• KEVIN WELDON / lead pastor

    Psalms 86:11 says "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear your name"

    I like to describe my life before Christ as one being pulled in several different directions. My life was scarred from my upbringing and I was a confused young man not knowing what direction was best for my life. I was not wandering from the Lord, for I had never known the Lord or what was true. Like most teenagers, I was truly confused (in darkness), following many false things (spiritually blind), and my life was characterized by worldliness (sin). 

    It was during my High School years that I began attending church with some friends and was exposed to the gospel . It took some time to be educated on what Christ accomplished for us, and even more time for me to count the cost of following Jesus! Slowly I learned that the root cause of all my discontentment and insecurity was sin. I was a compulsive liar not because of my circumstances, but because of my heart. Being exposed to sound biblical teaching, I progressively saw that Jesus was the only remedy for my sin problem. By his death on the cross, my sins had been paid for, and the punishment for sin was satisfied. 

    The summer before my senior year of High School I was completely overcome with my need for Jesus. I was broken over my sin and I was convinced only Jesus could save me. In my room, by myself, I repented of sin and gave my life to Christ. Since, I have not been perfect, but the Lord continues to teach me more of Himself and more of His grace. I felt the call to vocational ministry the year following my conversion. I have done my best to remain faithful to the Lord’s call through my education and ministry. In April of 2012 I joined the team here at Carlisle as Pastor of Worship & Youth. I have recently transitioned into the role of Lead Pastor and am very excited to watch the Lord continue to work at Carlisle Avenue. 

    My wife Debbie and I have been married since March 2005 and we have two sons, Enock & Reddy.   

    My hope for Carlisle Avenue - I hope for Carlisle to be a diverse faith family that loves each other and our community well.  As we grow in the unity of Christ, I pray he will make us more effective disciple-makers for His glory. Let's make much of Jesus & love people well!

  • louie turner / pastor

    I grew up in a home where my grandmother instilled an example of a very godly Christian to me. She would sing hymns, read her Bible and lead us in prayer every night before bedtime; she would pray for each member of her family to live for the Lord. When I was 12 years old, I went forward in a church and said the sinner’s prayer, mainly out of fear of going to hell for eternity. For the next 20 years, I spent my life wanting to live for Christ, but powerless to live for Him. I thought I knew a lot about the Bible, but in fact I knew very little about what scripture says about salvation.

    That prayer I said at 12 years old was not magical—just say some words and you will be saved. I lived during this time thinking I was a horrible Christian. I was living for myself, doing what I wanted and feeling a tremendous burden of guilt and sin. I constantly ran from the Lord, but I could never get away from the prayers that my grandmother had prayed and the example of her close relationship with the Lord.

    I was married and had two little girls and a new baby son. We had just bought a house near Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church. At the same time, I was concerned about my kids learning about the Lord, so I sent them to Carlisle Ave. Baptist Church on the church van (George Sanders drove the van at that time). I had been invited several times to attend Carlisle by a new neighbor who went there and by my wife’s uncle who went there; however, I would not go. As I sent my two girls there, they came home always excited about church. We had several people visit us at our home and invite us to come and visit. My neighbor finally got me to go with him to play basketball at Carlisle one night.  

    My wife (Lisa) and I started to go every Sunday. After about a year and a half later, I was out in my front yard one day and I just told God that I couldn’t live for Him, that I had tried and just messed it up. I told God that I couldn’t do it, that He would have to do it for me and I committed to allow Him to do that for me. From that time on, my life was changed. It was like God said, Louie, I have been waiting all this time for you to let me do this for you…and He did! I started serving in any capacity that was needed—Sunday school teacher, youth leader, gym- recreation leader, deacon, trustee—whatever was needed, I trusted the Lord to equip me. I had always felt the call to be a pastor, but had run from it as a young man. At Carlisle, the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve in so many capacities and learn to trust in Him and use the gifts He has given me by serving as a lay Pastor.

    My family has gone to church at Carlisle for almost 20 years now. My wife Lisa, my son Josh, my two daughters Miranda and Christian, my son in law Brian and my three grandchildren –Bryce, Taylor and Logan. During this time God has used our faith family at Carlisle to teach us how to live for Him and how to serve Him, in His power not our own.

    My hope for Carlisle:

    Is to see men and women and boys and girls to come to know that God loves them and that they can have a “faith family” at Carlisle that will love them, serve them and help them to grow in their walk with the Lord. 

  • aaron kiefer / director of children's ministry

    In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve lived with God in a perfect relationship with him – never to die. It was only after they sinned that God cursed them with a great consequence – physical and spiritual death. Their decision places all mankind on the path of this destiny. In fact, we are born spiritually separated from God. This decision made from the beginning affects us all and affected me profoundly as I grew up. I wasn’t aware of my spiritual separation, but I knew one day I would face the end of life and it sent fear down my spine – what would come and what it would be like? Would God judge me? As a teenager, I could never seem to shake these thoughts. 

    I later moved in with my father and the Lord began stirring my heart towards the truth of the gospel. I quickly became interested in matters of faith and I started becoming a little more involved at the youth group at church. This panned out over long discussions of what it meant to believe in Jesus and what it meant to turn from your sins. I began grasping the concept of all of the dishonor I had done toward God all my life and realized my need for a savior from my own sin and the evil in the world.

    I cannot place an exact moment of my conversion, but similar to the sunrise – sometimes you don’t see the sun come up but you know in the middle of the day that it is there, shining down on you. It may sound strange, but I knew God had saved me from my old life as a teenager.  I couldn’t quite understand all of the implications (like what sanctification is, etc) but I knew that I believed in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (and I knew he was epic). I also knew that he paid for my sins and I wanted to grow closer to God for the rest of my life. Since then I have lived an imperfect life worshipping a perfect savior. 

    I began this testimony with knowing that most of humanity has to die twice, but now I only have to die once – and I know that the hope that is in me will carry me until the end. C.S. Lewis once said that we are all immortal. You are immortal! One day you will spend forever with Jesus, or forever separated from God in a place called hell. Does that make sense? It did and does for me. Hopefully it does for you too. 

    My Hope for Carlisle Avenue - It is my hope for Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church that we continue to grow everyday as a church enamored with God’s grace towards us. Through this growth I pray that we would intentionally and lovingly seek to reach out to the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its truth is epic. It gives light to a dark world and proclaims hope to the hopeless. 

  • debbie weldon / administrative assistant

    I was saved when I was a young girl because of the teaching from Godly parents. As I got older I turned from my faith and lived a life that was in complete opposition to Christ for several years. Eventually, the conviction of living a selfish life apart from Christ burdened me to the point of turning to Jesus for forgiveness and restoration. Since then, my heart and life has been totally and completely turned upside down! God has blessed me with a Godly husband, two precious boys, awesome opportunities to minister, and a loving church family. When I look back on my life I can praise God for working in my life even during the years that I did not live for Him. God has never let me down and I know that He never will. I have never had so much fun and joy in my life than the years I have gotten to minister for the Lord. I have just a few words to sum up my testimony... Jesus is worth it. He will always be worth it. There are no regrets in following Christ!