Shawn was raised Southern Baptist in Lubbock, TX. He was saved at an early age and was in church every time the doors were open. He was raised in a family that read the bible and prayed together daily. He loved God and desperately wanted to please God, but he could not reconcile being gay and a Christian through his Baptist doctrine, so he eventually left the church.
He met his husband, Cliffton, in 1994. Cliffton was raised in the Assembly of God Church, and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1986. They loved each other, and they loved God, but although there were affirming churches in Lubbock, TX at the time, they found it difficult to find a church where they both felt comfortable to worship together.
Shawn and Cliffton moved to Odessa in 2004, and Shawn graduated with a doctorate degree in audiology in 2005. In 2006, the couple accepted an invitation to go to New Song Fellowship Church. They were hungering and thirsting after righteousness and couldn’t seem to get enough; therefore, they quickly became active members. Shawn began to open his heart and to pray for God to open his eyes. He regained a spiritual craving for more of God, and he embraced the idea of baptism in Jesus' name, in order to acknowledge full belief that Jesus is the Messiah - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. He was baptized in Jesus’ name on November 12, 2006.
As Shawn gathered the faith to believe that God's power is real, present tense, not just historical, Shawn began to actively seek the gift of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in tongues. He prayed daily for this. He received his gift in February 2007 at a church conference. As Shawn describes it, "Unknown words began to burst forth from my lips. I remember such a feeling of joy, which relaxed into such a peace, and my body must have melted into it, because eventually the sounds of the sanctuary began to return to my ears, and when I opened my eyes, I was on the floor! I had received the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in tongues, and been slain in the spirit- all in the same evening!"
In December of 2007 Shawn and Cliffton moved to Midland, TX, where they eventually began attending services at God's Rainbow Promises Fellowship Church. They both took on active roles in church leadership, each separately serving on the church board - Shawn serving one year as secretary of the church board, and Cliffton serving three years as outreach coordinator. God also opened doors for Shawn to deliver sermons when his pastor was away, and he soon became a lay minister for the church.
Many ministers had prophesied that Shawn had a calling on his life to minister. It wasn't until September, 2009 that Shawn heard God's voice clearly say to him, "Surrender yourself - I have been calling you." Following his calling, he received his associate license to minister in 2011. He was granted a full general license in 2013, through Reconciling Pentecostals International.
Shawn and Cliffton moved to Bella Vista, AR in August of 2014 to open an affirming, New Testament church in Northwest Arkansas. They opened Faith, Hope, and Love Fellowship in their home on September 7, 2014, exactly 8 years after they had first received the message of reconciliation at New Song Fellowship in Odessa. Pastor Shawn has been called by God to reach out to a lost community and to provide a loving, accepting, and safe place to worship and to preach God’s Word. He and Cliffton welcome you to join us, to learn about the amazing grace, love, and hope that we have, through faith in Jesus Christ!