In the spring of 2015, I joined Praying Pelican Missions as summer seasonal staff in Puerto Rico to lead teams that came to serve. While there, I felt God calling me to serve in Puerto Rico full-time. But at that point, I was unsure in what capacity that would be. I made many contacts while in Puerto Rico with local pastors. My wife, Carolyn, and I prayed about what my mission would be down there. Then in the summer of 2017, a pastor friend and I were sharing our visions and discovered the two greatly complimented each other.
Just a couple months later, September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated the island. It wasn't until late December that we were finally able to hear from some of our friends there. They shared how they were in need of clean drinking water. My daughter Leah and I put out a plea for water filters. We received 27 filters and delivered them in February 2018, to a pastor friend in the mountains. By then our family was hooked! I embraced the call to serve in Puerto Rico.
I was born and raised in a Christian family where church life was as important as our family life. When I graduated high school, I moved to Cincinnati to attend Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary. I graduated in 1991, and also while there, met my wife Carolyn. We were married in September 1991. Since then, we have served several churches in the U.S. in a variety of ways, including as Youth Minister and Children's Minister. For the past 24 years, we have lived in Cincinnati, Ohio where we have raised our three daughters Rachel, Hannah, and Leah.
Rachel and Nolan McClurg
Hannah Whitehurst and Micah Knisley
Leah and James Matthews
Our daughter Rachel is married to Nolan McClurg, and they currently live in Grayson, KY. Hannah lives outside of Cincinnati and helps lead worship at her church, and engaged to be married to Micah Knisley in November, 2021. Leah and her husband James live in Atlanta, GA are proud parents of Kathleen Marilyn. Leah is our Trip Coordinator for Vine and Branches.
Vine and Branches Statement of Faith
God exists as three in one, three distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
God is Creator of all the universe
Jesus is both Lord and Savior
Jesus was both fully human and fully God
Jesus was crucified on a cross to secure our salvation
Jesus died, was buried and rose on the Third day
Jesus ascended into Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God
Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead
Jesus is the only name by which you can be saved
Exist as the third person of the Trinity
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us as our helper
Inerrant Word of God that was inspired and is reliable
God created human beings in his own image both male and female God created
Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman
Humans bear the image of God, but it has been distorted due to sin
Apart from God's intervention to save mankind, all humanity would be lost
Salvation involves putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ as Lord and Savior, and being immersed into Christ through baptism by immersion
Heaven is where the saved will enjoy everlasting life
Hell is real, it is where the unsaved will suffer everlasting, conscious torment.