I am the second oldest of 11 children and oldest of seven boys. I remember good times growing up in a large family but it was not without hardship. As the oldest son, I felt responsible to help with family needs and I learned the meaning of work at an early age. God used those experiences in great ways in my life.
A good part of my teen years were spent in a big city (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). This allowed me to experience more diversity in people and culture. Ethnic diversity surrounded me and I am grateful for the ways it enlarged my worldview. My parents never treated people differently based on race, lifestyle or any other point of social distinction.
My father taught me to be as comfortable in the presence of a Senator or a Judge as with any other person. I simply don’t rate or rank people based on these outward distinctions. This is my perspective as a follower of Jesus Christ, but I am grateful it was also part of my upbringing. I’ve tried to pass this on to our children.
The only distinction that matters to God is the one found in Romans 3:22-24
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” (NLT)
My wife (Becky) and I have four adult children, a wonderful daughter-n-law and a great son-n-law. We are proud grandparents of McKenna Faith Griffen and Austin Charles Cornell.
After two years of youth ministry in the greater Philadelphia area, I became the founding and senior pastor of Millersville Bible Church, Millersville, Pennsylvania (USA) (a position I’ve had for 29 years). My ministry includes the normal stuff pastors do as well as a few extras. For more than 15 years, I’ve produced daily and weekend radio features (Focus on the Church and Take 5 with Pastor Steve), and worked as a correspondent/columnist for Lancaster Newspapers Inc for 21 years. I also write columns for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania. I am an honored recipient of seven writing awards from the Amy Foundation in Lansing, Michigan. I’ve also had the privilege to travel and speak at many conference centers. I especially enjoy ministry among university students.
I’ve received ministry education from Philadelphia College of the Bible, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (former eastern division in Lancaster, Pennsylvania), and Biblical Theological Seminary.
παντα δε ποιω δια το ευαγγελιον – “I do all for the sake of the gospel”
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Phil. 1:27).
I belong to God’s kingdom and an earthly kingdom (USA). I have roles and callings in relation to both. The nation of my earthly citizenship is governed by a representative form of democracy. This means that I am called to be part of the politics, and the forming of public policy and law making.
I am challenged by the words of the late president, Abraham Lincoln who said, “In this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.”
My work overlaps between two kingdoms. Communication is a different challenge in each realm but is always based on unchanging truth from God.
I like the way Hadley Arkes framed the challenge,
- “There is no way of purging from human beings an understanding of right and wrong, of purging from common life a discourse about right and wrong. Once we think we are in the presence of real wrongs, we think (for example) that it’s wrong for people to torture their infants, our next response is not, ‘Ah, therefore, let’s give them tax incentives to induce them to stop.’ No, we respond with a law that forbids them.”
- “Once you understand that this is the nature of the enterprise of ruling and governing, it becomes a matter of whether you will address the questions of right and wrong or whether you simply try to divert the questions and talk about something else.”
Books I’ve written: (available through our office 717-872-4260)
- Understanding and Doing the Will of God
- When Christians Disagree: Handling debatable matters
- Disciple Making Manual
- Learning to Forgive
- Meeting God in His Word (Two month devotional)
Audio series: (available through our office 717-872-4260)
- Marriage as God designed it
- The Power of encouragement in your Marriage
- Sobering Look at the Character and Strategy of Satan (as heard on Back to the Bible)
- Spirit filled life
- Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Contact for conference ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
- “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important” (C. S. Lewis).
- “One of the great attractions of Christianity to me is its sheer absurdity” (Malcolm Muggeridge).
- “If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
- “If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all of our efforts in the long run are hopeless” (C.S. Lewis).
- “God is good but God is not safe. God is good and terrifying at the same time” (C. S. Lewis).
- “Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a universal negative” (G.K. Chesterton)
- “I have taken my good deeds and bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap, and fled from them both to Christ, and in him I have peace.” (David Dickson)
- “After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.” (C. S. Lewis).