I had been serving as Kids’ Pastor at another church in Olive Branch. When you serve at a church you don’t always get to worship as a family. My wife, in 2004, found Hope had a Saturday night service and we began to make Saturday nights our family worship night. Our kids were still active in their youth groups and our church on Sunday mornings, but Saturday night was a priority. No matter what we were doing Saturday night became family worship night at Hope. As we attended, we began to participate in activities and events. My youngest son has known Hope his whole life. I began to volunteer in the kids’ ministry for special events like Christmas and Easter.
Around 2012, the church where I was serving hired a new pastor and it was becoming obvious to me that the direction the church was going was in contrast to what I had begun believing while attending Hope. I loved the people of that church and stayed, hoping to "change" things there. At the end of 2014, the new pastor asked me to leave because our ministry was not going in the direction he wanted it to go. This was very difficult, we were losing friends and family. If we had not been coming to Hope, our youngest would have lost all his church friends. As it was, the transition was made easier because we had a church home at Hope.
After prayer and job searching for several months, nothing was happening. Serving in the kids’ ministry one Saturday night, Shelly Cheng asked me if I had found a job because a position in the kids’ ministry had become available. I came on staff in 2015. After being on staff these last few years, our family has never been happier with our church decision. My wife volunteers in the preschool department, Caleb is a part of HSM and we will never go back to a homogenous church. We are blessed to be here, we are bought in to the vision of leadership. We are not afraid to invite people to Hope because we know no one will ever do or say something from the front that will be embarrassing, the music will always be great and the ministries here will always be welcoming!