Heed God’s Call
I grew up in a Christian family in a small town in Mississippi. I was given every advantage that Christian parents can offer their children: family devotions at night, every Sunday and Wednesday at church, youth camp—they even sent my brother and me to a private school where we received daily Bible study classes. At the age of twelve, I was saved at “Judgment House,” a live production that followed what happened to five teenagers after they were killed in a car accident.
I meandered through my teenage years with only a few passing thoughts to my salvation. I loved God and was thankful to Jesus for what he had done for me but I didn’t LIVE for Him. When I was fourteen, my father became a pastor and that’s when my real rebellion began. I joined the Navy after high school and became a stereotypical sailor: fighting, drinking, and partying. God blessed me with a beautiful wife and two wonderful children, but they were lacking a true spiritual leader in our household.
In December of 2007, I started with Pride offshore as a roustabout. I soon discovered how much I loved working offshore and after a few months, I took a position as an electrician. One thing led to another, and I found myself a part of Pride’s new drill ship project, the Deep Ocean Clarion. Throughout this whole time, unbeknownst to me, God was quietly at work.
My wife, Crystal, suggested that we try a new church. We started just on Sunday mornings and in a few months we were attending church several times a week. God began to speak to both of us through these experiences.
The turning point for me was when we attended a “marriage enrichment conference” in Nashville. God used the words of the speakers to reach out to me. It was very clear what He was saying: “I have more for you.” Still I ran from His voice.
In July of 2011, I had reached a low point. I was on the rig and after my tour was finished for the night, I went into my cabin and cried out to God. He answered.
I was filled with such an overwhelming feeling of peace. I told God that I didn’t care what He wanted, I would answer the call. His reply was very simple: “Live your faith.”
Some months before, I bought a case of OCF Bibles and brought a few to the rig with me. Word spread that I had some “Oilfield Bibles” and I soon had found enough interested parties to begin a Bible study. We began small, just me and one other, but by the grace of God, we have grown. We now have over fifteen guys attend on a regular basis. That sounds like a lot, but with everyone working different tours, we never have more than four or five at a time.
In November of 2011, I was sitting in a church that we were visiting in Nashville. I felt the overwhelmingly still, small voice of God calling me to surrender to full time ministry. I was licensed as a minister by my home church in January 2013. Since then I have been speaking in various churches, preaching the Gospel of Jesus to God’s children. I continue to lead Bible studies and counsel people on the rig as I share my story with anyone who will listen and pray that God will speak to them through my experiences.