John was born just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and was raised near Lake Ontario west of Rochester, NY where his parents moved when he was very young. Most of his time was filled with football, wrestling, and playing the trombone in multiple high school bands (concert, wind ensemble, symphonic, jazz, and marching.)
In 1986 he accepted an appointment to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. In addition to academics and military sciences, John was a member of the traveling teams for both debate and karate, participating in competitions at Ivy League and other prominent universities in the North East and Mid-Atlantic regions. He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelors in Systems Engineering., John accepted a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and married Brenda, his high school sweetheart.
John accepted a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and married Brenda, his high school sweetheart. After training in both Quantico, VA and receiving flight training in Pensacola, FL, John, and Brenda moved to Southern California where John served as a CH-53E helicopter pilot in the air wing and as a forward air controller with the infantry. Numerous collateral duties included: Administrative Officer, Air Training Officer, Security Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. John served three deployments including an administrative tour on the Island of Okinawa, Japan, a combat tour with his helicopter squadron during Operations Desert Storm / Shield (Saudi/Kuwait), and a second combat tour with 1st Battalion 7th Marines during Operation Restore Hope (Mogadishu Somalia). For his service, John was awarded two air medals and the combat action ribbon, as well as multiple unit awards.
In 1994, the family moved back to Pensacola, FL where John served as a flight instructor at a helicopter training squadron and an academic training officer for all US Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and US Allied helicopter pilots. John was promoted to Branch Officer for Academic Training, overseeing all academic classroom instructors, and managing a multi-million-dollar project converting classroom presentations into multimedia interactive courseware. For his services, John was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.
During their time in Pensacola, John enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1997 John and Brenda made the decision to leave active duty service, and John attended his remaining classes at New Orleans Seminary as a full-time student. In 1998, John received his Masters of Divinity in Christian Education, and he and his family moved back home to western New York.
Not sensing a call to full-time vocational ministry, John and Brenda became active as lay members of a small, independent Baptist church which his parents had started. John accepted a position as the Director of New Business Development and Marketing for a multi-state corporation based in Rochester, serving in this capacity for more than seven years. He also served as a member of the board of directors of a local crisis pregnancy center, helping guide the center’s conversion to a medical model. John and Brenda also became quite active within the local homeschool community, homeschooling all four of their children.
In December of 2012, John accepted a call to become the Pastor of Education and Discipleship at Shively Baptist Church, in Louisville, KY. He also responded to a call for assistance in 2013, providing temporary assistance to Beth Haven Christian School, teaching sciences to assist students in completing their studies after the sudden departure of their teacher. Beth Haven asked if John could return to teach chemistry, which he has done since that time.
In late spring of 2016, John was informed that his position at Shively Baptist Church was being eliminated as the church reduced staff from seven to three full-time members. Beth Haven responded by offering John the position of Head of School. He accepted and has served in this capacity since August of 2016. John also teaches chemistry daily to a class of high school juniors.
In addition to local church ministry, John is a member of KBREA (The Kentucky Baptist Religious Educators Association) and serves as their local coordinator for Louisville. John and Brenda remain active within the local homeschooling community, teaching courses at weekly cooperatives and assisting parents and co-ops alike.
John is currently a Doctor of Education candidate at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His thesis work is in the area of church revitalization through discipleship, with an emphasis on American individualism’s effect upon individual and corporate sanctification. The family anxiously anticipates his completion of studies and graduation in December of 2018.
In January of 2007, John accepted a call to become the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Holley, NY. It was here that John was ordained and had the privilege of having his entire family, including his parents, as active members of the church which he pastored. Additionally, after being called back to active duty for nine months in 2003, John continued his affiliation with the United States Marine Corps Reserve and retired as a Major with twenty years of service in 2010.
John and Brenda have two boys, two girls, two grandsons and a new granddaughter. Their eldest son (John IV) lives near Rochester, NY with his wife Hayley and their kids: John V, Rowyn and Genesis Mae. Their youngest daughter (Elyse) is a junior at Gutenberg College in Eugene, OR. Their oldest daughter (Anna) and their youngest son (William) live with them in Louisville. Anna works at Shively Baptist’s Child’s Day Out Weekday Education Ministry, and William is a senior at Beth Haven.