Right, now I’m about graduating from Westminster Seminary California. One day, I would like to be about church planting and Lord willing in Missoula. Missoula holds a special place in my heart. It is where I learned to nymph fish. It is where I met my beautiful wife Liz and also where we married. There are so many other things I could mention but for the sake of simplicity I will mention one last thing. Missoula is the place where I answered the call to the ministry and that call has led Liz and I to Escondido, California but our journey began in Missoula Montana.
Liz graduated from the University of Montana; I attended her graduation even though I barely knew her. It seemed like a smart move to get to know this cute girl. We met at Missoula Alliance Church helping the youth ministry. After several years of serving the youth, I heeded the call to the ministry. So, Pastor Scott Brooks sent us off to Moody Bible Institute.
At Moody, I majored in Bible with an emphasis in Greek. Growing in understanding of Scripture I encountered the reformed doctrines of grace, known by the acronym TULIP. At first, I met these doctrines with hostility as they challenged my worldview and picture of God. However, over time I came to embrace them to find an almighty God who is also a faithful Father.
I eventually accepted Reformed theology and joined the United Reformed Church. What is a Reformed church? It is what I’m all about. We are Christians confessing the four ecumenical creeds of the ancient church (e.g. we believe in the Trinity). We are Protestant confessing the five solas of the reformation. We are Reformed, the original protestants of the Calvinian tradition as opposed to Lutherans. My denomination descends from the continental Reformed tradition with our oldest confession prepared in 1561 to protest against the papist persecutors that those of the Reformed faith were no rebels but law-abiding citizens who professed the true Christian doctrine according to the Holy Scriptures.
Now as my education ends in May, Liz and I must look for a call within a Reformed denomination. Ever since I embraced the Reformed faith, I have desired to bring this confession of the faith to Missoula, our hometown. I approached Belgrade URC and they became excited about the opportunity. So, under the care of the Belgrade consistory we are doing pioneer work to establish a historic Christian, Protestant, Reformed Church.