I was saved as a youngster at Overlea Baptist Church, Overlea, MD. My third grade Sunday School teacher gave an invitation following her lesson one Sunday and I responded to that invitation. Under the direction of Dr. George Lynch, a good number of people left the Southern Baptist Convention to establish the Perry Hall Baptist Church where I was later baptized.
It was in my eighth grade year that my father got a new job in our home town of York, PA. There we attended an independent Bible church. As a junior or senior in high school the Lord was speaking to me about full-time Christian service. One Sunday evening our pastor, who was returning to the mission field, came to speak to our youth group. As he spoke, the Lord was speaking to my heart about the pastorate.
III. MINISTRY SYNOPSIS
A. College Days (1970-1975)
I graduated from high school in the college preparatory course in 1970. Because God called me to pastor, I began a search for a school that would be able to train me for the pastoral ministry. I settled on Grace College of the Bible in Omaha, NE. As a student, I was engaged in various Christian service assignments, some of which included student pastorates. I graduated from two programs in pastoral ministries.
B. Early Ministry (1975-1978)
After college graduation in 1975, I was called to pastor a Mennonite church in Roaring Spring, PA. Those were days of interdenominationalism. The church had an average attendance of 60. A year into this ministry I married the former Gloria Jean Sadler, whose father was pastoring a Christian and Missionary Alliance church nearby. After two years of ministry, we left the Mennonites because of liberalism in the denomination.
We began to attend an independent Baptist church in Mt. Union, PA, where I was asked to be an assistant under Rev. Leon Foote. There, at the Cedar Crest Church, we got our start in the Christian school movement and learned much about separation. A man largely responsible for the latter was Evangelist Lin Croxton.
C. Seminary Days (1978-1983)
In the spring of 1978 we moved to Minneapolis, MN, to begin classes at Central Baptist Theological Seminary that fall. For the first two years I was a student serving as a church member. The last three years in seminary I was involved in church planting missions in the St. Michael/Albertville area, two small towns northwest of Minneapolis, MN.
D. Missionary Ministry (1980-1990)
Beginning my third year at the seminary we entered the church planting ministry to establish a church in Albertville, MN. We called the church, Calvary Baptist Bible Church. I was ordained as an independent Baptist preacher in March of 1983. (The Rockford Baptist Church of Rockford, MN, holds my ordination papers today.) I graduated from the seminary in June of 1983.
After seminary, we continued our missionary activity for another seven years. The Lord directed us to Nebraska for a two year ministry. The first year was spent helping a struggling church with a financial debt. During that year I was pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of Alliance, NE. The second year in Nebraska I became assistant to Pastor Bob Ohlmann (now retired) at Bible Baptist Church in Chadron, NE.
In the fall of 1985, we received a call to teach in a Christian school in PA. We accepted the call with the stipulation that I would be allowed to do missionary work in a nearby town. During these missionary years, we supported our ministry by teaching in Christian schools. After three years in PA and not founding a church, we took a little mission work in Cameron, WV, for a year and a half until they "found out" that we were fundamentalists.
E. Maranatha Baptist Church Ministry (1990-1996)
Dr. Dickerson called me to teach in the Maryland Baptist Bible College in the spring of 1990. The college is a ministry of the Maranatha Baptist Church of Elkton, MD, where Dr. Dickerson was the pastor. I began my ministry in the Bible college in the position of Dean of Men. After two years, I was promoted to the office of Academic Dean for the next three years. When I announced a call to return to a pastoral ministry, Dr. Dickerson kept me on staff for another year as an announcer for radio station WOEL-FM and teaching part-time in the academy. All told we were on staff at MBC for six years. (My wife was active teaching in the church academy.)
F. Dividing Creek Baptist Church Ministry (1996-2001)
The church in south Jersey called me to be their pastor in July of 1996. I had been looking for a pastoral ministry for over a year. The Lord opened the door and we walked through it. My wife and I became involved with all of the ministries of the church. It was a blessing to be a part of this historical church that dates back to its beginning in 1761. During these years my wife taught first grade at Victory Christian School in Williamstown, NJ.
G. Heritage Baptist Church Ministry (2001-2016)
In April of 2001, I was asked to consider becoming the pastor for a new church that would be planted in Lancaster County, PA. We surveyed the area and found several communities that were in need of an independent, fundamental Baptist church. The Lord directed us originally to the Neffsville area. After a year of meeting in a hotel the Lord opened a door to rent a storefront in Manheim, PA. Our goal is to plant this church and subsequently plant other like-minded Baptist churches around us. Our supporting churches for this endeavor have included the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Denver, PA, and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Brogue, PA.
G. Hedgemaker Baptist Ministries (2016 - the present)
Beginning March 1, 2016, we embarked upon a ministry of preaching, teaching, and writing outside of the senior pastoral role. However, I am currently serving as Assistant Pastor for the Gospel Light Baptist Church of Millersville, PA, www.light4lancaster.com. In this ministry I am available for pulpit supply as needed.
IV. EDUCATION SUMMARY
degree date school location
diploma 1970 Wm. Penn S.H.S., York, PA
B.A. 1974 Grace College of the Bible, Omaha, NE
Th.B. 1975 Grace College of the Bible, Omaha, NE
M.Div. 1983 Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Mpls, MN
D.Min. 2005 Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Newington, CT
V. DOCTRINAL POSITION
I believe the Biblical pattern for the local church is to be independent and autonomous. Thus, I believe the local church ought to have no affiliation with any denominational structure or connection with ecclesiastical hierarchy.
As a fundamentalist I believe in:
The inspiration of the Word of God in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and the preservation of the Bible in the present languages, namely the English translation into the King James Version.
The deity of Christ including the virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles and his oneness with the Father.
The blood atonement, Heb. 9:22.
Justification by grace through faith alone and not of works, Eph. 2:8-9.
The second coming of Christ which I believe to be the dispensational, pre-tribulational rapture of those in Christ and the subsequent pre-millennial coming of Christ to rule and reign as King for 1000 years.
I believe that all the activities of the believer and his local church ought to be surrounded with evangelism and discipleship of the lost.
I believe that the believer and his local church ought to maintain a position of holiness from all that would bring reproach upon the Saviour's name or become a stumbling block to a brother.
I believe the Biblical position to be that of the historic Baptists rather than that of Catholics, Protestants, Charismatics or other denominational stance. In fact, a Biblicist will be an independent, fundamental Baptist.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at email@example.com.