How God found me For most of my life, I believed the lie that I did not need God...
“You’ve always been a Presbyterian,”
Some years ago, a witty friend of mine introduced me as a “Methobapterian.” I am the great, great, grandson of circuit ridding Methodist ministers in Arkansas and Texas. I first encountered God while kneeling with my Confirmation Class, being baptized, and taking my first Communion. It was Easter Sunday and my 12th birthday when, in John Wesley’s words,
“I felt my heart strangely warmed.”
God surprised me with a call to the ministry while in college. By the time I graduated, my involvement in ministry led to my ordination by my Baylor professors. However, it was a decade later when yet another friend, who happened to be a psychiatrist, said to me, “Bob, you’ve always been a Presbyterian and just didn’t know it.” With that confirmation, I resigned my eight-year Baptist pastorate in north Dallas, and took my family to Highland Park Presbyterian Church. There we found a happy place for our young family, and to my great surprise, I was invited to become part of the staff by the Senior Pastor at the time, Clayton Bell.
Four years ago, my wife and I were called from Atlanta to Galveston Island where I am pastor of West Isle Presbyterian Church. Beth is a personal trainer who finds herself in great demand in a pervasive Baby Boomer culture. We have five children and five grandchildren who live in the Austin and Dallas area. Living and ministering on Galveston Island in the midst of a laid back recreational setting has its charm. West Isle is a small but mighty congregation that found a happy home in ECO early in 2013.
Looking forward to what’s ahead
In what now seems a lifetime of ministry, I have come to believe two things very deeply.
- All ministry and mission is Christ’s ministry and mission;
- Being a disciple of Jesus is all about living the Great Commandment and fulfilling the Great Commission.
Sharing the ministry and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ has kindled my passion for creating flourishing Missional churches focused on becoming inwardly strong and outwardly focused.
Serving as Moderator of the ECO Presbytery of Texas and Louisiana has been a busy and exhilarating time. We were blessed to have the ECO Gathering in Dallas where we had 140 present for our inaugural Presbytery of Texas and Louisiana meeting. We presently number 11 churches: 10 churches from across Texas and one in neighboring Louisiana, which range from several small and medium-sized churches, and four large churches with more on their way.
Bob grew up in the ranch country of New Mexico. He is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, TX (BA), Trinity Evangelical School in Deerfield, IL (M. Div.), and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, TX (D. Min.) Being an extrovert, Bob enjoys spending time with family and friends, distance swimming and walking, reading, the arts, and Baylor football and basketball.