I still remember my feelings those first moments when the LORD spoke to my heart concerning Huntsville…the overwhelming sensation of seeing people in a dream and hearing HIM say, “These are the people waiting for you in Huntsville.” I was scared and excited at the same time – excited that GOD would entrust a vision to me, yet scared to be responsible for it! I shared with Leisa what I had seen, and Jesus used her immediately by saying, “We just got here in Jacksonville; we’re not going anywhere!” Even though I knew she was right, I was still thankful that GOD was communicating HIS heart for us.


This “scared excitement” seemed to define the journey Leisa and I were about to embark on. Every step required the embrace of that scared excitement of faith. From the first time we came to fast and pray in 1998, when we were on Monte Sano Mountain, asking GOD to let lightening strike if He had really called us here – and then it actually struck – to our first vision cast meeting with a handful of people in a living room of new friends, that “scared excitement” remained the same.


I remember lying on the floor of my office in Jacksonville, praying over a (borrowed) Huntsville phonebook, naming faceless people I had only seen in my dreams. The nights turned into endless conversations with Leisa reading to me from her dream journals about places we had never been and people we had not yet met. I remember the naming of a ministry – from a parking lot conversation. The Rock Family Worship Center came to life and the scared excitement of faith rooted deeper.


We carried the vision so deeply yet had no money to meet the need. Then overnight, two days before we were to head out, GOD provided and told us, “Everything you will ever need will be in the house when you need it.” I remember loading up trucks to the sound of little voices, and that “thing” in the pit of my stomach while we were driving to nothing, but expecting something. And then … that first service, the support of family and friends, the faces of people we had only seen in our dreams, and again, feeling that scared excitement of faith.

I remember having church in a cramped hotel. Then, to a temporary place- the Motorola Building on Bradford Drive, which allowed us to catch our breath. Yet we were always praying to stay the course, to hear HIS voice, so we could touch the people of the dream.

Then came the smell of a bar, Joe’s House of Entertainment, which, to be honest, still smells like home to us. People came and found hope, marriages were restored, and hearts were mended as the people of the dream loved and served, and all the while, that scared excitement of faith grew stronger still.


I remember having nowhere to go, but having a heart to grow and a vision for a “Gideon 300”. Then JESUS brought us to this home, once known as Miracle City, truly a place where the people of the dream would see miracles in their lives, where champions would give of their time, their talent, and their treasure to become a miracle to someone else…Here their passion for the presence of Jesus would produce the purpose of HIS heart.


A packed place…inadequate parking…requiring a creative strategy that would take us to other communities, searching for more people of the dream…We remember the call to Scottsboro through those who were driving so far. That began a journey over ten years ago that would allow us to expand to other communities: Madison, Fayetteville, Online, Smith Lake, and the Shoals. All the while, that “scared excitement” was churning with the knowledge that only God could do this work.


We can still see the people of the dream. So many are here, but many more are coming. We see people who have made HIS dream their dream – HIS life their life. Men and women, old and young, who are willing to champion the cause of Christ and be armed with the power of the cross of JESUS, equipped with a towel and basin to wash the feet of a city, a region, and a world. Champions who are willing to take the heart of JESUS and express it through a life of serving – champions who are represented in ALL our campuses today!