Grace Church is excited to announce that Drake will be serving as our new student director starting this Summer! He will be finishing up his Master of Divinity at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. Drake and his wife Allie were members of Grace throughout college.
Read this short blog to get to know them!
“...upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
My story begins like many Christians, in a home where Jesus was honored, loved, and worshiped. By God’s infinite grace, the local church was a high priority for my family. We rarely missed anything—Sunday school, Wednesday night, community outreach, Bible study, kids ministry, youth ministry, conferences, fellowship nights—you name it, and we were there.
The reason that this is infinite grace is because now, as a young man, I look back on my life and realize it has always been the local church that has shaped me, cared for me, and shepherded me the most. My lifeblood is linked to God’s grace via his church. Not a moment of my life has been spent disengaged, disconnected, or distinct from a gospel-preaching church: all grace I never deserved!
I repented, believed, and became convinced of my salvation at an early age, into the care and baptism of the local church. The church was with me as I struggled with youthful sin and lusts. It was there for me as I grew to love Jesus Christ through continual exposure to his Word and his people. It was there for me, when after high school, I was thrown into a internship and ministry setting that, while ultimately helpful, was sometimes confusing and misleading.
Finding Grace in College
Christ’s church did not leave me as I set foot on Baylor’s campus in 2013. Hungry for a gospel-drenched congregation, I found Grace Church only my second Sunday on campus. The careful handling of the Word of God and the passion for the person and work of Jesus drew me in. Throughout college, Jesus’ enduring church lovingly discipled me, taught me, and became an example for me. I watched and learned as Grace Church continued to grow, moving from a small sanctuary, to a school auditorium, to eventually a renovated bowling alley—all the while relentlessly concerned with preaching and living out the true gospel for the sake of the Church, the city, and the world.
Until my senior year at Baylor, I planned on law-school after graduation. God had other plans, once again revealed to me through the local church. I still wonder how it happened. Week after week, sermon after sermon, sitting under the leadership of the elders of Grace, somehow my perspective shifted. I knew that God was calling me to devote myself fully and wholeheartedly in service to the very thing that has always been a service to me: his church.
I started dating my wondrous wife Allie around this time. As we considered our future, it became clear that God was calling me to seminary at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Kansas City, to prepare for future ministry. Allie was nothing but supportive, even giving up plans that she might have had in order to follow me to an unknown city. Jay married us in January of 2017. Since then, our time in Kansas City has been short but sweet, as once again we have joined ourselves with a faithful gospel preaching church. After two years in seminary and a rigorous pastoral residency, and through God-glorifying community and relationships, Allie and I have learned and grown, prepared and prayed for this moment of service to Grace Church. I still am blown away, at times, by the grace of God in my life. What goodness and kindness, that a sinner like me would feel called into service for his church, the strongest and sweetest thing on earth!
Serving Grace Church
I love Grace Church. Allie and I are beyond excited to serve in this role, it will be pure joy. My prayer is that the students who we minister to will become convinced, as I do, of the powerful confession of the gospel that makes the Church so strong and so sweet. Many students graduate college and fail to become connected with the life giving grace of a local church. Even more students graduate high school only to try to live out their faith separated from a faithful body of believers. May it not be so for our students! We want to make mature disciples who make disciples, followers of Jesus who are committed to the church—ready to plant churches, join churches, build churches, and serve churches—so that the gospel may go to the ends of the earth.
How can you partner with us? As we prepare to move back to Waco, pray with us that God would begin to prepare the hearts of students to be receptive to hearing the good news of Jesus. Pray that Grace Church would be strengthened in the ministry to come, not in numbers only but in depth of disciples. Pray also that God would show you if you are to be a part of the work we will be doing with students in Waco! Pray with confidence, as Jesus makes it clear that it is not programs, messages, mission statements, meetings, or even our own prayers that build his church. He builds his church. And what God builds, he builds to last.