BA in Religious Studies and Sociology, Class of 2004
I came to Crandall University (Atlantic Baptist University at the time) in 2000 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Sociology. While at Crandall, I met my wife Lachelle (Harris), who was taking her Bachelor of Science (’04) and later her Bachelor of Education (’06). Upon graduating in 2004, I did not know what my next step should be, but we decided to stay in Moncton while Lachelle finished her Education degree. So, when a job opened up in Crandall’s Admissions department, it seemed like the perfect next step! I worked in this role for a year and then became the Residence and Student Life Director. Looking back on those years, it is so evident that the Lord was using that time to prepare me for a career in ministry. It was during these years that my passion for working with youth and young adults became clear. I wanted to come alongside students to point them to Jesus and help them become engaged with local church communities.
In 2007 it became clear that I should prepare for a career in ministry, so as a result, we packed up and moved to the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia where I began full-time studies at Acadia Divinity College while serving as a part-time youth pastor at First Cornwallis Baptist Church (Our oldest daughter was born during that time). In 2011 I graduated with a Masters of Divinity and was ordained at Douglas Baptist Church. Our next three children were born during my years at Douglas. In those years, I directed Middle School Springforth and I was also able to lead a mission trip to Kenya through Springforth and Canadian Baptist Ministries. Another highlight of my years at Douglas was leading an incredible group of students and leaders to New York City. One of the funny stories from that trip was when I lost two of our students near Times Square. Thankfully we found them and no harm was done – they are now both students at Crandall University! In 2017 I accepted a call to be the associate pastor at Grand Bay Baptist.
My time in church ministry prepared me for my current role as the Director of Youth and Family at Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada. This job allows me to encourage and empower other youth leaders in Atlantic Canada as they minister to youth and children. In this role, I am privileged to advocate on behalf of youth – as we strive to elevate the voices of youth and give them opportunities to speak into our churches. In addition, I help plan events and conferences that support churches and pastors in Next Generation ministries. Currently, we are working through a research project in which we have surveyed students across the Maritimes for their perspectives on faith and church. It is amazing to see all the things that the Lord arranged to get me to this point.
When I think back to my time at Crandall, it is amazing to see how that experience shaped me. Four years is a relatively short time in the grand scheme of life, but those four years have had a huge impact on my life and career. The Lord used my studies, friends, and the staff and faculty to play a vital role in preparing me for ministry. The professors and staff helped shape me into the person I am today. I have to give a special shout-out to Dr. Sam Reimer who was a wonderful influence on both my studies and spiritual life. The friendships I formed during those years have continued to this day. Furthermore, completing the Youth Leadership Certificate was especially beneficial to my work with Youth Ministry. The experience taught me so much and helped cultivate my passion for working with youth. I also have to give some credit to the constant pranks during my time as an RA and chasing Laurie Douthwright through Murray Hall during a water-gun fight (Current Students: please do not attempt this), for preparing me for a career in youth ministry and the shenanigans that often ensue! I am forever thankful for my time at Crandall. The lessons I learned during that time are still so relevant to me today!