I grew up attending First Christian Church in the small town of Unionville, Missouri. Surrounded by strong Christian men and women, our close-knit church blessed me by always supporting me.
During my youth, my mother and father served as volunteers on the worship team. Whenever I was old enough, I began playing drums for the band each Sunday. I think this experience really placed a passion for music and worship in me, which eventually would set me on my path towards Central.
Before I realized that passion though, I had different plans for my future. During my senior year, I applied to several different schools, but no Christian colleges. I eventually decided to attend Truman State University to study business management or prepare for law school. But right before school started, God placed me at a Christian concert, and I realized that I wanted to lead people in true, authentic worship. During my first semester at Truman, I was already planning to go somewhere to be trained for ministry.
Some family, including my dad, had attended Central. But I kept telling him, “No, I am not going to apply at Central.” As the fall semester came to a close, I applied at another Christian College, but they had no scholarships for spring transfers. When I called Central’s admissions to see if I could still apply, they said it wasn’t too late. Then they described the Full-Tuition scholarship, and I couldn’t believe I would save that much money. Still unsure if it was going to be my final college destination,
I took the first step in what would ultimately be a four-year journey. When I arrived on campus in the spring of 2013, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. My first semester, I realized how much I didn’t know about the Bible. It seems amazing to me now, but before I started at Central, there were so many books of the Bible that I had no idea what their contents were. When I took Life of Christ I, I was amazed that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were all different men’s telling of the same story. Drinking in all the new information, I enjoyed learning about something that finally seemed applicable and vital. In Christian Discipleship, I was shown for the first time how we can each connect with God in different ways. My classmates and I studied together, helped each other out, and played volleyball whenever we had free time. I had found the home I never expected.
While finding a new passion for learning, I had not forgotten my first passion that brought me to Central: worship. In the Associate of Worship Arts program, I could play the drums, but if I was going to lead by singing, I wanted to play the guitar. There was a professor who played acoustic guitar, and we started playing together. Even though I wasn’t where I needed to be, I auditioned to lead chapel. Being selected as a leader put me on a path for a huge involvement in Central’s worship program.
As a worship arts student, I was first involved in chapel. Soon I started leading worship at a nearby church. That growing experience allowed me to work on my interpersonal skills. After two years, I had to decide whether to continue a bachelor’s degree at Central, or transfer after completing my associate degree. After some time and prayer, I knew Central was where I wanted to be. During my junior year, the school began sending me with a traveling worship team known as All the Earth. We drove many miles together to lead different churches in worship, and we all grew and changed.
I am so glad that I chose to stay at Central, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministries along with an Associate of Worship Arts degree. Following my graduation, Alyssa and I were married, and we will stay in Moberly for a time while she finishes school. After that, we are open to wherever God leads.
I am grateful that my church family and the Central family has been praying for me and helping me to grow as I find God’s calling for me, whatever it may be. I am not sure what the future holds, or what I will end up doing with my life, but the opportunity to come to Central and receive the Full-Tuition Scholarship has had a huge impact on my college and post-college experience. How grateful I am to all the donors who have been constant in their giving to Central. I will be able to go into the world without the huge burden of debt holding me down, and that is something that I can never repay.