This is going to sound like a script for a Hollywood movie. I went from homeless to Harvard. I overcame a life of crime and a 3-year addiction with heroin and cocaine. In those three years everything I ever loved and worked for was taken away, from an opportunity to be a professional BMX freestyle rider to potentially becoming a US Marshall to friends overdosing from our drug use to a small time shoplifting scam that spanned all of New Jersey and much more.
I hit rock bottom on several occasions and hurt as many people as I possibly could in the process. On my 15th arrest, I was sentenced to 3 years in a New Jersey State Prison. Instead of going to prison, I was offered an alternative sentence to attend a faith-based rehabilitation program called: Teen Challenge (Now it is for all ages). The program not only saved my life but changed my life forever. Through the power of God at work in the program, I was completely delivered from my addictions, and discovered my calling to be a pastor and start churches.
I graduated the program in 2003 and I was off to Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, PA where I earned two Bachelor degrees—Pastoral Ministry and Theological Studies. Following that, I attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA where I earned two Master degrees—Biblical Languages and a Masters of Art in Religion with a concentration on Starting New Churches. While at GCTS, I attended Harvard Divinity School for one year to complete one of my Masters. During my graduate work, I authored two books: The Discipleship Dare and Cultural-Deficit Disorder.