Andrew was raised in a Christian home and was born again at the early age of eight. He avoided the rebellious phase often associated with adolescents and teens and went in the opposite direction, becoming a modern-day Pharisee. Andrew believed that by his own righteousness and good works, he could develop his relationship with the Lord.
Then, on a Saturday night in 1968, everything changed. Andrew had an encounter with God that changed his life forever. For him it was like looking into a mirror and seeing his reflection clearly for the first time. What did he see? He saw the reflection of a hypocrite, much like the Pharisees that Jesus rebuked. He realized he had fallen into the bondage of legalism. He began confessing his self-righteousness, expecting the wrath of God to fall, but instead of wrath, God’s presence flooded him with love. Now he understood that he had been trying to earn God’s love by good works and religious performance. He said, “God’s love consumed me. When I was at my worst, God’s love was the strongest.” Andrew has never been the same since.
Andrew’s encounter with God motivated him to make another life-changing decision. He decided to leave college to follow God’s leading in his life, even though he knew he would lose his student deferment. Subsequently, he was drafted into the army and shipped to Vietnam, where he served as a chaplain’s assistant. As difficult and dangerous as things were on the front lines, this became a time that God used to ground Andrew in His Word and begin establishing the course of his life.
Upon his return, Andrew submitted to the call of God, a call to be a teacher of His Word. He and Jamie were married in 1972, and together they began teaching Bible studies. Over the next six years, they would pastor three small churches and complete their family with two sons, Joshua and Jonathan Peter.