Growing up on a beef cattle farm in southern Missouri, I always felt a draw to writing. Whether it was a colored pencil illustrated compendium of dinosaur species, a (very thin) newsletter about the goings-on of the household, simple poetry, or short stories that always found a way to feature helicopters or jets, there was typically always something that needed written down.
After graduating high school, I pursued a duty to service via the avenue that made sense to me at the time – studying to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. I was working out a calling I felt to make the world a more peaceful and orderly place. I didn’t jump right into a staff position at a church, though, which made way for a new avenue to fulfill my duty: Law enforcement.
After a short stint doing warehouse and data entry work to make ends meet, I read a news article about staffing shortages at the police department where I lived in Springfield, Missouri. I’d never considered law enforcement as a career option, but I felt myself getting more and more dull in the menial work of my job and knew law enforcement would as a matter of course put me right in the midst of where need was great.
I applied for and was accepted to SPD’s 58th Academy, thus beginning three of the most formative years of my life. Putting that uniform on was definitely a watershed moment for me. I worked as a patrol officer for SPD, answering calls for service for everything from parking violations and noise complaints to fatal motor vehicle accidents and stabbings.
A phone call one afternoon put me back on a path to traditional ministry; I accepted a position as pastor of a small church in Mountain Grove, Missouri, bittersweetly parting from my life in law enforcement. For about three years I worked in the church and community, founding a non-profit to address community needs along with a handful of other faith leaders and becoming president of the local Ministerial Alliance. After starting my tenure, I started writing online, principally answering questions about law enforcement people posed on sites like Quora.
Family needs drew me back to Springfield in time, where I worked for a while as a Public Safety Officer for Missouri State University. Love came calling in time though, and I took the biggest chance of my life in 2015 as I sold most everything I owned and moved to Yukon Territory to explore a budding relationship with a friend I’d had since 2000. We got married the next year, moved to a farm in a small village in the territory the next year, and had a daughter the year after that.
Presently, I’m co-manager of Freeman, Inc. (AKA stay at home dad to our daughter). In the margins I’m establishing a permaculture farm on our property and doing freelance writing. My long term goal is to keep serving people – locally with the harvest of my farm, and remotely via the writing I do.