I'm an army "brat" who grew up on the move. By the time I graduated from Hanau American High School in Hanau, Germany, I had lived in six different states and two cities in Germany. I was a good student, was always playing ball (baseball, golf, tennis, basketball) or running cross-country, and played clarinet in my high school marching band. During my senior year I accepted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, intending to follow in my father's footsteps as as army officer.
I've had a keen interest in spiritual matters for as long as I can remember and our family's regular church and Sunday school attendance was a key factor in my acceptance of Christ as Savior when I was a young boy. In West Point's first-year pressure cooker, separated by an ocean from my family, I began to ask God questions like: "What is my purpose in life?" I discovered that my primary purpose was to begin living my life to glorify God. I sought to do this by developing my relationship with Christ and by actively participating in Christian fellowship. At a weekend conference I was challenged with the biblical mandate to "make disciples of all nations." I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking and became increasingly aware that I needed to make a change.
I transferred to Virginia Tech and majored in mechanical engineering. During my days at Va. Tech, I attended a missions-minded church and got involved in the leadership of our Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship chapter on campus. I committed myself to serve the Lord overseas at Urbana '81.
After graduation, I worked for a couple of years as an engineer at NASA and got involved leading a singles' group at my church in Huntsville, AL. In order to prepare further for Christian ministry abroad, I got a Master of Divinity at Columbia Int. University in SC, where I met Anne Letchford. We were married in 1987. Before leaving for Europe in 1992 I gained a lot of practical ministry experience by serving as an assistant pastor for three years at a solid church in Lancaster County, PA.
We learned Polish and worked in a variety of capacities during our 8-year stint in Poland. When we were denied a visa in 1999, we moved to Germany, where we helped establish the Evangelical Free Church (FeG) of Kaiserslautern. In 2003 we started the FeG Ramstein; we turned our responsibilities in that church over to a young German pastor in early 2012.
We moved to Dresden at the end of 2014 and are getting to know our partner church, the EV Free Church of Dresden (FeG), getting to know new people in a new city and preparing to launch one (or more) church plants.
Anne, Peter, Andrew, Megan
Church planting with the German Evangelical Free Church (Bund Freier evangelischer Gemeinden). We aim to plant dynamic churches that will be known for their concern for outsiders and their atmosphere of grace. In the initial stages of a church plant we spend a lot of time building relationships and planning and putting on a variety of fun outreach activities and pre-evangelistic and evangelistic events. We also seek creative ways to contribute to community life.
For an interesting, funny and remarkably accurate summary of some characteristics of German people and culture, read this blog post:
DISCLAIMER: I take absolutely no responsibility for the content of this post or the blog. Please read it with this disclaimer in mind.
My wife and I have experienced many of the things in the blogger's list and we have come to love Germany and the German people, particularly our friends from the Kaiserslautern-Ramstein area of Rheinland-Pfalz, where we just spent 13 great years.
Primary Prayer Request:
As of spring 2014, we are drilling some "test wells" in 2-3 different locations to gauge the openness of the people to the Gospel and the prospects of planting churches in these locations. Pray that the Lord will guide us clearly, open doors for ministry among atheists and lead us to people who have been waiting to hear the Gospel.