Pastor’s Tony’s Reading List: “Total Forgiveness”
Tony did well his first year at Indiana State University. After his first year, Tony made the decision to marry his high school sweetheart, Jenise. He then decided to leave college and join the Marine Corps. After boot camp, instead of starting a life with his new bride, Tony received orders to be stationed thousands of miles away in Okinawa, Japan. Even though Tony didn’t realize it, God’s plan for him would unfold in this foreign land. Going to Okinawa proved to be a God-ordained overseas adventure because it was there that Tony recognized his need for a Savior and subsequently committed his life to the Lord. It was difficult for Tony to be away from his family, but he thrived in his recently discovered relationship with the Lord and quickly became an ardent student of the Bible. His hunger for learning all that he could about God’s Word was unquenchable. Passionate about spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and armed with the zeal of his newfound faith, Tony shared Christ with anyone who would listen. It was in Okinawa that the Lord revealed to Tony that he would one day become a pastor.
Tony returned to his wife and baby girl in the states with great anticipation. He continued to fervently study God’s Word and flourished in his walk with the Lord. As his leadership skills developed and became more evident, Tony became an assistant pastor with a local church. In this role, he honed his teaching skills and effectively led various ministries.
During this time, Tony was still in the Marine Corps and had to commute 35 miles daily between Camp Pendleton, in San Mateo, and home. He wisely used this time to study the Word by tuning in to Calvary Chapel’s radio station, K-WAVE. Over time, Tony grew increasingly interested in the “new” teaching style of Calvary Chapel and began attending Calvary Chapel Vista.
After a few years, Tony’s enlistment in the Marine Corps ended, but God continued to orchestrate his footsteps and provided employment with a cable company in the Orange County, CA area. While still attending Calvary Chapel Vista, Pastor Brian Brodersen, the Senior Pastor, asked Tony if he would be interested in joining the staff as an assistant pastor. Determined to be obedient to God’s will, Tony enthusiastically accepted the position. At CC Vista, Tony had an opportunity to meet and minister to thousands of incredible people. This experience, along with God’s inspiration, prompted Tony to begin contemplating the idea of pastoring a church. But where would it be? Would he pastor in California, Indiana, or Atlanta? Only God would know!
Joey Buran, who, at the time pastored Calvary Chapel Hampton Roads, would periodically call Tony and tell him about all of the ministry opportunities in Virginia. Even though Tony had never been to the East Coast, he decided to visit Virginia. After his visit, the Lord began to impress upon Tony’s heart the need for a ministry in Virginia. After much prayer, Tony knew without a shadow of a doubt that Newport News, Virginia was the place that God would have him to be a pastor.
In September 1994, Tony, Jenise, and their three children, Erin, Tony Jr., and Eric made the trek from Vista, California to Virginia. October 1994 marks the date that Calvary Chapel Newport News was established.
Today, Calvary Chapel Newport News is a multi-cultural fellowship with members from over 30 countries represented. More than 2,000 people call Calvary Chapel Newport News home and are inspired by Tony’s simplistic, yet life-changing teaching style. He has traveled throughout the United States and around the world to such places as Kenya, South Africa, Okinawa and Cuba to proclaim the goodness of God. His radio program, “The Word Made Plain”, is being heard by millions of people on the east and west coasts. Tony did not know it, but God’s hand was upon his life from the very beginning. For example, K-WAVE, the radio station that Tony listened to as a young marine during his drive to and from work, is now airing his messages.
Until He Comes
The desire of Tony’s heart is to see the community of Newport News and the Hampton Roads area transformed by continuing to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. Tony continues to heed the call by passionately studying God’s Word, prayerfully seeking the Lord’s direction for His church, and vigorously pouring love into the lives of the people God leads his way – persevering until He comes!