I was born in Wylie, TX. This explains why I'm such a huge Dallas Cowboys football fan. After moving back and forth between Texas and Louisiana my family finally settled in Ruston, LA. This explains my obsession with LSU football and eating crawfish. My parents, Danny and Helen Payton, taught my brother, sister and me to love God and live our lives to serve HIm. God was the priority in our home and church attendance was not an option. I became a follower of Christ at age 12 and surrendered to full time ministry at the age of 15.
During the summer following High School graduation, I married my high school sweetheart, Tracy Nelson, who was also the pastor's daughter. A few weeks later we moved to Springfield, MO where I attended Baptist Bible College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a concentration on Missions. Following my freshman year of college my 16 year old brother took his own life and God used that tragic event to lead me into student ministry. Following graduation in 1992 Tracy and I, along with our 2 year old daughter, LeAnna, moved to Salina, KS where I served as Youth Pastor at Grace Baptist Temple. The following year we moved to Lubbock, TX where I served as Youth Pastor at Lubbock Baptist Temple. During our time of ministry in Lubbock our 2nd daughter, Lacy, was born. Then in 1995 the Lord led us back to Louisiana. It was during this time that our son, Luke, was born. While in Louisiana I served as youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Monroe and also hosted a morning radio show on 88.7FM The Cross.
Our family was led here to Charity Baptist Church in August of 2004 to serve as Youth Pastor. Then, in August of 2010, the church called me as Senior Pastor following the retirement of our founding pastor, R.J. Hammond.
Tracy and I are blessed to be the parents of three awesome children who are all serving the Lord in some capacity. We also have two amazing sons-in-law and daughter-in-law, as well as seven grandkids.
In May of 2011, I earned my Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and in March of 2015 I completed my Doctorate of Ministry from Liberty.
My favorite past time activities are watching Dallas Cowboys football, LSU football, golfing, snowboarding with my son Luke, and hanging out with my grandkids.