I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, but grew up in Miami after my parents were called to pastor in South Florida. As a kid, I had no interest in following in my dad’s footsteps after seeing the reality of ministry — my parents would stay up all night praying, worrying about the church and its people. The idea of being a wildlife photographer somewhere like Africa sounded way more appealing. However, God used my mom first to lead me to Christ when I was a seven– or eight-year-old and then two friends from my high school soccer team to cement my faith. God used these two guys and how genuine they were in regards to their love for Him to reach my heart. It later shocked my parents when I went off to college and told them that I thought the Lord was calling me into ministry.
I’d been serving as a teaching pastor in South Florida when I made the decision that I needed more training. That’s when seminary came into my life with a local campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. My wife, Celeste, and I made the decision that I’d attend the main campus of the school in New Orleans, and we arrived in town just before Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, we relocated to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and we’ve been in Fort Worth ever since. It’s become home for us.
I completed my M.Div. and then a Th.M. in the Old Testament and just in the spring of 2020, completed my Ph.D. in the Old Testament. I’ve always loved the Old Testament — I know it’s not a popular area for many — but it’s something I’m sure by dad instilled in me. He always used to tell me, “If you read the New Testament without knowing your Old Testament, you’re looking at a black and white picture. But once you know your Old Testament, you start to see it all in color.”
Celeste and I have been married for 20 years and we have three girls, Celine, Cecilia and Elise. Growing up in South Florida has made me into a guy that loves everything to do with the ocean including surfing, scuba diving and saltwater fishing. I also enjoy making art, be it pottery, oils, watercolors or sculptures.