I didn’t really have much exposure to the Bible growing up, despite spending most of my childhood in the “Bible belt” of Tennessee. I was raised in a secular household where religion was mostly considered a personal choice and a thing other people did.
In high school I became friends with a classmate who was involved in a student prayer group. I began attending the prayer group and one time we went to a worship concert together where I was exposed for the first time to thousands of people praising and worshiping together. I was open and learning, but the God of the Bible still felt foreign to me.
In 2002 in my sophomore year of college in a small farm town in Oklahoma I was walking home from class one evening and heard a group of about fifty students inside a hall singing praise and worship songs in front of a live band. I walked in and joined them. Afterwards I was met with hugs and invited to join them at a place called the Wesley House for fellowship.
At the Wesley House I had lots of questions about the Bible and before long we were all seated in a circle in the living room with Bibles open answering all my questions. This became a weekly occurrence – praise and worship in the student hall followed by Bible study at the Wesley House.
One afternoon I was invited to meet with a local inn keeper and pastor at his home. We ended up having a several hour long conversation that culminated in me finally understanding who God is and asking to be baptized right then and there, much like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. He insisted we wait, and then later that month he baptized me in a church in front of his congregation. That was the point I became a believer, though it felt more like a realization of something I always knew was true rather than a discovery of something new.
I quickly made the connection between God’s love for humanity and his love for all creation, including animals, and I went vegan the same year I was baptized despite never yet having met a vegan believer. The decision was motivated by my newfound understanding of God’s love and was made entirely by faith.
God has since blessed me abundantly with a career that involves traveling the world, which affords me the ability to visit and worship with church congregations throughout all the earth. I’ve been active in ministry, in missionary work, in Bible study groups, in animal advocacy, in community outreach, and in many other callings of the spirit. In 2013 I started a blog, which has since become swords2plowshares.com, where I began posting important things I learned throughout my years of service, focusing on topics that are often overlooked, under-emphasized, or misunderstood by the church today.
I am of firm conviction that life is an undeserved gift from God and that the greatest calling in life is to live by faith – a calling open to all creation. Names in the Bible signify purpose. Craig means rock or foundation. I see my life purpose as working to restore the foundation of true worship, namely that of wholehearted devotion to God’s complete and perfect love for all creation. Thy will be done!
All praise be to God!