My Shocco story begins with a “buddy burner.”
If you are not familiar with a buddy burner, it’s a homemade cooking stove made from a large coffee can. I was six years old and my dad took me to Lad and Dad Camp on the campus of Shocco Springs. We spent three days hiking, swimming, shooting bows and arrows, learning about God and cooking on the buddy burner we made.
I was hooked! I loved every moment of camp so much that when my dad could not fo the next year, I convinced my granddad to take me. Summer after summer I attended RA camp at Shocco until I reached the age where I could join their staff.
At the time, I have no idea how many life-defining memories I would make by spending my summers at Shocco Springs…
In the basement of Shocco Chapel, at the age of 15, I surrendered to the call of full-time ministry. That next summer, the girl I had talked and hung out with at camp for several years agreed to let me write and call her after the summer ended. And in August 2002, I would marry and start a family with that same girl from camp — Wendy. After our wedding, Wendy and I joined the Shocco staff full-time and over the next seven years, we lived, worked and ministered as part of the Shocco family.
As I think about the impact Shocco Springs has had on my family, my heart’s desire is for others to benefit from this wonderful ministry. In 2010, God called us to leave Shocco as I became the pastor of Elkdale Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama. Through the church, I was grateful to be introduced to a service the Baptist Foundation of Alabama offers called Legacy Planning. Through their ministry, they offer professional Christian coaching to help guide you through all of the tough end-of-life decisions in a manner that honors the Lord with zero financial stake in the game.
Over the course of several weeks, working at our own pace, the planning coaches communicated with us through email and conference calls, guiding us and answering all of our questions. After helping Wendy and me understand the planning process and getting to know out family, they were able to help us put together a plan that fits our desires and matches our value. They even helped us schedule an appointment with one of their vetted lawyers to finish the legal steps.
As Wendy and I prayed about how God could use our legacy to impact the Kingdom, our immediate thought was Shocco Springs. We found ourselves rejoicing that our family has the opportunity to continue supporting Shocco financially and help them continue to make in difference in people’s lives, even after the Lord has called us home to heaven.
By including Shocco Springs in our Legacy Plan, we can ensure that more lives will be impacted in immeasurable ways – like making camp memories with their dad, meeting their future spouse and most importantly, hearing the voice of God.