I joined the ICOM staff in March of 2016 and I am responsible for giving vision and direction to our children and student environments, along with some other duties that include, but are not limited to, technology, grounds, adult main sessions, and any other needs that our team requires at any moment in time.
I grew up in Brazil, South America, where my parents have been missionaries now for almost 50 years. Portuguese is my first language.
Anytime, growing up, that we were in the States, we would attend the National Missionary Convention (now ICOM). Attending ICOM was the highlight of the year, for me. It was an opportunity to be around other missionary kids and an opportunity to watch my parents be encouraged for what they had giving their lives to.
Knowing that ministry was the direction I wanted to take in my career, I attended Kentucky Christian College (now University). After two years of classes there, I transferred to the University of Kentucky to major in business/marketing. Throughout the summers of school years, I traveled as a missionary for Vacation Bible Schools and church camps.
While attending UK, I worked with the student ministries at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Upon graduation, I was offered a secular job that a boy my age just couldn’t turn down (good pay and to live/work by the beach, in Florida). Sounds great, huh? Well, not really! Life changed drastically at that point. The bottom line was that I wasn’t going to be happy until I was doing what GOD wanted me to do. That is when I began working full time in the ministry.
My first full time ministry job was in Centerville, Indiana. There, I was leader over birth through twelfth graders. I trained and guided volunteers, led small groups and taught classes, planned and led teams in mission work (locally and in Brazil), directed Vacation Bible School and other children’s events, and took the teens on many various camps/conferences and built the student-led worship band.
After that, I joined a church plant in Plainfield, Illinois. I saw the vision, developed the Family Ministries environments, and with a team of leaders was able to carry it out completely. Within a few months of ministry, I had trained volunteers, built relationships with kids, students, parents, and was able to kick-off the ‘Orange’ philosophy. Ever since then I have been an Orange Coach.
My wife is Jeri Rae (Gilliland). Jeri Rae has always been fully involved in Ministry with me. Many people ask how the two of us can work together so well, but we love ministering together and bringing families closer to HIM.
Existing to encourage, equip, and enlist missionaries is no easy task but it is extremely important and necessary. I take my role very seriously and I believe that God has called us to do this unique work to fulfill His great commission. I believed that God has uniquely given me the experiences, talents, and abilities necessary to be a positive part of this amazing ICOM team.