Drew serves as President of The Clergy Project.
In many ways, my story is as stereotypical American evangelical as it gets. Complete with altar calls, Bible camps, and purity rallies. Or at least it starts off that way.
I was raised in a small Baptist church in small-town Central Minnesota. Prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” when I was just three years old. Somehow spontaneously finding ourselves in the bathroom, I prayed that prayer with my mother, kneeling over the bathtub’s edge and repeating her words as my own, confessing my preschool-age sins while asking Jesus to come into my life and grant me the forgiveness I was told I had so desperately needed. From there it was a childhood of Sunday schools and AWANA programs, of youth groups and Bible studies.
I was born in 1942, the third of four children. As I grew up, I was loved by my parents, family, people in the Conservative Baptist church, and, I thought, by God. I had severe migraine headaches from childhood unable to play like other children, or do sports, because of physical collapse. The migraines continued weekly, or more, into late adulthood. My father, older sister and younger brother were sports stars in school. I read a lot, played as I could and was generally happy, but isolated.
When I was 18, I was drawn to a strict Christian sect known as Independent Fundamental Baptists. They convinced me that they were the only true church and I became a born-again, washed-in-blood Christian. I left Gallaudet University, the nation’s premier school for deaf students, to enroll at Capital Baptist Deaf College, where I graduated with an unaccredited bachelor’s degree in pastoral studies.
As a psychologist, I continued to try to help people find meaning in their lives. I taught at the university and medical school, had a private clinical practice, and then became a professional speaker on “Psychology You Can USE!” I seriously doubt that life has any ultimate meaning, but I’m convinced that we can make our own meaning, and I have spent the last 45 years since I left the ministry trying to help people do just that. Success is not the goal
In Southern Baptist circles, they say “once saved, always saved” as if there’s no going back. They say something similar about alcoholics so I can’t help but picture myself seated in a circle in the middle of a gymnasium, waiting for my turn to stand up and say, “Hi. My name is Ches and I’m a Jesuholic.” Anyway, I’m from Houston, married with three children, and I work as a computer tech at a middle school. I have a background in art and I’m also an
John serves on TCP’s Screening Committee. Where to start??? I grew up in the home of a Southern Baptist minister in North Carolina. I started Wake Forest College (WF) in 1960 and graduated in 1967. I would say that is because I am a slow learner but the truth is I dropped out of college in the fall of my sophomore year and spent the next 3 years in the US Army (doesn’t mean that I’m NOT a slow learner!). I Was