I graduated 8th grade from Imago in 1995… yikes, that was 20 years ago! Like Aaron Beals, I also spent my years at Imago in Littleton.
Looking back at my time at Imago some of my favorite memories are centered around the social (and often competitive) aspects, which doesn’t surprise me at all! Soccer and sledding at recess, Winterfest and “pickles and snow”, Field Days, and Jog-a-thons!
Although my favorite memories might not be the academics, I appreciate how I was setup to succeed academically well beyond my years at Imago. The classes and teachers really stretched me in ways that were uncomfortable (sometimes painful) in the moment but the lessons and study habits stuck with me. The harder the lesson is in the moment the more rewarding it is in the long run.
When I graduated from Imago, my family was experiencing another major transition. Just a few months prior, we moved from a smaller “fellowship” church where my dad was the pastor and we had been for over a decade, to a quickly growing Grace Baptist Church with a bustling youth ministry meeting in a middle school cafeteria. Luckily there were a couple consistent things in my life: my relationship with God, my family, and a handful of close friends (thanks Jon Hughes).
From Imago, I went to Nashoba Regional High School. I personally had no trouble going from a smaller class size to a larger class size, because it opened up doors for so many more relationships! I immediately joined the football team that fall and other team sports in the other seasons. I also got deeply involved in my new church and the youth group. It was during my junior year of high school that God planted the call to vocational ministry deep in my heart.
After high school, I studied Youth Ministry, Theology, and Missions at Gordon College and graduated class of 2004. It’s interesting how Reformation Plays helped me in church history classes!
God’s path for me is exciting to look back on because I can clearly see his hand guiding each step. However, much like my time at Imago I didn’t realize in the moment the importance of the uncomfortable and often painful lessons I was learning along the way. God is sovereign, God is so good, He loves us, and uses all things in life to work together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to his purposes for them.
I think that’s one of those life long lessons that I have been learning starting all the way back to my time at Imago. We can try to run away from the challenges of life or confidently walk through them knowing that God is all about the work of redemption. When you know that God will show up, there is a sense of peace in the midst chaos.
I have been a youth pastor at several churches in New England and am currently the NextGen Pastor at Grace Baptist Church (the one I went to in High School!). In this role I oversee the staff and ministries that cover cradle to college. I’m married to an amazing woman, Stephanie, who has put up with my craziness for almost 9 years and we have two beautiful girls Priya (3) and Nalani (1).
I’m thankful to all at Imago for loving me and being part of my story.