Pastor Al accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior on April 6, 1969 at the young age of 8. He was raised in a Christian home and was always at church. He recalls during his young life receiving Sunday School Attendance Pins for 8 years of perfect attendance. However, there was a new awareness about sin, and how he had fallen short of Heaven after learning Romans 3:23 during a project in Royal Ambassadors. It was the night before Easter and the family was watching "Ben Hur", which at the time was the seasonal movie. He recalls asking his mom why Ben Hur's mom and sister's leprosy washed off with the rain when Jesus died on the cross. Her reply was "the leprosy is a picture of sin, Jesus died to wash our sin away." The next afternoon after the Easter Service, Al told his mom that he felt like and elephant was sitting on his chest. After reaching out to their pastor, Banks Hardy, Al prayed and accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus' amazing grace.
After graduating from Blacksburg High School 1979, Al enlisted in the United States Submarine Service. At the age of 17, he was running from the pressure that his grandma and other church people who were saying that God had his hand on his life. So like Jonah, Al ran and found himself in the belly of a big steel whale called a submarine. After 8 years his enlistment was up and he went into civilian life looking for a purpose. Again, the Lord was showing His plan for Al. 1988 he found himself visiting a small store front church, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, N.C., where he met Pastor Wayne Reese. Pastor Wayne took Al under his care and discipled him and challenged him to find God's purpose for his life. After about a year, Al surrendered to preach the Word of God. Grandma was right!
Al and Judy moved to New Mexico from Leesburg, FL where he served as Children's Pastor at Grace Bible Baptist Church under the direction and mentor-ship of Dr.George Mulford III. Al and Judy have always enjoyed working together in the ministry. They were active members of the Central Florida AWANA Missionary Team, where they helped to establish AWANA Clubs throughout Central Florida.
Al and Judy primarily moved to N.M. to assist in the care of Judy's parent's who were up in years and afflicted with the dreadful Alzheimer's disease. Al was challenged in such a decision to leave the ministry that God was blessing there in Florida and moving to the Land of Enchantment. After much prayer and counseling from Pastor Mulford, the decision was made to make the move in faith that the Lord would open a new avenue of ministry.
Around 2 pm on Thursday, June 5, 2014 Al and Judy arrived in New Mexico with a loaded U-Haul pulling a car on a trailer, and his truck loaded as well. Al decided to make a few calls to line up a church visit for the upcoming Sunday. He had over the previous year been looking at churches in the area that were without a pastor. The first call made was to First Baptist of Bernalillo, who he had tried to reach on multiple occasions with no success. But this time some one answered the phone. Long story short, 76 days later on August 31, 2014, Al preached in lieu of a call, and became the pastor on September 1, 2014.
Judy can be found busy behind the scenes and supporting pastor and the ministries of First Baptist Church. On Sunday mornings she is busy in the sound booth, taking care of sound and the video production that is being live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube.
Pastor Al's life verse is Romans 12:1–2
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Favorite Books other than the Bible
My Utmost for His Highest
Thru the Bible with Dr. J. Vernon McGee
J. Vernon McGee; R. A. Torrey; Oswald Chambers; H.A. Ironside; M.R. DeHaan;
A.W. Tozer; Charles Stanley; and Max Lucado
Reef Aquarium; Grilling; American History