My faith journey:
I was born in Madisonville, Kentucky to Thomas and Janice Cartwright. My father was a deacon and Sunday School teacher. My mother was active in the Woman’s Missionary Union and other church ministries. From early on I was taught of God’s love for me and how he sent his son, Jesus, to die for my sins. By around age eight I began asking many questions of my father about what it means to be a sinner and placing faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. I recall keeping him awake many nights peppering him with question after question. He patiently listened, answered and helped bring me to the place where I was ready to take the step of faith. In the spring of my third grade year I was sitting at my school desk and God suddenly impressed on me that now was the time to take the step. I went to my teacher’s desk and explained to her what was happening. She was a Christian so I knew I could talk to her. She quietly asked if I knew what I needed to do. She then led me in a simple prayer and I confessed Jesus as my Savior. In May of that year, 1967, I was baptized at the Westview Baptist Church in Belleville, Illinois. Since then my life has been continually spent in the life of the church serving in many capacities.
I attended Eastern Illinois University and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in history. I earned a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Many years later I completed teacher education at the University of Illinois, Springfield. I have taught in Bible study for all ages, sung in youth and adult choirs, served on various church committees, participated in and led mission trips in the United States and Czech Republic, served as pastor, youth minister, campus minister to college students, taught in Christian schools and served as principal of one. While a freshman in college I answered a call from God to the ministry. Since seminary God has led me into different ministries. He gave me the gifts of preaching/teaching, discernment and knowledge. I am never as fulfilled as when I enable God’s people to understand the truths of scripture and apply those truths to their lives.
I have been married to Audrey for forty years and have three sons: Philip, Peter, and Paul. The Lord has blessed us with five grandchildren.
I have worked as a paraprofessional in pre-kindergarten, taught ESE Pre-K, high school history, grades 2nd, 4th, 6th and currently 3rd at American Classical Charter Academy in St. Cloud.
Books I recommend:
- The Pleasures of God by John Piper
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer
- The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
- Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne
- A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
- I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler
Church figures I recommend reading about :
- Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
- Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton
- The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe