“Mortician.”  That’s what the 9th grade career assessment revealed I should be when I grew up – even though I wanted to be a chef and own a restaurant. 

A native of Granville, Ohio, I graduated Granville High School, earned a B.A. in Business from Hanover College in southern Indiana, moved to Cincinnati to start a career, moved back to Columbus to further that career, and found a church home.  And then the unimaginable happened: a call to ordained ministry.

I moved to Chicago to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  I graduated with an M.Div, and returned to Columbus to begin serving in a variety of church settings: urban neighborhood, metropolitan, rural new church start, suburban, and now inner-city as the newest senior pastor at the church where I was once a member when I experienced this call to ordained ministry. 

It’s no restaurant, and I’m no chef, but I get to be part of this great congregation which feeds more than 100 homeless neighbors every week, and I couldn’t be happier. 

I wonder where “mortician” might have taken me…

John’s LEAD talk topic: It’s hard to lead from behind, and even harder to follow when you’re out in front.  It’s important to know where you’re going before you go