Pastor Franklyn “Rusty” Ward
I was raised in a conservative Christian environment where God was to be obeyed – not enjoyed.  Although I was taught that God loved the world, I perceived Him more as an authority figure than a loving Father.  Throughout my adolescence and early adult years, I moved out from under parental authority and a rules-based religion.  I chose through this period to walk in darkness.  It was even in this period of my life I knew God was the answer.  I experienced God’s grace and mercy.  How grateful I am.  At long last the prodigal returned to the Father.  God finally became real to me.  He was MY God, MY Father who loved me and who I could love back and trust and build a relationship with.  He healed and revealed.  He untaught and taught. He transformed. He called and equipped.  He placed people in my path who kept me going and growing.  He used ALL of my experiences in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly, to uniquely equip me for kingdom life and ministry.  Feeling I was finally in a good place in my life, the bottom fell out of what was once a beautiful and vibrant marriage relationship.  This began a period of darkness that lasted for years.  Once again, my loving God used this time to put me on a journey toward a deeper life with Him and along with that, a ministry of soul-care and healing.  It was during this time that God had me in a “wait” status.  While this at times was frustrating it was more liberating.  I continued to grow and be stretched into a more authentic relationship with God.  I am happy to say that in 2017 I met my beautiful wife Christine.  Christine is a gifted woman and a tremendous source of encouragement and blessing to me.  In September 2018 I was called to serve as pastor here at Timberlake Baptist Church.  What a joy it is to be on this journey with the God’s people.