Meet Our People
I grew up in the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida, but turned myself into God on November 10, 1996 while studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC. Anyone who knew me before I became a disciple is indeed glad that I finally surrendered to God. Believe me, that was just the beginning of how God would use my sin to humble my heart. I had a lot of fears and pain. I loved God but had a horrible confidence issue, although I was very prideful, untrusting and secretive.
Who knew that a birthday celebration would ultimately lead to the best gift in the world?
In December 2004 our family was enjoying our summer holiday in Cape Town and decided to celebrate Valerie’s birthday with a lunch on a wine estate. Our children spotted one of their teachers who was on holiday with her father, Jack Ingle. He started a conversation and invited us to visit the Johannesburg Church of Christ on our return home.
Fifteen years ago, on January 25, 1999, I was baptized through the Sacramento Metro Church of Christ’s campus ministry. As a freshman at the University of California, Davis, I was searching for fellowship. A decade earlier, I was severely burned in a fire and I was wondering if God really had a place for me in his church. I was initially invited by a young man on campus a month into my freshman year. I agreed to study the Bible, and was baptized and never looked back. Despite the obstacles, there are three key areas that drew me to the Sacramento Church:
A student from the University of South Florida (Charles Merrick) shared the gospel with me. He asked me to a Soul Talk in Melbourne, Florida and I later commuted to the Orlando church. From there, I moved to be part of the Greater Albuquerque Church of Christ planting in 1990. I moved to Dallas shortly after that and fell in love with the great relationships and friendships. I left the church and went through very difficult marriage trials which ended in a divorce, and I came back to the Dallas church as a single.
In my dear church, in spite of human imperfection, we focus on what we have in common: being children of God through faith in Jesus Christ and having the grace of God the Father. We strive to love one another as the real people we are, not as unrealistically perfect people. I can live out the scripture that Jesus speaks of in the book of Mark: “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” For me, these brother and sister relationships in Christ will continue throughout eternity. Another scripture I love within the International Church of Christ is one that Jesus mentions in John 13:34-35: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I can feel this scripture come to life when fellow believers are by my side amidst hardship. When I feel hard pressed by life’s circumstances and my faith is close to shattering, my friends are there with me. This is how I know Christ’s body is real and tangible, though God may seem so distant.
My name is Dave Clemente and I am a part of the Greater Las Vegas Church of Christ of the International Churches of Christ family here in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have had the pleasure of attending this church for the past six months, after moving here from Denver, Colorado. I became a disciple of Jesus at the University of South Carolina on April 11, 2007 in the baptismal waters of the Columbia Church of Christ.
My wife Debbie and I were baptized into Christ in the San Diego Church, part of the International Church of Christ (ICOC), in 1990. We've worshipped in the Pomerado region ever since.
I love my church, I really, really do!
I am a member of the Turning Point Church, part of the Los Angeles Church of Christ and the International Churches of Christ and formerly known as the AMS ministry. I was baptized March 29, 1998 in the AMS Ministry in Hollywood, California. Funny enough I had just moved back from London where I had begun seeking God, but God knew where I would grow.
My name is Ben Purcell and I am a disciple in the Seattle Church of Christ, part of the International Churches of Christ. I became a disciple last year, as a freshman at Seattle Pacific University. As a first-year college student I was struggling to find God in Seattle, in friendships, and on my ‘Christian’ college campus. The churches I visited didn’t seem to care about God very much, and neither did my friends. In my confusions I started praying to God, asking to find not just a church, but a community. I had a lot of questions about baptism, discipleship, and the Bible, but no one seemed to have answers for me, so I prayed that God would give me answers to those questions too. Midway through my first quarter, two disciples, Brian Fisher and Joey Lyon, randomly reached out to me while I was reading on campus. Three months, and many Bible studies later, I decided to give my life to Christ and was baptized.