I was born in Kinston, N C, in 1954, and grew up in New Bern, where I was on the New Bern High School football team, and graduated in 1972. I have been a registered Republican since 1972, when I was one of the first generation of 17 year old voters to vote in the primary election, being 18 in time to vote in the general election that year. I am proud of the fact that I can honestly say that Jesse Helms never won an election to the US Senate, nor Ronald Reagan an election as President, without my vote.
I attended Mount Olive Junior College, and Atlantic Christian College, receiving my B.A. in English in 1976. That August, I married Tammy Odom, of Mount Olive, NC. I graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, in 1981, with the degree of M. Div. with Languages, and was ordained a Presbyterian Minister of Word and Sacraments in 1983.
I served churches in Pitt, Anson, Union, and Cabarrus Counties, including the McKinnon Presbyterian Church in Concord, and the Royal Oaks Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis, between 1980 and 2004. I currently serve the Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church in Stanly County, where I began in Feb., 2009.
I worked from October, 1997 through Feb., 2012, mostly in the shipping department, at Snyder Packaging in Concord, where I continued to serve as Company Chaplain through December, 2012.
I was appointed to the NC House for the 82nd District in October, 2011, to replace the previous Representative who retired from the House that September. I was elected for my first full term in 2012, and will be seeking reelection in 2016 to continue in this office for the next two years. I do not intend to serve more than five full terms. My wife, Tammy, serves as my Legislative Assistant. We have two grown children, another deceased and seven grandchildren.
I am an avid hunter and fishermen, and want to do what I can to protect our outdoor heritage. Humans were created as the top predators on earth, and have the right to continue to hunt and fish, both to enjoy the food it provides, and to manage our natural wildlife resources.
As a minister of the Gospel, I am committed to protecting the freedom of religious expression. Everyone must be free to express their beliefs, or no one is free. Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with the risen and living Lord Jesus. It must be entered into voluntarily to be genuine. Therefore, everyone must be free to choose either to accept Christ or to reject him. They must be free to be a Christian or to choose some other belief or no belief at all. So I am in favor of people who choose not to be Christians having the freedom to express their beliefs; but at the same time, Christians also have the same right to express our beliefs. I will oppose any attempt to take that freedom away from anyone, Christian or not.