Craig is a Jewish, New Yorker with a Ph.D. in Marine Biology who came to Texarkana via Fort Lauderdale to start a California-style church (that's where the Calvary Chapels originated). It just goes to show you that God has a sense of humor!
Inevitably, the next question is: “What brought you to Texarkana?” Well, it was 1997 when my wife and I were praying about being a pastor , when the Lord specifically laid Texarkana on my heart. Now, my wife’s family is from this area, but that did not warrant us packing our bags to go to a city that was identified as “a bigger dot on the map than expected.” But, in July 2004, we loaded everything into a 32’ truck and traveled to our new home. However, the real journey—my walk with Jesus—began much earlier and from a much farther place, spiritually speaking.
I grew up in an average American Jewish/Christian home in a suburb of New York City. Translation: we rarely attended synagogue or church, we placed a Menorah in front of the Christmas tree, and we had a religiously segregated extended family. The day after my Bar Mitzvah, I re-classified myself as an atheist because I felt that all religion was empty, greedy, and hypocritical. My struggles with religion drove me away from God, but my desire for relationship brought me to my knees before Him.
However, before I was willing to bow my knees, heart, and will, I had to experience life without God to understand the consequences of rejecting Him. Life without Him—from failed relationships to New Age cults and from sinful lifestyles to suicidal thoughts—ended in 1996 when I found real relationship with a loving and patient Savior. Shortly thereafter, my wife became a Christian, and we began attending Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. In 1997, we began a home Bible study that developed into a life of ministry; which included teaching at Calvary’s newly founded Christian school, home Bible studies, biblical counseling, AIDS ministry, service oversight, pre-marital counseling, and teaching adult education classes.
Our personal goal is to live a balanced life between building a wonderful church for our family and raising a godly family for the church. We love our church and we love being here, especially since I no longer have to turn down our A/C below 50° in the winter to be able to enjoy our fireplace back in Florida. Wait—what fireplace? Oh, never mind.
Growing & Going!