I came to know Christ as my Savior at the age of nine and responded to God’s call to preach as a junior in High School. I was married to Sherri for 37 years, who died of cancer in 2015. We have four children: Jeremy, Jared, Melody, and Kali, and 8 grandchildren. God in his grace brought Kate Finley into my life, and we were married in October, 2016.
I attended The Criswell College in Dallas (1978 graduate), where I also later taught adjunctively (1985-1998) and full time (1998-2004) as the W. A. Criswell Chair of Preaching. I earned the MDiv degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981 and a PhD in Humanities with a major in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1987.
My first church staff position was Minister of Students at the newly founded Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas in 1977, where I served for five years while completing college and seminary. One of the most exciting things in my life was being in on the ground floor of a new church plant.
In February of 1982 I was called to serve as pastor of the newly-formed Audelia Road Baptist Church in Dallas, where I served for sixteen years. During those years, God did some amazing things with our people via church planting and mission trips around the world. The people of ARBC planted six new ethnic churches in the Dallas area and dozens of new church plants overseas.
From 1998-2004 I served as the W. A. Criswell Chair of Preaching at the Criswell College in Dallas, TX. During this time (from 1999-2004) I also served as the pastor of MacArthur Blvd. Baptist Church in Irving, TX.
From 2004 to August 2016, I served at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas as the Dean of the School of Theology. In August of 2016 I became the founding Dean of the new School of Preaching. Since 2020, I continue to serve as the Distinguished Professor of Preaching, Director of the Center for Expository Preaching, and I hold the George W. Truett Chair of Pastoral Ministry. I have had the joy of teaching hundreds of students the art and craft of text-driven preaching.
I am currently in my 14th interim pastorate, a ministry I love because it keeps me tied to the local church. I preach every week.
I have authored seven books, co-authored/co-edited five books, and have two books being published in the spring of 2022, including a commentary on the book of Job for preachers. I have also written numerous journal articles and chapters in multi-authored books.
Over the past 40 years, I’ve led or participated in close to 500 preaching workshops, conferences, revivals, and other events in the United States and in more than a dozen countries abroad.