I grew up on a 1,100-acre ranch in Eastern Oklahoma, which taught me the importance of character and the benefits of hard work. That was a lifetime ago, but I have never lost that influence on my life.
The love of sports began at an early age, culminating in playing football for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M junior college and again as a walk-on during my first year at the University of Arkansas where I would graduate in 1975. That love saw me play early-morning basketball games at the YMCA up to just a couple of years ago.
I began sensing God’s call to the ministry during my college years. I pursued a Master of Divinity degree at Oral Roberts School of Theology, at the time, a fully accredited United Methodist Seminary. In 1977, I began my first pastorate at a Free Methodist Church, which was a church plant in a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma.