J.D. became the pastor of a church called Homestead Heights Baptist Church in 2002. As a young pastor, he led this 40-year-old, plateaued church of 300 to re-launch itself with a new name and a new vision to reach its community and world with the gospel. Today, more than 8,000 worshippers gather weekly, making The Summit Church one of Outreach magazine’s “top 25 fastest-growing churches in America” for several years running.
Pastor J.D. has led the Summit to make the gospel its central focus. The “gospel secret” is that all the things God wants for the Church, such as reckless joy, audacious faith, or radical generosity, are produced not by focusing on them but on what God has done for us. We become what God intends us to be when we focus less on what we are to do for him and more on what he has done for us.
The Summit Church seeks to further the kingdom of God not only by growing its own congregation, but by planting others as well. Our goal is to plant one thousand new churches by 2050. In the last ten years,
The Summit Church has sent out more than 370 people to serve on church planting teams, both domestically and internationally.
J.D. and his beautiful wife Veronica live in Raleigh and are raising four ridiculously cute kids: Kharis, Alethia, Ryah, and Adon.
J.D. completed his Doctorate in Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is also a faculty member, writing on the correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology. Having lived serving among Muslims, he has a burden to see them, as well as every nation on earth, come to know and love the salvation of God in Christ.