Michael Carpenter

Truth is not a barrier to fellowship but defines fellowship. The level of fellowship we have with one another is based on our mutual commitment to the truth. Because of love I can fellowship to some degree with those with whom I fundamentally disagree (such as unbelievers). However, as agreement on truth increases, fellowship with God and with each other is enriched accordingly. A shared commitment to the Bible as the highest authority (Sola Scripture), that salvation is by grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fide) in Christ alone (Solus Christus), to the glory of God alone (Soli Deo Gloria) led to the formation of Reformation Christian Fellowship in February, 2012. My desire as an elder of Reformation Christian Fellowship is that together we would know Jesus and the power of his resurrection and share in his sufferings (Phil 3:10). We mainly know him through his Word; thus, we desire to teach the truth of God’s Word, its doctrines and applications. The more we know about God and what he accomplished through his Son, Jesus, the more our affections are for God and others. Our service and evangelism should primarily flow from gratitude instead of obligation.

By God’s grace I was reared in a Christian family and have always been involved in church. Through hearing his word in this environment, as a young teenager God effectually called me to be his and began the process of conforming me to the image of his Son. After college I began my career as an Air Force officer. God graciously took me to Las Vegas, Nevada, and gave me great Christian friends. During this time I was refined and was given a deep desire to know and teach the Scriptures. Also, God gave me my wonderful wife, Sonya. Theologically, God began the process of taking me out of dispensationlism.

Sonya and I married and moved to northern Virginia as I was assigned to the Pentagon. While there we were actively involved with Harvest Christian Fellowship, where I was an elder. Again, God graciously gave us great Christian friends and gave me even more opportunities to learn and teach his Word. Our first child Amanda was born while I was at the Pentagon. With great difficulty we decided to remain in the Air Force, which sent us to Dayton, Ohio, so I could obtain a Master’s Degree in Operations Research. We continued our growth by leading worship for Calvary Chapel of Dayton, and by assisting Airway Baptist Church with worship on Sunday evenings. During this time, God began the process of leading me into Reformed theology. As I studied God’s Word the truth of God’s sovereignty over all things was inescapable. I discovered Ligonier ministries and the teaching of R. C. Sproul. His book Chosen By God, and Michael Horton’s book Putting Amazing Back Into Grace were instrumental in my understanding the sovereignty of God in salvation. Our daughter Becky was born while in Dayton.

We then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although I had few teaching opportunities, God used this time to deepen my understanding of Reformed theology. Our son Matthew was born during our time in Albuquerque.

The final move was to Hampton, Virginia, where we are now. I retired from the Air Force in 1998 and began a career as a software developer working from home. A year or so after arriving in Hampton God led us to Restoration Church where I taught the truth of Reformed theology for many years to an adult Sunday school class. The last few years before the formation of Reformation Christian Fellowship I assisted in teaching the youth of the church.

Finally God gave Kenny D’Auria, Steve Simkins, and I the opportunity to start Reformation Christian Fellowship. Welcome!