We bring God’s love to people from all walks of life, including those who would never enter the door of a church. At our outreach locations no one is turned away, and everyone is treated with respect. All materials are free, specifically for people groups such as Jews, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, Catholics, children, teens, and cultists. We are also an encouragement to evangelical Christians with materials for growth free to them, too. No preaching is allowed in any location, because we answer questions to objections based on the Bible with humility without speaking down to anyone, realizing no one is better than anyone else at the foot of the cross. We want to explain with answers based on logic and reason why Jesus is different from the other gods and why history, archaeology, prophecy and testimonies point to Him alone as the only true Savior for mankind. All people from every background are welcome at our outreach locations, and when people do not share our faith, we love them still.
How LTWW Began
Lighting the Way began in 2002 with the only Christian table on the boardwalk at Venice Beach, as an outreach of evangelism based on apologetics. We worked with youth groups and other Christians in mission work and spoke with psychics, tarot card readers, witches, Hare Krishnas, Hindus, Buddhists, Scientologists, Christian Scientists, New Agers, Satanists, atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox Jews and the like about Jesus and why we believe He is a Savior like no other. The outreach was and is still about offering answers to life’s questions based on what the Bible teaches. We never bothered anyone and let people come to us, and this is what we still do. We had a table alongside the psychics and Hindus selling talismans on the boardwalk with a sign reading “Come find out what God has to say about your future for free” and a banner inviting people over for “A Free Gift for You.” God would have people stop at the table from all walks of life with questions, and we would give answers based on what the Bible teaches about salvation and eternal life, as well as lovingly warning of God’s eternal judgment of sin. Along with a catalogue of articles on apologetics, we also offered books, sermons on CD and Bibles, all for free to anyone who promised to read what we gave. This aggregate of table outreaches grew in scope but has always remained the same in format, to reach people with the Gospel right where they are.
In addition to the table outreaches, we have spoken with elders from the Jehovah’s Witnesses in a private meeting about the deity of Jesus and had the joy of explaining to them how we know that Jesus is not Michael the Archangel based on what the Bible teaches. I got to talk to a guru, one on one, at the Hare Krishna temple at Venice Beach about Jesus, explaining to him all of the reasons why I know the Bible is true. We also went into New Age cults with conversations, drawing the line of demarcation between demons vs. a real relationship with God through Jesus, the only true God of love, explaining who the Jesus of the Bible is vs. demonic apparitions of a counterfeit. As we shared verses from the Bible with people, we saw their eyes open to see the difference between deceiving, spiritual experiences and what a true relationship with God based on the Bible really is. We did this at places in CA like Eckankar, the Self Realization Center and once at an Agape Fellowship (a New Age cult that does not believe in the existence of Satan) by having thoughtful conversations based on logic and the Bible. In NYC I had the opportunity to speak with some people individually at the Unity School of Christianity, another New Age cult, about Jesus after I heard them singing Christian hymns re-written to leave out the name of Jesus with prayers they had prayed to the “divine light in us all.” In Brigham City, Utah, we did an outreach to Mormons offering free DVDs of testimonials from former Mormons who left the Mormon church after coming to salvation through the real Jesus, as the team distributed the DVDs throughout the entire town to people for free. The conversations we have had in such places have sparked curiosity in spiritual seekers, to measure everything according to the Bible as opposed to their feelings. Since I began Lighting the Way at Venice Beach, much to my surprise, it has spread all over the world as the locations on this site show. It keeps growing as we continue to explain the Gospel– in this Christian 501c3 based on apologetics– in every location of outreach, contending earnestly for who Jesus is and how to know God (Jude 1:3) in love and authenticity.
God blessed me with a mother who taught me to pray before I could talk plainly. It was not hard for me to realize I was a sinner and was saved by faith in Jesus at age five. I then joined the church and was baptized. I could also sing the hymns before I could talk plainly and began singing them in Baptist churches as a soloist at age three. I was raised on the hymns, singing as a soloist in Baptist churches and revival meetings all over the South and Northeast, as well as in India, Korea and Haiti. Throughout my childhood and teens I entertained at civic clubs, as well as sang in one opera, had leads in local, musical theatre growing up and was very active in school as an honor student. I auditioned for the movie “Annie,” and the producer pointed for me to come over to him. He said, “You are exactly what we are looking for but just too tall.” I won “Best in Show” for musical theater in the state of FL as a teen and represented my high school in Orlando based on an essay I wrote my Junior year as an intern for Congress in Washington D.C.
After recording three albums by age fifteen, I set out at age seventeen on Music Row to be an artist in country music. My goal was to have a record deal by the time I was twenty-one. I never dreamed at that point all that God had in store for me, which was far more fulfilling and better than fame and fortune. Though God gave me major publishing and production deals, including one with Warner Brothers, those years in music were more of a testing ground than anything else for me as a Christian, it seems in hindsight. I was always choosing between a pure life or fame and fortune, as the two never seemed to go together. God was teaching me to get all of my sense of belonging in Him alone. It was painful as He was forcing me to die to all that I thought I needed to be happy, but through this I learned firsthand what the verses in the Bible mean about dying so Jesus can live through me on a whole new level. For this reason, I can truly count it all joy that He saved me for His glory and not for the world. My favorite verse became “But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14). I left Nashville and moved to CA to become a member of Grace Community Church in 2001. I wanted to study the Bible under John MacArthur’s teaching. This is where Lighting the Way began in 2002, and it then became a church-wide ministry of Grace Community Church. I got the 501c3 the following year and then expanded to West Hollywood with the next outreach table, right beside the AIDS testing, then to Boulder, CO, and then all over the world.
A few years after LTWW began, God gave me the opportunity to record my songs independently, and they are now available on Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, Amazon, Walmart and CD Baby. I began writing Christian based books and booklets and had the honor of offering my Christian book for women, Happiness No Man Required, for free to every single prostitute on Bourbon Street after I did a Barnes and Noble book signing there in New Orleans. This book (that is not at all against marriage or true love) is my testimony about God’s faithfulness to me and an encouragement to any Christian who puts God first, single or married. All of the prostitutes took a copy without hesitation there in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and it has been used in crisis pregnancy centers, abused women shelters and with sex trafficked teens, for girls to know their worth in Jesus, with or without a man.
Sharing my Christian testimony through Lighting the Way Worldwide, including both my music and books, is the greatest purpose my life could ever know. Looking back, I can only thank the Lord for time after time protecting me from the world, as I was saved for a far better life in Jesus than fame could offer. This work keeps me living for heaven with a keen awareness that I am not home yet, and the prize I get is that Jesus dwells within me and gives me joy, peace, strength and confidence on the inside like nothing else could ever give. Through LTWW, I get the joy of sharing all that God has done for me and all I keep learning through His Word with others.
LTWW Keeps Growing
New outreaches continue to begin with Lighting the Way. It spreads only by word of mouth. No funds have been solicited. No marketing has ever been done to expand it. It is supported by individual Christians, businesses, foundations and churches as they feel led to give with no one ever pressured or asked to give monthly.
I have recently begun evangelism based on apologetics to children who live in the projects of East Nashville, as God surprisingly called me to this crime-filled area as a missionary. It is an outreach to both the children and their single mothers. I have begun a Christian-based “Character Counts Club,” but the core of the club is not only to teach them and their single mothers the gospel but to teach them how to live for Jesus in victory over sin. We are in the process of beginning the same thing in Sarasota, FL, to underprivileged children there.
I am honored to say that John MacArthur used to be my pastor. Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Walter Martin, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse and Charles Spurgeon are my favorite Bible teachers. Now that all expository sermons from John MacArthur have been archived at gracetoyou.org where they can be heard for free, I try to listen to at least one per day from either him or Walter Martin and take notes, as I also have every sermon Walter Martin ever preached on CD. As John MacArthur once asked, “Who is the best apologist? The one who knows the Bible the best.” I love listening and taking notes from him or Dr. Walter Martin as training for being a missionary to people in cults and various belief systems and religions. It is a thrill to continue to grow in Bible study, to share with others all that God keeps teaching me. I realize God does not need me. I am privileged to be used by Him.
Living a sincere, Christian life is costly, but Jesus is worth it. With all of the ambition I used to have as a teen and in my early twenties, I would have never given myself such a beautiful way to spend my life this side of heaven, not living for the world but dying to it. I define success as making my life about knowing the Bible, living it and telling others about the most wonderful Savior who first loved me, who He is and why I love Him so much in return. In-depth Bible study invigorates me, as it still excites me to learn something new from God’s Word! I am forever indebted to Jesus, for how He keeps me and for how He keeps giving me the desire to live for Him no matter the cost. Giving Him all of myself is nothing compared to all that He gives me in return with more than money could ever buy within my heart.