My academic training includes graduating from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, in Bible and Evangelism (BA); Florida Atlantic University in Communication Theory and Rhetoric (BA); Evangelical Bible College and Seminary: Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Theology and most of all the school of life.
I was born in a beautiful Caribbean Island on the dark side of town. I experienced functioning often in the dark because for the better part of my growing up we had no electric power—not even for a night light in my home. I did my homework under the dimmed smoking—flickering light of a kerosene lamp; wick trimmed each evening to lessen the impact of its smoke and pervasive gas smell from its burning flame. And when Mom turned the lamp off everything was as “dark as pitch”—as islanders would describe it. I did not know who or what “pitch” was. I just know they were describing a darkness that when I placed my hands a little beyond my face, I saw nothing but darkness. With wooden windows without a speck of glass, no lights even from the moon or stars trickled in to offer solace or calm childish fears of the night. Sounds unnoticed by playful ears in the day, all came out at night to play on the stage of darkness. There were no crimes of any kind reported yet it was always a fearful thing to walk home “after dark” even from a church meeting—fearful perhaps someone or something might use the cover of darkness to come—there were enough scary stories told by adults “once upon a time” that seems to take some measure of reality only when darkness fell. I remember the day when electricity came to our area. It was one of the most exciting time. Light was coming. But I—along with other kids soon saw it as a mixed blessing. Places we once found so easy to play “hide and seek” was now hard to find—hard to hide. And the nights became shorter; homework became longer—no more reason to close the books. Although I appreciate the light I began along with the other kids, to miss the darkness of the night. It was like losing a member of the family that you took for granted –unseen; unappreciated until they left home. So, although I appreciated the light, I began to miss the darkness for I had learned to do so many things as a boy in the dark. I built my life working with the darkness of the night. And now new energy light had had intruded. Growing up in this way though, shaped my understanding of the important and interconnectedness of light and darkness. My earliest experiences of my formative years I learned how both are important—coordinated experiences of life. Both with inherent value to understand and sometimes even embraced to succeed in the business of living and thriving.
And when in later years I began experiencing some of the darkest days of my life, that began with my wife unexpectantly was diagnosed with cancer and given but six months to live without any obvious sign or warning to suggest such a fate. The battle began then, from such a well-documented losing side—like taking a big club of despair whacking against all hope—like pitch darkness that hides your hands and everything else. But through all the darkness and pain and struggles to learn as I did as a boy in the dark: It was not a losing side, it was just another side—a part of the dark side I had come to know of the light of the Gospel. It was just another side of life that was always there. I had preached some 10 Thousand times the Gospel of light—then I was experience day after day the dark side of what I was preaching all those years. While I was yet grieving struggling to emerge as from a deep dive in the ocean wave of darkness another came—my doctors diagnosed a possible cancer in me as well. The fear and trauma I experience with my wife became personal. I do not know if I could have emotionally or spiritually distinguished the difference in the darkness—a private personal year-long battle fought in the dark—an indistinguishable from the darkness that preceded it. I did not have all the answers just like I did not have before—why such waves of darkness? It has been a positive one after the physical battle. But I yet had to deal with the darkness and the shadows cast by life solemn experiences on the dark side. Like the early years of my childhood learning so naturally to function in the dark, to allay my fears, and to live through it until morning light rise again—to once again learn to embrace the darkness as a viable and important reality of life. This is the foundation that led to this book. It is a dissertation and serious study of the system of darkness found in the narrative of the Holy Bible. But it was born and inspired from a space and time as well, where darkness lingered long—and I learned drawing from my childhood living in the dark, that it was not a separate entity to be feared, or recoiled from, but to face as a viable part of life and light itself and the very Gospel I preached from a boy at 13. I learned that “darkness” was not separated from life but a part of it. And it follows darkness was not a separate from the Gospel but a part of it as well. The full light of the Gospel could not be seen or appreciated except from the perspective of its dark side as well. This is at the heart of the Dark Side of the Gospel, that includes a full develop systematic Theology of Darkness—a Model of Darkness found in the Scriptures. The Dark Side of the Gospel includes a full developed Theology of Darkness, but written in a way that a layperson can understand and appreciate.
I have served as a church leader since the age of 16. I have had a well-rounded experience in Christian ministries as well as secular endeavors—including graduating from a professional school in photography—a fashion and celebrity photographer for many years photographing some of the world’s most famous people and five U.S. Presidents including the present occupant of the White House —a still photographer on movie sets working with many popular producers, actresses and actors. I have served as founder and leader in various outreach Christian ministries to youth in Chicago and Florida. I have traveled among the world’s most famous people and worked as a ministered among outcast in prisons and juvenile centers and migrant camps. I have had the full spectrum of ministry and on the job learning and helping others. I am a State Certified General Contractor, Air Conditioning Contractor, EPA certified, Roofing Contractor and home designer and builder. I have created and conducted youth and adult religious educational retreats and workshops in different parts of Florida for many years as well—I am called by those who know me a renaissance-man. For me I see myself more like a “shadow man.” One who live in the shadows of other people’s perceptions of me. I speak light from dark places and the Gospel from the other side of it as well. I believe there is much to learn in the shadows. I am a “shadow-man” who also loves the light.
I have written articles in various Christian publications. I was the founder of Agape Bible Church, in Delray Beach, Florida and pastored along with my wife for 28 years. I was married to my wife Junie for thirty-eight years until she went home to be with her Lord in 2014. It was on this occasion of my wife’s unexpected death, that led me to get back to writing, and to write this particular Book—The Dark Side of the Gospel.
I have had the extraordinary opportunity to corroborate with top scholars both in the Evangelical world and secular world as well. From whom I have learned much. I want to share what I have learned along the way, to others.