My ancestry is Hungarian on both sides of family as far back as I know; my Grandparents immigrated from Hungary c. 1904-1913. In my dad’s family there were eight kids, and in my mom’s family there were six kids. In my family of birth, there were four kids, of which I am the eldest.
My childhood was in Michigan; the family moving to Springdale, PA, and then back to Michigan a year or so later. The family moved out to California in 1956 as my dad had been hired by Northrop. We lived at first with my grandmother and uncle in Canoga Park, and then with my mom’s sister and brother-in-law in Rosemead, CA, where we lived in the garage, before finally moving, in April of 1957, into a house my folks had purchased in Canoga Park.
My dad had little formal education, as he had to go to work early on and left school in the sixth grade, but he was the hardest working person I have ever known.
In Michigan, we went to a Presbyterian church, on Sunday morning, however the notion of personal salvation in Christ was not understood. It was not until my folks started going to Family Reformed Church, in Canoga Park, California that the ‘Born-again’ notion began to dawn on them. By the time they actually became committed Christians I was already somewhat independent, and within a couple of years, by 1966 I was in the Army.
I served 31 months, 2 years of which was in Viet Nam. During this time, whatever Christian sentiment I had, pretty much disappeared. When I exited the service I was fairly established in an immoral lifestyle, and had little interest if any in religion. Also at this time I was mal-adjusted regarding social skills, and lived for a few years almost as a hermit.
As time went on I bounced around from job to job, and various living situations. My life did not begin to stabilize until the late 70’s, at which time I purchased a house with a VA loan. Also a couple years earlier I had started working in construction as a laborer, then gaining carpentry skills which I continued in, working my way up to licensed contractor status in 1979.
Time progressed, and spiritual inquisitiveness did awaken in me, and I pursued a number of religious beliefs/schemes, including meta-physics, Native American, etc., getting dangerously close to demonic allegiance (unrealized to me at the time). In 1983 I went over to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner. An aunt of mine had invited her neighbor to join us for dinner. Her neighbor turned out to be Kathy, who would later become my wife.
A couple of weeks later I asked Kathy for a date and we began an eleven-month relationship, which was fraught with difficulties and strife, finally ending when she moved out and went back to Las Vegas. When she left I was devastated. That same evening, I came to realize that the where-with-all, or control of life that I thought I had was illusory; I lost all bearing. As I lay on my bed, not able to sleep or relax, I called out, ‘If there’s a power out there that can lead me out of this, please help me.’ I heard a voice inside my head, it was not a sound coming from outside, which said, ‘You can call the name of power Jesus Christ.’ At the same time I heard the voice, I saw letters, proclaiming the same message, displayed in sparkler-type lights written on what seemed to be the inside of my forehead. Immediately I began to cry, praising and thanking Jesus.
I had a feeling come over me that I was home now, that I did not have to search any more. Stories from the Bible that I had heard as a child in Sunday school came to my mind. I realized I had lived my life in rebellion to God. For about two or three weeks, I thought I had lost my mind, but finally adjusted.
After a couple of months, Kathy and I renewed contact, and I discovered that she had come to faith also. Slowly we got back together, and married within the year. We became integrated into the Christian community, attending an Assembly of God Church, which we stayed at for about ten years, before taking a year long tour of various churches, finally settling in at a large Christian Church, about 1995 or so.
About 1996 I began to think about completing my BA. After prayer and consideration, and the encouragement of Dr. Richard Fales, I decided to attend California Pacific School Of Theology. In the fall of 1998 I began to take classes, and completed my BA in Religion in 2001. By this time I felt the leading of the Lord to continue my studies at Cal. Pac., and started courses towards a Master’s degree in Theology, which was completed in June 2003.
I took some time off from studies while trying to discern where the Lord was leading. With an eye towards future ministry, and the encouragement of family, friends and faculty, I made the decision to pursue a doctorate degree in Theology, again at Cal. Pac.
I became an ordained minister in the Christian Church, at Christ's Church of the Valley in Palmdale, CA, in January 2011, but that was not when my ministry began. Between 1985 and 2009, I served as a lay minister for youth, couples, & men. In 2003 I lead a Bible study at the Los Angeles Daily News, in Woodland Hills, CA, and have conducted church 'Life Groups' and home Bible studies. In 2009 I began preaching services, as a volunteer, at Fairwinds Retirement Community, and later a mid-week Bible study, which continue today.
Currently I serve as President of Cal Pac, while maintaining a bi-weekly preaching schedule, and various other ministry endeavors, and counseling.
It is God's grace that calls us, and his Holy Spirit which sustains us in all that we attempt for His eternal glory.