the electives ministry since showing up here at Heritage. Whether it’s in a cockpit, pulpit, classroom, homeschool room, or elective class, teaching is a passion of mine, and I’m grateful the Lord has prepared and equipped me to do it. However, I’ve witnessed in our own church men who are much better teachers than I! I look forward to learning from them and sharpening my own skills as a teacher.

There is an aspect of this job that is encouraging: our church has an overwhelming abundance of men who can preach and teach God’s Word faithfully, joyfully, and competently. Better yet, I know there are men who can teach who are not fulfilling that role yet. Part of the vision for this role is identifying these men and bringing them through a process to firmly establish them as teachers in our elective hour.

My vision for our church’s Christian education does not contain “fixing things that ain’t broke.” We have a good thing going with electives, and I’ve been privileged to be a part of that ministry. There are some things, however, I believe we can add to make our electives more robust. I have plans to structure our education in a certain way so that there is better continuity and coherence between classes. If that sounds vague, it is! Two reasons for the ambiguity at this point: 1) it is not all fleshed out yet. I wouldn’t dare present something that is “half-cooked” and 2) it would take more words than I’m guessing people would be willing to read to lay out the things some of the elders and myself have batted around thus far. I look forward to learning from other churches that have done this well and working with the elders to sharpen, structure, and broaden our Christian education at Heritage.

I can’t leave my excitement for the job without talking about how we are going to deepen our commitment to pastoral training. As I explained already, I have been the direct beneficiary of several programs at our church in preparing me for this role. My joy will be taking these aspects of our ministry and coalescing them under one effort to identify and train future vocational pastors. Several items will go into this, but something new we may look into is partnering with seminaries to develop a pastoral training curriculum. This will help us learn from many who have gone before us and also might result in our pastoral interns and residents earning seminary credit hours! We have so many faithful brothers serving our church, and I look forward to combining several efforts to train future ministers for the gospel!

Our mission at the church is to spread the unsearchable riches of Christ broader in the world and deeper in the church. It will be an immense joy to contribute in this role to broadly training our congregation through Christian education and specifically training brothers for future pastoral ministry.

This transition involves not only you but your whole family. Bring us into the changes you’re leading your family through and how we can pray for you.

The family changes for this job are mostly good and certainly provide blessings we know the Lord has provided. We will eat more family dinners together and just spend more time as a family. I’ll be free to coach baseball teams and pick the kids up from school. Hannah just may get too used to seeing me more than she ever has before.

There are some things we know will be different.

Hannah and I have talked about the fact that my time and attention may need to be “diverted” on short notice if there is something occurring in the life of one of the saints at our church. This is not necessarily new. As a member of the armed forces, I could be deployed on only 3-days’ notice. This uncertainty, however, is something we haven’t had to worry about in a few years. Our last 3 years in the Air Force I was a non-deployable Test Pilot, and we have been with FedEx for the last 2.5 years. Although this is something we know will happen, we can think of no better way to serve Christ’s church than to serve the people in our local body whom we have laughed with, cried with, confessed our sins to, and have come to love as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We would love prayers for wisdom and discernment as we take on not just a vocational change, but a different operation in our normal routines. Pray that we enjoy our new time that our family has together. Pray for steadfastness and endurance if things don’t transpire exactly as we planned (which is almost guaranteed to happen…). Finally, please pray that we take the ways the Lord has prepared us and use his gifts to serve the saints in our church to his glory.

I know many of you reading this have been praying for us for a long time now. Thank you so much for your prayers. We look forward to serving in this role for the long-term and pray God will keep us faithful in the way we do so.

Finally, why should we be thankful for the A-10? Is it better or worse than the F-22 (ahem!)? Also, what was your call sign and how did you get it? Anything else that would be of intrigue, please share.

In designing combat aircraft, the jet is designed and then weapons are added to it. The A-10 is the only combat aircraft where a weapon was designed to fly. Landing on the moon was a pretty significant American achievement, but only in the A-10 did we successfully design a 30 MM GAU-8 Gatling Gun to fly! This makes it superior to any aircraft you want to name including, yes, the F-22.

Naming a pilot is a significant event and stays with a pilot not only his whole career, but essentially his whole life. Some of my best friends in the world do not know my actual first name, and I would be hard-pressed to remember theirs. My tactical flying call sign was “Hook”. In the squadron, Hannah and I were “Hook and Hannah.” I got my call sign because I was a designated survivor in a combat search and rescue (CSAR) training mission and was unfortunately given a radio that was not assembled. The radio was known as the “Hook 112” because it had a giant antenna that had a significant curve at the end. In my best efforts, I assembled the radio incorrectly and my friend “hooked” his ride because he couldn’t get a hold of me. When a pilot “hooks” a ride, he fails it and has to do over again (all the planning, coordination, briefing, flying and debriefing). When it was made known I was to blame, the squadron gave me the call sign “Hook.” It was also expedient that my first name is James and upon pinning on Captain, I became “Captain James Hook.”

I enjoy using my Air Force experience to draw up illustrations when I preach and teach. If you’ve been with me in my “Mortification of Sin” elective class, you are in for a treat in week 3. The military was good to our family and God used it to bring us here. We are grateful for our time there and now look forward to serving Christ and his kingdom.

Meet Chris Groat

Meet Chris Groat

I am eager to introduce you to a brother in Christ who has become a good friend to me and to our church. His name is Chris Groat, our new worship director. On behalf of our elders, Jason updated our church family last Sunday in our service and by email about the process we’ve been through over the last few years and what we have learned.

With those points of process out of the way, meet Chris. I’ve asked him a few questions here to help you get acquainted with him, his family, and his story.


Chris, thanks for answering a few questions for us. This will help us welcome you and love your family as you transition here. We’ll get to your ministry background shortly. But first, tell us about yourself, about your wife Hannah, and your family.

Greetings from Mississippi! We are excited to be joining you all very soon. I am 31 years old (on August 16), and I have been happily married to my beautiful wife Hannah for nine years. We are high school sweethearts who met in youth group. We both attended William Carey University where I studied Church Music and Hannah studied Nursing. We have a daughter named Sadie who will turn 2 in November, and Hannah is pregnant with our second (due in January). Hannah is a registered nurse but is planning to stay home full-time with our children. God has been so good to us.

A natural follow-up, tell us how you came to faith in Christ and who the Lord used to bring you to himself.

I came to faith as a freshman in high school. We didn’t attend church growing up, and it wasn’t until my parents divorced that I really started to attend church regularly. When I was in the 8th grade, I started attending youth group and got pretty involved. I was saved at a high school retreat where I heard a clear and convicting gospel presentation. I remember growing up believing in God and thinking that’s all it took to go to heaven. That day hearing the gospel it all made sense: I was a sinner in desperate need of a savior. I needed the blood and righteousness of Christ. I needed to submit to Jesus as Lord. I don’t even remember who that preacher was, but thankfully I was heavily discipled by my youth pastor and I’m eternally grateful for his shepherding and encouragement.

Tell us your background as a musician and as a pastor.

I have been making music since I was in 7th grade. Around my sophomore year of high school, I decided to join the worship team in my youth group after my dad bribed me with a new guitar. I started out as just the guitar player, but when our main vocalist left for college, my youth pastor challenged me to lead worship and direct the team. I tried to decline, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer (he literally assembled a microphone stand in front of me and stuck a mic in my face). I am grateful for his persistence because by age 16 I was our youth group worship leader, a role that fostered a desire to serve our Lord in vocational ministry. That led me to enroll at William Carey to study Church Music. Since graduating college in 2014, I have had the privilege to serve a few different churches as their worship pastor along the way.

Now, bringing us to our new relationship with you, what led you to apply for this role at our church?

Around 2019, a godly minister began mentoring me and that relationship led to a noticeable shift in my theology, philosophy of worship, church, etc. My mentor handed me a book called Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney, and challenged me to read the Bible in a year. Through the regular and thoughtful reading of Scripture, I began to see God’s sovereignty and glory on full display. I soon thereafter discovered Reformed theology through books/sermons from the likes of John Piper and R.C. Sproul, as well as diving deep into church history and the Reformation.  The more I was growing theologically and philosophically, it became clear that I needed to be at a church that shared these same values. In August of 2022, my wife sent me a link to a job posting at Heritage Bible Church. I can’t explain how much joy it brought me when I read the job description.

It seemed that the Lord was answering our prayers. I mean that in several ways. First, this was the kind of church we would want to join for its handling of the Scriptures and for its care in living and leading by the Scriptures. You can only tell so much from a website and a job posting, but your care in describing the church and the role was compelling to us. Second, the philosophy of worship and of the role of music in supporting the congregation’s voice was a match to my growing convictions. I’ve led in different ways in different places—three dear churches whom I have loved—but I have a settled direction theologically and Heritage was the match I did not expect to find.

Since we met you about one year ago now, we’ve had all kinds of interactions. What began with a Zoom call led to more conversations and eventually a few visits. Tell us about what you learned about Heritage in that process and why you’re excited to come!

I’ve had the privilege of visiting Heritage twice. I came for an initial visit in January where I got to workshop with a part of the music team. Then, in May, I came for a more focused interview weekend. Pretty early on we realized this was a place we could call home. During our first rehearsal, the music team was not only well-prepared, skillful, and receptive to feedback, but it was obvious they loved their church and each other very well. Then we got to visit a service on Sunday morning, and I was blown away by the volume of the singing! Heritage is a singing church! Praise God for that. I had listened to multiple sermons throughout my interview process, but there is nothing quite like being in the room. I’m excited to be in the room every Sunday with you.

Another thing that encouraged me and my wife was the Family Meeting on the Sunday night of our first trip. We were warmly greeted by many of you, not even knowing our purpose for being in town. You took an interest in us and we grew in affection for you. We have been praying for a church family. We felt like a part of the family without even being members. That’s special!

Our second trip in May was more tactical. I had another rehearsal with part of the music team, but this time it was leading up to a Hymn Sing. I got to spend more time with Deanna Moore and Brian Burch and was encouraged by their partnership. Over the course of the weekend, I had several interviews with the rest of the staff and elders. One thing is for sure, the staff and elders love this church and work tirelessly to pray, lead, and care for you. It was deeply encouraging to see that behind the scenes. I came away from the weekend knowing that Heritage was a church I’d be happy to attend even if I wasn’t in full-time vocational ministry.

The cherry on top was how quickly Trent became a friend and a dear brother to me. I was not only excited to work with him, but also to be pastored by him.

For these reasons and more, Heritage was growing to be the long-term fit we’ve been praying about.

What are some of the most important principles involved in designing a worship service?

First of all, I’m excited to work with Trent in designing our services. One thing I have loved learning about Heritage is the extreme care and intentionality that goes into the service design. The songs, prayers, Scriptures, readings, and sermons are all formed by the Word of God for the edification of the congregation.

Liturgy is a word we sometimes use for the shape or design of a worship service. Liturgy simply means “a public way of doing things.” In other words, liturgy is what a church does in corporate worship. Heritage has a very intentional, yet sneaky liturgy, as you call it. Meaning, you won’t always hear “and now our call to worship” or “now we will confess our sins together.” Yet, week after week the aim is to create Christ-centered worship services with calls to worship, confessions of sin, assurances of pardon, prayers of illumination, and thoughtful responses to the Word of God preached. Every week you will get the full gospel story through songs, Scripture readings, prayers, sermons, and the ordinances.

Since the gatherings at Heritage are not only formed by the Word of God but filled by that very Word, we will read the Word, pray the Word, preach the Word, sing the Word, and see the Word (through Lord’s Supper and baptism). God cares about how we worship and provides instruction to us through his Word on how we are to worship him. (This is called “the regulative principle”, and essentially means that we will worship God as he has commanded us by his Word, for our good and his glory.)

Moving from theology to music, in searching for you, we were searching for a singing shepherd who could help our musicians lead our church in singing her faith. What is your understanding of the role of music in the church’s gathering?

Music is vital in the church’s gathering in so far as we are not only believers in the glorious gospel but singers of that good news. This news is so good, we must sing! Music helps us make melody in our hearts to God (Eph. 5:19). We were created to worship God and bring him glory. And there’s nothing better than worshipping God together in the context of the local church. In the Bible, there are over 50 direct commands to sing and singing is mentioned over 400 times. God takes singing pretty seriously!

The Apostle Paul commands us: “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16). Our songs should be theologically accurate as well as singable. Because we want our voices to be the primary instrument in our Sunday gathering, this will determine which songs we choose, how they’re arranged, and even which keys we sing them in. Singing is a wonderful tool that helps the church to celebrate Christ’s finished work on the cross, allows us to adequately express a heart grieved by sin, gives us hope for this life and the next, and enables us to joyfully adore our Triune God together. I praise God that we get to gather each Lord’s Day and sing together.

Anytime we add a new musician to our team there’s some musical change that comes with that as there are new sounds and textures in our music, even if they are subtle. In that respect, our music is always changing and we’re a church that is glad to be stretched. To our ear, you fit us. You love our songs, you have a voice and a way of playing that is easy to follow. One brother at that trial-run Hymn Sing said, “I came prepared to adjust, but no adjustment was needed!” Be encouraged! Nevertheless, the addition of a new lead vocalist and musical leader will mean a degree of musical change. Which is why we were looking not only for a capable musician who would love our church well but a man who can lead well. How will you approach transitioning into your role musically?

Well, let me start by pointing out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way it is now. You guys aren’t bringing me in to start things from scratch. As you have said, this is not a transition for musical transformation.

The musicians and vocal leaders are doing a fantastic job leading the church in worship. Deanna is an exceptionally talented musician and has led the team incredibly well. I am humbled to join this team with these loving and talented individuals.

I will bring a slightly different flavor since I lead with an acoustic guitar. You have been led by an acoustic before for seasons but not regularly and not lately. So that will seem new. But the priority of congregational singing will remain the same. Having an acoustic guitar will give us more options with how we produce musical arrangements. All this to say, Heritage will over time cultivate our own unique sound. That will take time and it will come as we work together as musicians and grow in love for one another and in shared musical vision for how we can enhance and support the congregation’s voice with simplicity and beauty.

In all this, I pray the music is never a distraction from the gospel truths we will be singing together. The music is an aid that points us to Jesus and helps us to sing our faith. As Bob Kauflin says in Worship Matters, “Our varied skills should function like the frame around a classic painting. If the frame is too bold or extravagant, we’ll hardly notice the picture it displays. On the other hand, if the frame is cheap, shabby, or marred, we’ll wonder why such a masterpiece is surrounded by junk. The right frame complements the picture in all the right ways, directing our eyes to the brilliance of the artist, not to the frame.” Trent, you yourself have explained service design as the setting for the glorious diamond that is Jesus Christ.

So while we aim for undistracted excellence in our music and our liturgy is certainly intentional, our eyes should always be gazing upon the glory of Christ more so than the actual music, musicians, and arrangements.

That’s about all for now! You can get back to packing and trying to sell your home so you can get here to us. But one final question: how can we serve you in this transition? We want to be good hosts and a loving church family for your dear family. Help us do that well.

As you have already mentioned, please pray for us as we work through selling our home, pack up, and begin the moving process. It’s daunting and hard work. Especially with a toddler and Hannah being pregnant. We are counting down the days until we are with you all! Having shared this news with the leadership at my church, we have now shared with that blessed congregation. As things have worked out, we expect to pull in by the end of the month. I won’t be leading with the team from the front for a handful of weeks. Your leaders want us to settle in to our home and to the church. I’m also eager to worship with you for a time before leading among you.

I am confident you all will welcome us warmly with open arms into this church family. So, when we get there, don’t be a stranger! I can’t wait to meet you all and worship together very soon.


I hope you get the sense for how warmly Chris will fit with us, not only musically and theologically but relationally. That’s no small part of what we prayed for and found in this brother. I can speak for myself and our elders, we are jealous for you and for your good. We pray the addition of Chris to our team will enhance our life together in Christ. Chris will be a director, not an elder, though his role is intended to mature into that of an elder/pastor in the years ahead, similar to Kevin Delp’s role (Kevin, overseeing children’s ministry, is an elder/pastor now), or Matt Jackson, our student and family ministry director. All in due course.

We hope you’ve grown to like Chris, the man. Now, what is it like for Chris to lead us in singing?

Here are a few videos I took on my phone during Chris’ visits with us. One is from a Hymn Sing we hosted with Chris with a crossection of the church to see how Chris handles our room and our voice. Present were elders, deacons, Shepherding Group leaders, staff, and their families.

Meet Our Fall Intern: Jim Knauss

Meet Our Fall Intern: Jim Knauss

We’re committed to investing in the gospel’s advance by investing in men who aspire to serve as vocational preachers and pastors. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim. 2:2). That’s our biblical strategy for finding and appointing elders here at Heritage, and for propagating the gospel beyond our walls.

With this in mind, meet our fall intern, Jim Knauss. Jim’s internship actually began in the summer but just finished up. Over these months, Jim was busy reading, writing, joining us for elders meetings, and spending time with our pastoral team. You can read about the shape of the internship here.

Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work. Pray that Jim would be that kind of shepherd for a church in the years ahead.

To begin, introduce yourself to us: tell us about your family, how the Lord led you to himself in salvation.

My name is Jim Knauss and I married Hannah a little over 14 years ago after graduating college. We have two sons: James (9) and Asher (4). After 13 years of active duty in the Air Force, Hannah and I decided to separate from the Air Force and move back to the south. We chose Greenville because it was close to both our families and, both being Clemson graduates, was close to our beloved Tigers. I am currently serving in the Air Force Reserves and piloting 757s and 767s for FedEx Express.

The Lord saved me at 13 years old when, for the first time in my life, I heard a preacher talk about repentance in our gospel response. Sadly, up to that point, I had believed all that was required for salvation was to believe in Jesus and pray a prayer. His proclamation was different. He told of the truth that if we are truly saved, we will bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Listening to him, I realized that my life did not contain this evangelical grace and there was no fruit of repentance in my life. With this preacher’s message, the Lord convicted me that I had not truly forsaken my sin and followed him. For the first time in my life, I repented of my sin and committed to following the Lord Jesus. Or, to put it differently, the Lord brought me to true and saving faith in Christ.

You’ve been with us for a little over a year and are a new member. How did the Lord lead you to find and join Heritage. Encourage our church with what you saw and have experienced here.

Church membership is something Hannah and I have always taken very seriously. In the Air Force, we had a lot of practice in what joining a church entails. Visiting, fellowshipping, and conversing with people from each congregation could become somewhat of an arduous process. Then there were elder interviews and introductions every 1.5-2 years. For most of our career, we had been stationed out west. In that context, sadly, there were normally only a handful of gospel-centered churches within a 20-minute drive. In Greenville, we ran into the opposite (but good!) problem. What gravitated us towards Heritage was the commitment to the gospel in the liturgy, the intentionality of teaching the gospel to our children, and the fellowship/warmth we experienced amongst those in the congregation. We are so grateful for the families that invested in us during our church search process and look forward to worshipping and serving alongside you for as long as the Lord will allow!

What excited you the most about serving as an intern with us?

Hannah always pokes fun at me because I continue to seek ways to educate myself further at all times. Every year we’ve been married, I’ve either been in an Air Force formal training course or enrolled in an educational degree program. She always asks when I’m going to take a break and I say, “when I’ve learned everything there is to know!” What excited me about this internship was the opportunity to learn under godly men who have been vocationally serving Christ’s church for essentially their entire adult lives. I knew seminary couldn’t teach me everything and I was thrilled for the opportunity to fill in the gaps between a seminary education and real-world practice.

You had to make some special arrangements with work for this internship to work. Hearing about those will be a nice way to learn about your vocational background.

When I separated from the Air Force, the Lord graciously provided the opportunity to fly for FedEx Express. This job gives me upward of 18 days or so a month where I am just at home investing in and discipling my wife and children. The trade-off is I’m usually on the road 8-12 days per month. With the participation requirements of the internship, that would not have met the intent for any prospective intern. Fortunately, there was an Air Force project that my superior officers needed help with and asked if I would commit to 2+ months of military orders working on the project from my house. This was a way I could financially support my family and complete the requirements of the internship. God once again in his gracious providence led me to a sweet time in my life where I could serve my country, invest in my pastoral ministry studies, and spend a large, uninterrupted time at home with my family.

You just finished your internship. You read and wrote essays on twelve books. What’s been the most insightful book you read and why?

My answer to this question would always be, “the last one I just read!” However, looking back on the internship, the most insightful book I read was Jonathan Leeman’s book entitled Church Membership. Having just gone through the membership process at Heritage, I was encouraged to see how our church takes a biblical approach in bringing new members into the congregation. The main illustration of the book compares the church to an embassy in a foreign land. We are citizens of a different kingdom gathered together under our “flag” that represents the whole group of people under Christ’s lordship who will gather at the end of history. Seeing the church member in this light was edifying and encouraging.

You joined us for elders’ meetings over a span of three months. Encourage our church with what you learned and observed in those meetings.

The elder meetings were far and away the most fruitful portion of the internship. I was amazed at the men who have been appointed to shepherd and lead our church. There are several reasons for this but the first is these men take their job of shepherding very seriously. A significant amount of time in each elder meeting is devoted to praying for members of the church by name. Be encouraged that if you asked your elder to pray for you, I am an eyewitness that it is happening in faithful adherence to the word of God. Second, the elders spend a large portion of the meeting teaching one another and expositing the Word of God. One of the elder requirements from Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus is being “able to teach.” I was encouraged to see firsthand that these men are practicing this teaching requirement and sharpening each other with faithful exposition and critical discussion of God’s word. Finally, leading always involves tough situations in which there is never a lack of different views and opinions. I watched our elders embrace each other with kindness and grace as they debated difficult situations, each submitting to the other with biblical wisdom and compassion. I am thankful to our providential and sovereign God that he led Hannah and me to a church where the elders are proactive in their submission to the word of God.

What are your desires vocationally for the future and how can we pray for you?

In the near future, I plan on continuing to enjoy my time with my wife and children as I pour into our church wherever I am called by the elders and led by our God. I enjoy flying airplanes and serving in the armed forces. Nothing short-term will change there. Perhaps someday, if the Lord wills, I will transition into an Air Force Reserve Chaplain billet. I have made some inquiries with the Air Force concerning that path, but for now there seem to be some logistical hurdles in making that happen near-term.

As for prayer, I would ask for wisdom, perseverance, endurance, and strength as Hannah and I raise our two boys. Parenting continues to be the most difficult thing Hannah and I have ever done. . .and with an active-duty career in the rear-view mirror, that’s saying a lot. My prayer is we would have patience and navigate the waters of raising our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Pray for Hannah during the short, but difficult, durations that we are apart. Thank you for your prayers, and once again, we are grateful to be a part of an intentionally prayerful congregation.

Finally, got any favorite teams or hobbies or special skills we should know about?

I enjoy any hobby I get to do with my family. I like running and fishing with my sons and getting to go on lunch dates with Hannah on Tuesdays and Thursday when the boys are at school. We chose a Classical-Christian, University Model school for our sons and I love the days I get to teach math and science at home. I get pretty fanatical about any sport Clemson and the current World-Champion Atlanta Braves. Most recently, I’ve started teaching AP Calculus (and sometimes Greek) at my sons’ school on my “days off”. My passion is teaching, whether in a cockpit, pulpit, classroom, or dining room. I am thankful for the things the Lord has blessed me with, and I look forward to this latest chapter in the life of our family.

Meet Our Spring Intern: Timothy Martin

Meet Our Spring Intern: Timothy Martin

We’re committed to investing in the gospel’s advance by investing in men who aspire to serve as vocational preachers and pastors. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim. 2:2). That’s our biblical strategy for finding and appointing elders here at Heritage, and for propagating the gospel beyond our walls.

With this in mind, meet our spring intern, Timothy Martin. Timothy is involved in a good bit of reading and writing, he’s joining our elders meetings, and he and I are meeting weekly over twelve weeks to discuss what he’s learning. You can read about the shape of the internship here

Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work. Pray that Timothy would be that kind of shepherd for a church in the years ahead.


Before we get to know you a bit, tell us what excited you the most about serving as an intern this spring?

I’ve read a handful of books on what are commonly called “means of grace.” The “means” on the lists that puzzled for the longest time was when authors would mention “fellowship.” I had thought: “I talk and think out loud with fellow believers all the time and I don’t necessarily feel like it has contributed all that much to my growth. Is socializing something God really uses to mature Christians into Christlikeness?” Then I began to get a taste for it at my local church. Likeminded conversations with a single focus: on our Savior and His Word. I knew this internship—which is mostly about watching and listening—would allow me to be the fly on the wall for countless hours of fellowship with good and godly men. Men I could model myself after in every aspect of life. There’s an adage that no one man can ever supplement the work of your father, but the fellowship of many men can. Speaking of the church in Corinth, Paul bemoaned that while there were many teachers there were few fathers. I’m not Paul (I’m Timothy!) but I feel like the same cannot be said of Heritage Bible Church. I have many fathers in the faith here and spending more time with them and “catching” a bit of the grace that God has bestowed upon them has been my favorite part of the internship.

Now, let’s go to the beginning, your new beginning. How did the Lord save you?

That’s an exciting one. Because I’ve learned to view the “ordinary” and “normal” and “boring” process of growing up in a Christian home to be an incredibly exciting blessing. I grew up as a missionary kid. My parents had just concluded 15+ years in the country of Haiti. I was born right before they moved to Ireland. They were directly involved in two different church planting works while I was there. I can never think of a time where I wasn’t aware that there was a God or knew the vocabulary of the gospel as a consequence of that. There are very few Bible stories that I can recall hearing “for the first time” because on any given day of the week my parents were 1) holding family devotions, 2) using the Scripture to share the gospel with a stranger or neighbor, or 3) preaching and teaching in church. What took me a while was to see how this vocabulary of the gospel applied personally to me. I distinctly remember a time when I took the Lord’s name in vain and felt the crushing weight of the law. I didn’t know how to resolve it. I had this sin and this condemnation. And this condemnation had my name on it. Now, at the exact same time, I wanted to be a policeman. A few weeks later when we were on furlough in Florida, a police chaplain was speaking at one of our supporting churches. You better believe I was all ears. He used the judicial system as a metaphor for our condemnation before God and explained the gospel of grace in a way that made perfect sense to me. The Spirit stirred. I was drawn and given new life. I responded in faith.

Now I’m not even sure if I was four at this time. I was definitely younger than five. And this caused a lot of adults to whom I jabbered my testimony to doubt the validity of my faith. So, doubt set in. The church culture that I grew up in put a lot of emphasis on the choice of words and how much you “truly” meant it. And I didn’t really understand if God really accepted me. It got to the point where the doubt and anxiety was all consuming. I prayed for God to save me hundreds of times a day. Assurance came and went. At twelve years old I heard Dr. Steve Pettit—at the time a traveling evangelist—at our local church. He commanded the attention of any young people in the audience who struggled with assurance. He explained how faith was not a work. The work was done on the cross. It was in fact the work of Jesus that accomplished and secured salvation for me and no effort of my own. My salvation had been desired by God in eternity past and purchased at the cross. Faith was the response; God did the work. From that moment forth I felt liberated with confidence before God.

You’re a college student. You’re a member. You’ve made home at Heritage. Encourage our church with the story of how you came here and got involved. We want to be a church that welcomes college students and gives them a taste of heaven on earth, just what church should be.

Coming to Greenville was very disorienting when it came to church life. I knew that I wanted to have full membership in a church here because I would be here nine months out of the year at the minimum. A bunch of cogs all started moving at once to get me to Heritage. I visited the college group a few times my freshman year but had intentions to join another church at the time and eventually stopped attending. That situation didn’t work out. I came to know the Fraley family and they invited me to visit with them. They extended sincere friendship and hospitality to me, and it stuck with me after I left for the summer to work in Philadelphia. I emailed Dan Cruver to inquire more about the church and started attending in the Fall of 2019. Nicole Steinmetz (a fellow college student at the time) handed me the membership packet and told me to look through it and see if I was on the same page with Heritage. If I was, I should consider joining. Jared Jenkins (now a member of Heritage and a previous intern) challenged me to do the same thing. I was thrilled reading the Heritage Confession of Faith to see clear gospel centrality and the presence of Scripture on every page. The Confession was a breath of fresh air. It became clear to me that Heritage lived up the “Bible” in Bible Church. They wanted to be ambassadors of Scripture and not fill a particular niche or artificially uphold a certain church culture. I quickly became friends with Craig Olsen, the Deangs, Caleb Greene, Steve Hall, and a number of others. Long story short: Word-centered doctrinal standards got me in the door and warm fellowship kept me in the church.

And there have been so many good things since. The rhythm of weekly expository preaching has enriched my life deeply. A church atmosphere that is friendly to both purity of doctrine and expression of emotion has also deepened my love for the church. My teenage cynicism died at Heritage and a love for the church was born there. That love has also matured into loving the church back as best as I can. I have since taught in an adult elective class, worked as a sponsor in SIGMA for the past two years, babysat for members in the church, been a part of the preaching cohort, and irregularly filled in for Dan Cruver for the college class. Most recently I am interning. I’d love to continue deepening this fellowship with the church for years to come.

Now, what is the most influential book on your life and what has been the most influential sermon on your life? Tell us a little about both.

I hate choosing favorites so I’m going to cheat on both of these.

I want to give passing reference to Desiring God and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper because those are the two books that kept me in the Word and on the right path during a time of deep depression and confusion in high school. But the most influential book by far has been Roger Scruton’s The Soul of the World. My deepest questions have always been existential and philosophical in nature. I listened to this book soon after its release. I bicycled miles and walked many more miles listening to the audiobook in early high school. Scruton argues very persuasively for how our sacred communion with God is the fountain from which all other things which are true, good, and beautiful derive their meaning. Nothing else can satisfy. Nothing else can create civilizations that last. Either God is at the center or both individual and communal life devolves into meaninglessness. It was this philosophical treatise that “primed the pump” and allowed me to enjoy the deep devotional writings of Piper.

My friend Armen Thomassian is the pastor of Faith Free Presbyterian Church here in Greenville. I try to drop by and visit him a few times a year when I don’t have any evening obligations at Heritage. A sermon he preached entitled “Christ is All-Together Lovely” lit a flame in my imagination that hasn’t died since. I already knew all the ways that Jesus spoke truth. And I already knew all the ways that Jesus was good. But it helped me to see Jesus as beautiful in Who He is and all He does. That sermon changed the way I think and changed the way I feel. A sermon that changed the way I acted was our very own Dan Cruver’s exposition of Hebrews 4:14-16. It helped me figure out a theology of confession and how to ‘deal with’ sins that were already forgiven on the cross but are committed after salvation. Take them to the throne of grace! We have confident access to Jesus.

You’re in the middle of reading twelve books over this internship. What’s been the most insightful book so far and why?

What is the Mission of the Church? by Greg Gilbert and Kevin DeYoung. Why? Because it’s a homerun on every front. Tremendously clear and thorough exegetical work that proves in scenario after scenario how the church doesn’t need a savior complex but instead should spend its resources proclaiming the message of the Savior.

You’ve been in our elders meetings for a few weeks now. What have you observed and learned so far?

Biggest lesson? What an incredible elder team we have. Each personality and each life experience is knit together through prayer and love for the Word. I’ve had the unique blessing of sitting in on three doctrinal examinations for elder candidates. It was really fun to watch the entire room come together to lovingly challenge the candidates and keep them on their toes while also demonstrating great care and love for them. I’ve also learned that having a system for due process and Robert’s Rules of Order are useful for keeping everyone on the same page.

The laughter is loud, serious matters are handled with absolute delicacy and care, and the prayers are sincere. These men really care for and love every member of the church.

What are your desires vocationally for the future and how can we pray for you?

My long term goal (for the time being) is inner-city/urban church planting and pastoral training. I would love to do this either state side or internationally. Mark Vowels sold me on the importance of self-reproducing churches years ago and it has never left me since. So, long-term, I want to put my hand to the plough at helping work to establish churches that plant churches. My dream would be to spend twelve to fifteen years of my life in one such church in America, twelve to fifteen in Europe, and twelve to fifteen in the Middle East. Pray that God would continue to create in me the character and integrity required to serve as an elder in his church. Pray that God would give me the boldness to live out what I learn and that none of the Word’s indicatives would grow dull to me and that none of the Word’s imperatives would go unobeyed. As a vocation of equal importance, I also would really love to be a husband and father one day! I would love have children of my own and also participate in adoption or foster-to-adopt programs. So, pray that God provides a wife for me and that he would kindly grant me that particular wish of mine.

Finally, got any favorite teams or hobbies or special skills we should know about?

I’ve been a loyal F.C. Milan fan for years and years and I am really sad that I miss most of their games at college. I have a forlorn love for Detroit sports.

I’m a soft-sciences/humanities guy through and through. I love linguistics, cartography (I like maps way too much), vexillology (I like flags way too much), literature, sociology, economics philosophy, poetry, and history. I’m the weird dude that finds reading Systematic Theology books and commentaries from cover-to-cover to be compelling reads. I hold a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and would like to get back into it after I graduate. Mountain biking and road biking were my two main outlets for exercise in high school.

Meet Our Fall Intern: Jared Jenkins

Meet Our Fall Intern: Jared Jenkins

This is such a cool photo of Jared, one of our college students whose pastoral internship is wrapping up. Jared’s internship began this past fall and is finishing up this week.

Jared has been reading and writing, he has joined our elders meetings, and he has met with me weekly over twelve weeks. Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work. Pray that Jared would be that kind of shepherd for a church in the years ahead. You can read about the shape of the internship here.


Before we get to know you a bit, tell us what excited you the most about serving as an intern this fall?

As an intern, I get to witness a lot of the ins and outs of church life at Heritage. Honestly, my biggest excitement about this internship was the connection and mentorship that I would receive from the elders. Trent and I meet most weeks to discuss a book that centers on church life. My hope has been to grow in my understanding of church life, specifically at Heritage Bible Church, and then to take what I have learned and apply it to the way that I pastor in the future.

Now, let’s go to the beginning, your new beginning. How did the Lord save you?

My testimony is not unlike many people’s. I have grown up in a Christian family, both parents are believers. The Lord saved me when I was seven years old. At Northland Bible Camp, Evangelist Jeremy Frazor gave a very clear gospel message. I remember understanding my state in my sin and my need for someone to redeem me. Even at age seven, I had a clear understanding of what Christ did to save me from my sins, in dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Over the years, there have been moments in which I’ve doubted my salvation, many times due to ongoing sin in my life. But, ultimately, at the end of the day, I understand that my salvation and my assurance are not rooted in myself or in the countless times I have failed but in the reality that God has saved me and calls me his child.

You’re a college student. You’re a member. You’ve made home at Heritage. Encourage our church with the story of how you came here and got involved. We want to be a church that welcomes college students and gives them a taste of heaven on earth, just what church should be.

I became aware of Heritage Bible Church prior to attending college at Bob Jones University. I met Danny Brooks, the former teaching pastor of Heritage, out in Utah while my teen group was on a ministry trip. Danny had just moved out there. When I came to college, I knew that Danny pastored a church in Greenville. So, I visited. And immediately, I was hooked by the preaching, the fulness of the music in worship, and the charitability of people around me. My sophomore year, I joined Heritage as a member, because I knew the importance of being a part of a local church. Over the years, I have developed relationships with several people in the congregation. Pastor Trent and Dan Cruver have been an enormous help in shepherding my heart and giving me opportunities to use my gifts over the last couple of years.

Now, what is the most influential book on your life and what has been the most influential sermon on your life? Tell us a little about both.

The most influential book and most influential sermon on my life both go hand in hand as they are both by the same person—John Piper—and have the same title—“Don’t Waste Your Life.” In both, Piper talks about the way in which every Christian should live—sold out for Christ, his glory, and the proclamation of his gospel.

You’re in the middle of reading twelve books over this internship. What’s been the most insightful book so far and why?

To me, the most insightful book during my internship has been Worship Matters, by Bob Kauflin. He expounds how a worship leader and those participating in worship should think about it. Worship is standing in awe of, giving adoration to, and submitting to God. Therefore, as Kauflin writes, those leading and participating in worship should be known as “awe-filled” people.” The gathered worship should be conducted in such a way that fills the congregation with awe.

You’ve been in our elders meetings for a few months now. What have you observed and learned so far?

As I’ve sat in the elders meetings, I’ve witnessed the great care that goes into shepherding God’s sheep. Every meeting, the elders open their time with thirty minutes in prayer over the church and specific members, sometimes as a whole group and sometimes in small groups. No elder rules over another. Each has a voice and a part in the conversation. There is a very present respect and love that is felt as the gospel is evident within the room. The meetings get me excited about the joys, sorrows, and fulfillment of pastoring my own church in the future.

What are your desires vocationally for the future and how can we pray for you?

As I transition away from college, my hope for the next two years is to move out to Salt Lake City, Utah to partner with Gospel Grace Church in a full-time residency. Simultaneously, I hope to finish my Master of Divinity with Bob Jones remotely. At the end of the residency, I could move into elder candidacy or into church planting in Utah. Of course, with such a transition (I’m from Michigan), there’s a lot of wisdom needed in how I am going to move out there. Could you pray for me in that respect?

Finally, got any favorite teams or hobbies or special skills we should know about?

I love to read (especially when it’s what I want). Every now and then, I’ll sit down and write a piece for my blog. Over the last couple of months, because of my friend, Will Galkin, I’ve developed a real love for Liverpool Football Club. Right now, they are the second team in Premier League and are on the way to face off against Chelsea in Wembley Stadium for Carabao Cup Championship.

Meet Our Summer Intern: Jarod Hill

Meet Our Summer Intern: Jarod Hill

Paul’s words to Timothy are the Holy Spirit’s words to our elders: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim. 2:2). That’s our biblical strategy for finding and appointing elders here at Heritage, and for propagating the gospel beyond our walls.

With this in mind, meet Jarod Hill, whose summer internship is just now wrapping up. Jarod has been busy in a few ways that he will explain below. 

Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work. Pray that Jarod would be that kind of shepherd for a church in the years ahead.

Before we get to know you a bit, tell us what excited you the most about serving as an intern this summer?

What excited me most about the internship were the opportunities to learn and grow. Throughout the internship, I read, wrote on, and discussed twelve books. These books covered an array of important topics to help me grow in seeing how a theology of the church shapes our practice of church. Every week I met with Trent to discuss my reading and he helped me think these things through and clear up any questions. Those meetings with Trent were by far my favorite part of each week.

Also, although I dreaded it to an extent, I very much looked forward to preaching and developing those skills as well. Preaching to the Heritage family at a recent Family Meeting was an honor.

Now, let’s go to the beginning, your new beginning. How did the Lord save you?

Unlike many people, I do not recall a specific day on which was saved. The first eighteen years of my life, I grew up in a small Reformed Baptist church that tended to overemphasize the doctrines of grace and specifically the doctrine of election (a wholly biblical truth) and underemphasize man’s responsibility in salvation (an equally biblical truth). Because of this imbalance, I spent my life waiting for God to show me that He chose me before the foundation of the world to be His son, because that’s what it ultimately came down to. He either chose me or He didn’t.

After those eighteen years, my family decided to leave that church and join a church closer to where we lived. It was at this new church we were attending, where one of the pastors took me out for dinner a couple times and discussed theology and what I believed. Over those dinner meetings, my pastor helped me to realize that, “if (I) confess with (my) mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in (my) heart that God raised him from the dead, (I) will be saved (Romans 10:9),” and was therefore, in the elect and chosen before the foundation of the world for salvation. I realized that verse was true to me and the implications that followed. Several weeks later, I was baptized.

You’ve been at Heritage for several years now. Why did you decide to stay and how have you been shaped during these years?

It was a combination of a few things: solid theology, a loving church community, and the right connections. Before even visiting Heritage, I did a lot of research on churches in the Greenville area. First and foremost, I was looking for a church that was theologically conservative and orthodox and also believed and proclaimed the doctrines of grace. Secondly, I wanted to be a part of a church family that genuinely loved and cared for one another and heavily emphasized discipleship of one another. Lastly, I was hoping to find a church that had some Southern Baptist Theological Seminary connections (because that’s where I plan to get my seminary degree from) and Bob Jones connections (because that’s where I was getting my undergraduate degree from). Heritage Bible Church was the only church that I could find that went above and beyond in checking all of those boxes. I’m super thankful to be a part of this family and excited to officially join Heritage in the coming months, Lord-willing.

Now, the most influential book on your life and what has been the most influential sermon on your life? Tell us a little about both.

Without being cliché and saying “the Bible” is the most influential book on my life, I can easily say John Piper’s books, Desiring God, and, When I Don’t Desire God, are tied for the most influential books on my life. Desiring God is John Piper defending from Scripture the topic he calls, “Christian Hedonism.” In his book, Piper summarizes Christian Hedonism by saying, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Piper puts it another way in his book by switching up the words to the first answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Instead of the answer being, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” Piper changes it to, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” What a blessing it is to be able to fulfill man’s entire purpose and receive the only fully satisfying joy we have available to us at the same time. Truly desiring God will prove difficult for any of us because we remain sinners. That’s why Piper wrote, When I Don’t Desire God, to give practical actions we can take found in Scripture to help strengthen our desire for Him.

When it comes to most influential sermons, the most influential sermon on my life is by Paul Washer and is titled, “Paul Washer- Shocking Message” on YouTube. I think I first heard this message my first year at Bob Jones and was actively going against God in several areas of my life. God used it to break and convict me and you can bet on God doing that to you almost every time you listen to it.

You’re near the end of reading a hand full books over this internship. What’s been the most insightful book so far and why?

Oddly enough, the most insightful book I read was one of the last in my internship, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, by Thomas Sowell, who is not even a Christian. This is the one book Trent has us read that isn’t about the church, but about the world we find ourselves in today as the church. In his book, Sowell theorizes (and I believe expresses correctly) why the world tends to sort itself out into two broad coalitions politically and economically. He writes not to prescribe a political ideology but to describe how it is that political visions tend to sort themselves out as they do. He explains this phenomenon as a conflict of visions of human nature, specifically a conflict between the “constrained vision” and the “unconstrained vision.” The constrained vision views mankind as fundamentally flawed and constrained by that basic reality. The unconstrained vision sees mankind as a people whose potentialities are not constrained by what we would call sin. Thus, we have on the one hand a vision of humanity that pursues tradeoffs and another that insists on perfect solutions, one that is averse to centralization in government because it does not trust humans with power, and another that seeks utopia. This book really helped me to better understand where certain views most likely come from and the importance knowing what a person’s fundamental beliefs about the world is.

You’ve been in our elders meetings for a few months now. What have you observed and learned so far?

Above all else, these elder meetings helped me to understand the importance of a plurality of elders. Every elder meeting, the elders and anyone else in the room discuss with one another a typically highly-debated topic from Scripture that needs clarification for the good of the church. The first topic they were going through when I began attending was divorce and remarriage. A second topic, which they are currently discussing, is church discipline. Because of the plurality of elders, input from each elder is used to better define terms and discern the Scripture’s teaching. All of this strengthens our church in ways that are hard to see except over time.

I also want to mention that the church elders of Heritage love the members so much. During the elder meetings, they pray for specific people of different elder communities and shepherding groups and each meeting is focused on loving you all better by leading the church in the most God-glorifying way imperfect man can. Be in prayer for them, they need your prayers and support!

What are your desires vocationally for the future and how can we pray for you?

Although I’m currently unsure what this will eventually look like, I hope to be actively involved in ministry of some type. I don’t know whether that will be on the mission field, pastoral, or in the workforce while being heavily involved in a church. Lord-willing, my plans in the near future are to become and eventually work as a certified financial planner (CFP) while pursuing a master’s degree in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the future, I desire to be a beacon of hope in the lives of my future clients, fellow church members, family, and friends by giving them practical advice with the knowledge and experience I hope and plan to attain.

Please pray that God continues to guide me and that He would change my desires to match His. Also, please pray that I can be a blessing and encouragement to people at work, my friends, and my family. Lastly, I would appreciate prayer asking God to change and develop my heart to be a more selfless, caring heart than what I have currently. Too much of what I do and say has selfish motives behind it, even if what I do and say looks good from the outside. Thank you for your prayers!

Finally, got any favorite teams or hobbies or special skills we should know about?

I’m a die-hard Indianapolis Colts fan. If I’m able to, I watch every Colts game and listen to daily Colts podcasts to get to know the players and coach better, which adds to the enjoyment of watching the games. I’m also a huge Marvel fan. My prized possession is a 75th Anniversary Captain America shield signed by Stan Lee, the co-creator of Marvel Comics. Also, although I rarely get to play now, I have played trumpet pretty consistently for about 12-13 years now in everything ranging from marching band to symphony orchestra. Performing music on trumpet is one of my favorite things to do.