Dr. John Cross became a follower of Jesus when he was 11 years old while at church camp. Just three years later, God began to tug on his heart with a call to the ministry. By the age of 17, he began preaching.
He is a graduate from Mercer University in 1986 and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1990 and a Doctor of Ministry Degree in 2006. He served churches in Georgia, Texas, and Florida.
In 2009, he met and married his wife Dawn, who was a widow with five children. John adopted Courtney, Brooke, Hope, Blake, and Kirk. Their family has grown to include two sons-in-law and seven beautiful grandchildren.
God has given Dr. Cross the opportunities to speak and train pastors in numerous states and global mission opportunities in Canada, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Kenya, Romania, Argentina, Ecuador, Turkey, Ukraine, Haiti, Costa Rica, India, and Norway.
He has also served in numerous denominational roles. He was the President of the Florida Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference in 1994. He was the President of the Florida Baptist State Convention in 2009 and 2010.
He has five ministry core values:
Spiritual Formation: Ministry and mission spring from an ever-growing and developing walk with Jesus. All of life must be built upon the never-changing Word of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. Prayer is foundational. Life and ministry must be rooted and grounded in Christ.
Vision: His clear and convictional belief is that God’s call upon his life is to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His prayer is to glorify God by helping people find and follow Jesus by making disciples who make disciples.
Leadership: As a pastor, his primary responsibilities begin with interceding for the people of God, then feeding them the Word of God and leading them in the will of God. His approach to discipleship is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry. Every member of the body of Christ has an important function to fulfill. As each person discovers their gift and deploys that gift within the church, the needs of the church body are met.
Culture: Having an atmosphere that is faith-filled and believing God will do something beyond one’s ability to ask or think is crucial for a church to reach her potential. A church must reflect the vision and values of Jesus. That means being intentional about reaching those far from God. It is demonstrated in the attitudes and actions of the church.
Excellence: A desire for excellence in every area of the church is theologically and biblically driven. This includes items such as staffing, volunteers, the church website, facilities, social media presence, ministries, worship experiences, special events, and operating systems. The church represents God in the world and therefore should develop systems that best reflect God and His character to a lost world.