Get to Know Pastor Rob
Where Were You Born?
I was born November 3rd, 1979 in Jacksonville, FL. St. Vincents to be specific! DUUUUUUUUUVVAAAL till I die!!!
Tell Us About Your Childhood?
I had a pretty normal childhood. I was raised by a single momma who did all she could to provide for us. I lived in old Arlington until the 10th grade. My mom remarried and we went to live in Jacksonville Beach. My childhood was full of professional wrestling, tastey Granny treats and lowrider magazines.
You Often Refer to your "Car Club"... Can You Explain?
When I was about 14 years old my sister's boyfriend joined a car club and let me attend their weekly meeting. I was in awe! These were the coolest guys I had ever seen, had the baddest rides, the beautiful ladies and they all represented under the same name. One for all. All for one. As we left that night I silently spoke to myself, "that's what I want to do when I get older."
Well, I guess I was serious because my childhood friend and I would spend HOURS looking at custom magazines dreaming of the day when we were old enough to start our own club. When we turned 16 we went for it! My friend quickly fell off but I stayed committed. The first few years were difficult as our cars were NOT anything fancy. However, after a few years we became one of the biggest and best clubs in all of North Florida.
Talk about fulfilling your dreams! I had over 50 club brothers following me, we had a car in the original Fast & Furious, I was appointed as Council President over the clubs in Jax (some of the guys I idolized were in the council), our cars were in the same magazines I read as a 14 year old and we had the respect of all of our peers in the car club community. So thankful for those years! Leading a car club is not much different than leading a church. Little did I know God was preparing me for the work He had planned for me to do.
I understand "my dream" doesn't make much sense to you, but it was ALL I ever wanted. When I achieved those accomplishments I was still wanting more. God begin to stir in my heart. He quickly taught me that JESUS IS BETTER than ANY dream or aspiration.
How Did you Become a Pastor?
I didn't mean to become a Pastor by any means! At 23 my Mom started attending church for the first time in our lives. She always begged me to go. I LOVE my Momma so I felt so guilty when I didn't go. One Sunday I joined here at her church. I sat there uninterested and counting down the minutes to when it was over. When the "Pastor" got up to give his "talk" God spoke to me in a way He never has since then. He said, "See that guy up there? You're going to be up there doing that in the future."
I remember literally laughing out loud at the thought. Most people know me as a Pastor now, but back then I was anything but a "Pastor". I ran from the calling for a while but the Holy Spirit HAUNTED me. 6 months later I resigned from leading my car club, packed my car full of all my possessions and headed to a small town called, Graceville. I told my mom, "I'll be back in a couple of weeks!" I knew I would fail due to the fact I was never considered a "good student". But, God was faithful! I finished with a four year degree and even went to North Carolina to obtain my Mater's of Divinity! I am still in shock when I see those diplomas on my bookshelves. They are so special to me because they remind me that God is ALWAYS faithful to those He calls.
How Did You End up at The Crossing Church?
I like to say the church had a huge pastoral search to find the most dynamic leader in all of the U.S. and they found me. That is anything but the truth. After I finished seminary I sent my resume to over 50 churches looking for a job. I never recieved one phone call. So, I was desperate and moved back to my hometown of Jacksonville to work for my sisters Hvac buisness. I looked up churches on the internet and found TCC. I just walked in like everyone else!
At that time I had come to realize I was not ready to be a Pastor. I was getting over a very dark season of faith where I doubted my call and the God who called me. I told Adam, the Lead Pastor of TCC at the time, "I think I'm called to be a Pastor.... but... I'm really messed up so can I just hang around and serve?" Thankfully, he welcomed me and I became apart of a community of grace as I worked through those thoughts and doubts.
I quickly fell in love with the people who make up the Crossing Church. As soon as I realized that fact, dread swept across my body. "I'm called to lead a church, but it won't be here cause Adam won't ever leave." So the day he sat me down and said "you're the new lead Pastor" I was so relieved and excited that I could stay at the same church all of my days in ministry!
What's the Scariest Thing that has Happened to You?
Well, I used to be an assistant manager at Blockbuster (rest in peace). So I got home a little after midnight. At the time I had poured about $15,000 into my car (thank you, Visa!). Some guys who were up to no good saw my car and undoubtedly said, "that guy MUST have money." As I walked up to my apartment a young kid ran up and put a gun to my face. I'm sure he was disappointed with the 3 bucks I had. I'm just thankful he didn't shoot!
What Are You Most Thankful For In Your Life?
Wow, so much! Thankful my loving wife showed mercy and married me! When it comes to being a Pastor I am SO THANKFUL God gave me a few families (TCC Elders) to walk closely with as we journey together on this exciting adventure. In seminary they talked a lot about "spiritual heroes". Most of those mentioned had died long ago. I'm blessed to have my spiritual heroes by my side leading TCC. I'd follow those guys into the fire if they asked me to follow them.
What's the Most Important Thing In Regards to Being a Pastor?
I believe HUMILITY is one of the most important traits for a Pastor to seek. Thankfully, it took a span of 8 years in order for God to humble me and I am so thankful He did! Humility seems to be an obvious request when it comes to being a Pastor. You'd be suprised! Don't think I'm a noble man seeking noble traits. I just read the New Testament. I saw how Jesus got in the face of a few people He was around. They were ALWAYS a religious leader who was covered in pride and putting restraints on God's people. So, I seek humility because I DO NOT want Jesus looking for me!
What Are Some of Your Dreams for the Future?
My prayer is that God would help TCC become EXTREMELY generous. Last year we started giving away more than we ever had before. It was contagious! I want to do so much more.
Personally, I would love to help future Pastors prepare for ministry as I continue to lead our church. I was caught off guard in many ways when I became a Pastor. I have a strong desire to help others be more prepared than I was when it comes to the difficulties of being in ministry.
Any Last Thoughts?
God Bless Professional Wrestling and Rap music. The Lord has been good to us indeed!
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