At the age of 9, I was saved during a time of family devotions. At 11, I sensed that God was calling me to preach and walked down the aisle during invitation at a Bible conference at church. It was not too long after that day that I began running from that call because of idolatry, rebellion, and other sin.
It would be 15 years after that first call that God began breaking my heart over the sin in my life, and shortly thereafter, the call to preach became clear once again. I continued to teach and coach for 6 more years and God used that time to prepare me for the ministries of preaching, shepherding, and disciple-making.
I have been blessed so abundantly with a wonderful wife who is truly a gift from God. God has richly blessed Sheila and I with four great daughters – Emily, Hannah, Grace, and Mariah.
I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy working out, jogging, playing and coaching basketball. Over the last 5 years, I have coached Mariah’s basketball team and one week during the summer, I run my own basketball camp called “Follow Through with Christ.” It is a basketball camp for teaching the basic fundamental and advanced skills of basketball with a spiritual emphasis.
My goals and passion in ministry are for teaching the Word of God, equipping the saints, helping people know who they are in Christ, and encouraging men to love and lead better. I also enjoy the subject of apologetics and would love to start an apologetics ministry here at Pope Drive where believers can be taught what they believe, why they believe, and how to defend what they believe as mandated in 1 Peter 3:15. I am also willing to disciple men on a personal level as taught in 2 Timothy 2:2.
Most of all, my passion is to see people walk with Christ intimately, knowing Him as their life for the edifying of the church and the glory of the true and living God.
I became a Christian at the age of 21 and shortly following my conversion experience surrendered to God’s call of my life into His ministry. The past 40 years of my life has been devoted to presenting the Gospel of Christ through personal witnessing and pastoral ministry in local churches. My wife, Margaret, and I are committed to serve the Lord through the Word, Prayer, Evangelism and Mission work. (Acts 20:27,28) For the past several years, God has given us a Passion for Him and a compassion to minister to children His truth that will change a child’s heart. It is always a joy to witness a child birthed into God’s family.
“Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.”
Richard has been in the music ministry for more than twenty-five years. He states the following about his love for music and worship, “Worship is the expression of love, honor, and devotion to the Lord, and music in the primary tool for such expression. Our goal for each service is that, when the time comes for the preaching of the Word of God, our hearts are hungry to receive it with a renewed longing for more of Him.” Richard joined the Pope Drive staff in June 2010 and has brought a refreshing spirit of genuine worship through the blending of contemporary praise choruses, praise and worship anthems, and traditional hymns. Second only to his devotion to the Lord is Richard’s devotion to his family. Richard and his wife, Kim, were married in 1986 and have two children and two grandsons.
RJ has been in youth ministry since 2009, and joined the Pope Drive staff in 2014. He is married to Brandee and they have one son, Kaydon. RJ is currently attending Covington Theological Seminary. It is RJ’s desire to obey God’s commandments, to teach according to His Word, and to love the youth. RJ loves to connect with the youth on a personal level. It is not uncommon to see him on a Friday night at a football game then on a Saturday night at a dance recital! He loves to support the youth in any way he can.
Leah has been serving as Financial Secretary since 1994. She moved to Anderson from Ohio in 1988. Her love is in the field of missions.