Once upon a time, a little boy met a little girl in a little church in a little town in Alabama. As the children grew, so did their friendship. Side by side, they learned to make music, write sentences, speak Spanish, and hear God's voice. In time, that little boy and little girl graduated high school and ended up at the very same college. There, they had many of their own adventures, but the unexplainable connection they experienced in their childhood never quite left. So one day, the boy asked the girl to be in his life always, and she said yes.
The two were married in 2006 and have since had three beautiful children -- Bailey (6), Reid (4), and Rebekah (1). They lived happily ever after. The end.
Oh, but that is definitely not "the end"! There is much, much more to this story.
We were both raised and nurtured in a traditional Southern church, and for all God and people have invested in us, we are eternally grateful! But from our earliest memories, there has been a tugging on our hearts for "more." A tugging to give more, to act more, to pour out on others the treasures that have been poured into us.
Gunter had his first vision for a church plant 12 years ago during an internship at an affluent church located in one of the state's poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. During outreach events to the people of these streets, he heard God say that he would one day pastor people like these -- people who lived in cycles of hopelessness, darkness, and frustration. In the years since, God has refined that vision over and over, and has burned into Gunter a passion for missions, an unquenchable thirst to seek His heart, and a lifelong desire to see His Kingdom come on the Earth.
Bethany caught on to the vision of reaching "the least of these" while serving at their first church after they were married. Her eyes began to be opened as she and Gunter drove miles of dirt roads outside town, picking up teenagers and children for church in a county known as the meth capitol of the world. Over time, God began to deepen her capacity for love and compassion as she began to have children of her own. He whittled away at her selfishness and planted in her a desire to love, nurture, guide, and protect.
In November 2015, Gunter and Bethany stepped out in faith to do what God has been pressing on their hearts for years -- to leave their home and Gunter's traditional church job to plant churches among those who are starving for Jesus. Thus begins our new journey to learn and grow. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, now is "a time to plant and a time to uproot."
So that's our story thus far. To hear the rest and even become part of the story, go to our blog.