My Story

This is the story of my coming to faith and growing in faith in broad brush strokes. There are always more details of God’s grace to tell…

I grew up in “suburbia” (Norcross, Georgia – a suburb of Atlanta) and like many around us, my family was trying to live the suburban dream. We were not Christians, nor did we pretend to be. Although the lawn was nicely kept, things on the inside were not so. As I neared adolescence the cracks of my families foundation were beginning to show. The pursuit of this worlds riches and the abuse of drugs and alcohol took its toll. My own suburban dream world came crashing down on me when my parents divorced when I was eleven or twelve. This was and still is a wound in my life. And yet, the Lord would use this wound to show me my need of Him, even at a young age.

By God’s grace, my dad started to attend a church down the street. It happened to be Perimeter Church (PCA). Each week my dad would ask me if I wanted to go to church and each week I would decline. Eventually, primarily to get my dad to stop asking me to go to church, I went. And I found a refuge that I needed. In September of 1989, my youth bible study leader led me to Christ (I remember him sharing the Gospel with me in the parking lot of Wendy’s). Although I attended youth group and bible study, the reality of my faith in Christ were not cemented until two more incidents of family crisis came at the end of my 9th grade year and the middle of my tenth grade year. For the rest of my time in high school, I continued to grow in my faith and first became aware of both my call to ministry and the gifts that the Lord has given me to fulfill that calling. I also met my wife (Lydia) during this time (we started dating when we were 16) and was nurtured in her family’s home – a Christian home.

My future wife and I both attended the University of Georgia and found ministry opportunities both in our campus ministry (sponsored by Worldwide Discipleship Association) and local churches. I also served as a youth intern for a Baptist church my freshman year. At the beginning of my junior year I became the Youth Director at Christ Community Church (PCA) in Watkinsville (just outside of Athens, GA). This was further opportunity to grow in my walk with Christ and ministry experience. My wife and I wed in August 1998 and decided to stay a few more years at the church before attending seminary. This gave us an opportunity to start our marriage in a familiar and loving place, as well as giving me more time as the youth director (I also added Outreach to my job responsibilities after graduation).

In 2000, we moved to St. Louis so that I could earn a Master of Divinity at Covenant Theological Seminary. It was a great blessing to be at Covenant, although not always easy. Yet, we know that it has been through the hard times that we have grown tremendously in our love for God and our trust in Him. Also, there was the opportunity to grow in ministry and my sense of calling during that time. Specifically, the opportunity to serve an elderly Baptist congregation as an interim pastor (one of two) for a little over a year. Also, while in St. Louis, the Lord blessed us with our first child, a son. The Lord also blessed us with our daughter shortly after graduation from Covenant and shortly after my beginning work at Calvary Presbyterian Church, where I served for five years.  In June of 2009 I began to serve North Hills Church (PCA) in Meridianville, AL (just north of Huntsville) as senior pastor.

In late February of 2013 I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Shortly thereafter I had major surgery to remove a large tumor, followed by six months of chemotherapy (12 cycles) and radiation. A number of blogposts reflect this trauma that we have faced, but also God’s faithfulness through it all.

We find that God continues to pursue our hearts, not because of what we can do for him, but because He desires us to be more like Christ. Therefore, God must receive all of the glory for who we are in Christ and what He continues to do in us. May those who read this, praise the Lord, for He is the Lord of salvation.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by tjandjessie on June 11, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for your story…please keep my husband and I in your prayers as we begin to embark on a similar journey at Dallas Theological Seminary! -Jessie


  2. Posted by adamtisdale on June 13, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I am sure that the Lord will bless you during time at DTS – it’s really His story after all!


  3. Posted by springsinthedesert on September 2, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I came across your blog from the tagsurfer of my blog. Felt really happy to read your story…The way Holy Spirit molds a person to the way He wants him to be is just amazing. May God Bless You..


  4. Posted by J. Cilliers on November 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Adam – it was a great blessing reading it. I am a South African missionary serving in Madagascar and have a few PCA friends, so I know a bit about the PCA and think it is a great church. May God really be with you.


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