who am I?
“At 5 years of age, with prompting from my Sunday School teacher, I knew I needed to say sorry for the bad things I had done, not just to my parents or my sisters or my friends, but to God. I knew that some things I had done hurt God’s feelings because I had been disobedient. I asked Jesus to forgive me and be with me for the rest of my life. That day, the Lord saved me, gave me eternal life, and began a work in me that continues here at Dishman Baptist Church.”
Growing up in a Christian home, Austin never felt like he had his own personal testimony of how God radically rescued him from a terrible life and hard circumstances. He heard these stories all the time, but when it came to His own life, Austin kept looking back to that 5 year old who hadn’t experienced the world yet, giving his life to Jesus without any understanding of how hard life can be. As the years went on, Austin began to experience the world with all of its ups and downs, always knowing that he was a child of God with a calling to obey and honor the King above all else.
“I serve an amazing and powerful God. I must always remember my place and His. I am at His feet, and He is Lord of all!”
At 16 years of age, at a youth event in Pendleton, OR, God called Austin to full-time ministry. God assured him that the plan of salvation was for everyone, and it was his job to tell people what God can do in their lives. This message would not come from a personal experience of radical transformation, but from a growing understanding that God’s Word is perfect, that the God of the Bible is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and He can be trusted perfectly, even with the very salvation of our souls.
After graduating from Shadle Park High School in 2004, Austin began attending Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, WA. Taking classes toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies, Austin was continually part of music teams for Missions Conferences, various student and children’s camps around the Northwest, and other youth-related events. As part of his PCM (Practical Christian Ministry) requirement, he was the Youth Leader Intern at North Addison Baptist Church. Here he led the student music team and began to develop a heart for youth ministry.
Austin was licensed in September, 2006 and given opportunities to preach by North Addison Baptist Church. After 4 years of student and music ministry there, God called Austin to Dishman Baptist Church in the Spokane Valley as the Interim Youth Pastor in the Fall of 2008. Here he served until July, 2009, when the church hired him as the full-time Youth Pastor.
“I have a constant desire to grow in my relationship with my Savior, Jesus. I am and will always be a student of the Word of God.”
Austin is married to the love of his life, Bethany Grace. They serve together at WAKE Student Ministries and plan on having children of their own very soon. Austin hopes to continue his formal education at Moody Bible Institute and will always be working toward any continuing education that allows him to grow spiritually and challenge him to turn knowledge into wisdom.
“Wherever the Lord takes us, we will serve Him. In youth ministry or otherwise, He never leaves us alone, and we are constantly in awe of His provision and blessing.”
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)