About Me ...
The only way I can describe my first 71 years on this planet is to say I have been lavishly and abundantly blessed. For over 55 years I have been stepping on stages and into pulpits doing what I love to do most; inspiring, encouraging, and entertaining others. I have had the joyous privilege of sharing music and thoughts with audiences and congregations all across America. Who could ask for more?
Growing up in the small farm community of Walnut, Illinois, my desire to communicate came early. Somehow (I'm not sure exactly when or how... I was too young to remember) I acquired a love of music as a child in the 50s and more dramatically as a teenager in the 60s. That passion led to a series of locally and regionally successful rock and roll bands, and an even more successful career as a solo club singer.
The direction of my life and music changed dramatically in the late 70s as serious soul searching led me to a decision to follow Jesus Christ and to pursue a life in Christian music and ministry. Soon I was back on the road, taking my music to churches, camps, conferences, and concert stages throughout the United States. I started as a singer only, hiding behind my Ovation guitar and letting the songs do the work of communicating, but the challenge of friends and family--along with a burning need within me--led me to start speaking and writing.
I have been blessed to have had a rich array of experiences. Believe me, my life has never--and I mean never--been boring. From 1988 until 2003 I had the privilege of serving as Pastor of Walnut Community Bible Church, following which I served for two years as the director of Bureau Valley Youth For Christ, working with teenagers in the Bureau Valley School district. Since 2006 I have had the honor of serving as the Pastor of the Erie Evangelical Free Church in Erie, Illinois. As an added blessing, I now serve Erie E. Free alongside son #4, Jonathan who is taking over the reigns from me to allow more time for other pursuits. Along the way I have written numerous articles and columns for local publications and newspapers. I currently have several book projects in the works as well.
The greatest blessing in my life, above all, is my family. Next July (2022) I will celebrate 50 years of marriage to my childhood sweetheart (and I do mean childhood--we met when we were 5). Together we have raised 5 sons ( I don't understand why everyone groans when I say that) and they have blessed us with four beautiful daughters-in-law who are perfect fits for our active family and whom we love like daughter, We are also blessed with seven perfect grandchildren and four precious grand-puppies.
I consider it a great joy to have the opportunity to share my words, songs, and ideas with audiences everywhere and anywhere. I look forward to seeing you soon!