Growing up in the Southeastern United States, I attended Christian schools, was a two-sport athlete, and highly outgoing. I often struggled with the concept of identity. The reality was that I didn’t fit into many of the popular categories, because of the reality that I lived with same-sex attraction. After High School, I experienced increasing levels of freedom to come out and live a homosexual identity. However, this never really provided the freedom I assumed it would because of a deep belief in God and that same-sex attraction does not reconcile with who God is.
After years of seeking to live both lives, I joyfully surrendered to a Christ-centered identity. Sixteen years ago God reconciled himself to me through identification with the cross and out of a homosexual identity. Soon after while preparing for the ministry in Wake Forest, NC, I met Casey. After four years of dating, Casey and I married in 2004. Today, we have been married for 11 years and have six amazing kiddos that teach us, fill us, challenge us, and deepen us daily.
God has burdened both Casey and me that his church should be a place of freedom and restoration for those wanting reconciliation and identification with the cross of Christ. However, our churches often are not prepared to walk with those living with same-sex attraction and gender identity dysphoria.
I have ministered to teenagers for the past 14 years, as a youth pastor and also as a Christian schoolteacher and coach. However, The Church has always been my passion. Also, my heart for the sexually marginalized in the church has been increasing over the past few years. While pursuing my Ph.D. in Leadership and Christian Ministry through Dallas Baptist University, God began to make my passions and desires clearer through writing and research in the area of Sexual Identity and the Church.
This past Spring Casey and I yielded to God’s call to pursue ministry to the church on behalf of those living with same-sex attraction and gender identity dysphoria. The Identify Network is the answer to the call that God has made clear to us both.