Pastor Christian Bonham
Pastor Christian Bonham, Senior Pastor
I am blessed to say that God introduced me to my wife, Laura, at a younger age and softened her heart to be willing to choose me, too. I asked her to marry me at our Senior Prom and we married when we were 19 years old. Since then God has blessed us with three crazy cool children who are all the best parts of my wife and knuckleheads like me: Mckenna, Connor, and Jessalyn.
I was raised in a military family (my dad served in the U.S. Army for 20 years) and traveled quite a bit throughout my childhood. Between moves with my family while growing up and the moves I made in my adult years with my wife, I’ve moved over 14 times! The longest I’ve ever lived anywhere happens to be right here in Wendell, NC where I’ve lived since 2003.
While I grew up in a strong and loving family that talked of Jesus and went to church on occasion, I didn’t surrender my life to Jesus until I was 14 years old. Never in my life did I ever think God could/would use a knucklehead like me, but I have come to learn that God is a creative, gracious, patient and redemptive God who specializes in taken broken and hard-headed people like me and making them whole and giving them purpose.
I put my “yes” on the table when I was 14 years old… my life has never been the same since.
When I was in college I started to feel God leading me toward full time ministry, but struggled to understand the depth of the calling or what it really meant. Through a series of hard wake-up calls, tough seasons of spiritual growth, prayer, the encouragement of my wife, and counsel from my mentors in my home church in Arizona I accepted God’s call to full time ministry. Laura and I (with our, then, 3 year old daughter Mckenna and 6 month old son, Connor) sold our home, said “goodbye” to our family, packed up our moving truck and headed East to Wake Forest, NC so I could work on my theological training at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was there Pastor Phil discovered me through the SEBTS ministry referral office, invited me to Bethany and on September 28, 2003 our family was voted in as the new Associate and Youth Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church. We love our Bethany church family and community, and after a lifetime of moving we have never felt more “at home”.
Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics with Biblical Languages – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (2008)
Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Management – Arizona State University (2000)
HOBBIES AND PASSIONS
I love dating my wife as often as I can – especially at home with our “homemade” date nights, spending as much time as possible with my family, traveling the globe, watching baseball (go Braves!), snorkeling (a new-found hobby), going to the beach, watching creative TV shows and movies, teaching/preaching and discipling and growing young men to “man up” and be unashamed followers of Jesus in all areas of life, regardless of vocation, who lead others to do the same.
LIFE BIBLE VERSES
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“The Dark Knight”, “The Power of One”, “Star Wars” saga, “White Squall”, “Tommy Boy”, “The Last Samurai”, “The Incredibles”, “The Family Man”, “Emperor’s New Groove”, “The Sandlot”
Friday Night Lights, Master Chef Junior, Cake Boss, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Elementary, Homeland, Mad Men
Confessions of a Reformissional Rev (Mark Driscoll), The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis), Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis), Vintage Jesus (Mark Driscoll, Gary Breshears), Not a Fan (Kyle Idleman), Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller)
Lecrae (hands down favorite!), Trip Lee, KB, Andy Mineo, Rend Collective Experiment, Matt Papa, Gungor, Jimmy Needham, Phillip Phillips, Mumford and Sons, Michael Buble, Imagine Dragons and some old school Rap/Hip Hop