I was raised in a family consisting of my mom, dad grandmother and younger brother. Because my parents did not attend church, my grandmother, an Italian immigrant, took my younger brother and I to Catholic Church. When I was 11 years old, my parents agreed to go to a neighboring Baptist Church as a result of the church's door by door outreach.
Attending Sunday School as a 13-year-old, I asked Jesus to come into my life. Nothing remarkable occurred other than I stopped swearing and felt bad when doing something wrong. It wasn't until December 29th, 1962 in Washington, D.C. while attending a national Youth for Christ convention that I sensed the filling of the Holy Spirit in my life. My rededication experience produced a real hunger and thirst for knowing Scripture. I started teaching a primary grade Sunday School class, attended Sunday evening youth group and church service, participated in Monday night visitation program, Wednesday night prayer and choir practice and Saturday night youth events. In 1963 I became president of my high school's Youth for Christ chapter and helped in planning the bi-monthly Youth for Christ area rallies. Before I left for college my church made me a junior deacon.
For college I went to an evangelical Methodist college, Taylor University, and majored in social sciences with an education minor. I taught four years before my home church called me to be Headmaster of the church's Christian school. Over the course of the next 21 years I was headmaster of eight Christian schools and served on two SBC church staffs. In 1982 I was awarded a license to minister certificate by Kokomo Baptist Church (IN), a GARBC church.