I grew-up in Raleigh and heard about Jesus from my parents and camp counselors. I started dating my wife, Vanessa, after we graduated from NC State University. Between my Sophomore and Junior years, I spent a summer in Spain studying abroad and it was there that I first understood God’s calling on me to be a Senior Pastor. We have four kids: Maddie, Luke, Ben and Evie. Vanessa and I have had the joy of serving Jesus overseas in Kenya and Jordan. I received a seminary degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.). During seminary, I was privileged to start and lead a college ministry in Dallas. We moved from Dallas to Chicago for church planter training and then to Raleigh to plant Harvest Raleigh in 2009. I grew up here. I love this City. I want to see people place their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and love Him and others with their lives.
I’ve had the joy and privilege of being around a lot of fantastic people in my life. My wife, Julie, my family, church leaders and men in college invested in me and helped me grow as a disciple of Jesus. I have three boys, Jason Jr., William, and Graham and a daughter Fields. We like to dig, build and admire mom together.
After several years of rich learning at the church where I met my wife, we decided that we wanted to be a part of a new thing; something where we could apply the things we had learned and be a blessing to others. About that time, the Willis’ showed up in Raleigh ready to plant Harvest and the Lord showed us that this is exactly where He wants us. Since then, we have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and joy of serving Christ at Harvest. I am privileged to serve on the worship team as drummer.
I distinctly remember the first time I picked up a Bible to read it because I wanted to know what it really said. I had read the Bible for years and from a very young age, but it was always because someone had asked me to open my Bible and read it. On that day, for the first time, I read about a God who loved me with a deep, deep love and I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to serve Him for the rest of my life with all of my energy. Christ’s love for the church is the most powerful thing that I know and the cross and resurrection are the greatest demonstrations of that power that man has ever seen. My life has a new purpose because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
I love Harvest because we are a faith family who, amidst the good and bad of life, walk with one another as we walk with Christ. I am passionate about small groups, because they have been a great tool of spiritual transformation in my life. I am also really energized by church planting because it is the radical place where the sharp edge of the knife cuts into the greatest darkness in the world by rescuing people who have been blinded for generations.
I met my wife, Kate, while we were both participating in church planting overseas. I have two daughters, Mary Wallace and Legare, and a son Asa. Our family likes to get out of town and see new things, see the leaves change in October and play on the beach in the summer. We look forward to meeting you soon!
There was a day etched in my mind I’ll never forget. It was a typical Sunday in a small southern church in Greensboro, NC. I was in a hot basement at a Sunday school class and the teacher clearly presented the message of the Father’s (God) love for his sheep. It was that simple day with that simple message, God brought me to himself. Walking with the Lord has been difficult at times (mainly from self inflicted trials) and it has also been very sweet. Two things have been consistent through it all – God’s love and His Church. It is because of His love often shown through the church I am passionate about a unified body of believers who love the Lord and love each other. It is with great joy I get to be a part of the small group ministry at Harvest. We have small group leaders who are passionate about the same things and it is my prayer we continue to grow as a church of small groups loving the Lord and loving each other.
There are six other particular days I’ll never forget as well. First is the day I married my beautiful bride, Rebecca, who clearly exemplifies the grace of God. The other five days are the births of my five children: Lilly Jo, Jack Lewis, Amelia Katelyn, Ezra Jude and Eliza Jane.
Four fun facts about me: I absolutely love sports and competition: I’ll watch just about any type of sport. I love taking baths (not at hotels or places where I am unsure of the cleanliness). I’m not afraid to sit and watch a chick flick or a Disney original movie, just saying – I like light-hearted sometimes.
I grew up in a Christian family and church has always been a big part of my life. By God’s grace, I came to Christ at a young age. Yet as I began to grow older, I went through a period where I became very distracted by the world and practically indifferent to walking with the Lord. In my senior year of High School the Lord used godly men, my youth group and life circumstances to remind me that He is the only one worthy of the honor and esteem that I had been placing on other things. Since that time God has consistently grown me in my faith and developed my understanding of the great Gospel of Christ, and on the implications of the Gospel to the world.
I am married to my lovely wife Kourtney, and we have two kids, Isaiah and Abigail. Kourtney and I are originally from southeastern Virginia, and we have made Harvest our home since moving to North Carolina in 2011. We love our church and enjoy seeing God change lives and impact our world through the people of Harvest!