I grew up in Asheville with my mom and dad and two older brothers. I had a lot of great friends and we had a lot of great times as we did stuff together like playing Little League baseball and riding dirt bikes in the woods. For the most part, it was a happy childhood. But I did have one big problem that grew worse the older I got: I was a follower and not a leader. I often ended up doing the things that others around me were doing. Peer pressure ate me up. As a result, I struggled with lying, stealing, cheating, horrible language, lust and pornography, and on and on. All the way through adolescence, I followed this same pattern. At times I would think there was a better way, but I didn’t seem to have the power to change.
I figured out what was missing in my last couple of years in college at Chapel Hill. I had moved to an off-campus apartment and left behind all of my dormitory friends. It turned out to be a lonely period where I had time to do a lot of thinking. One thought was that I just didn’t like who I was. But I also started thinking about some lessons from my past. My mom and dad had always taught me that Jesus loved me and died on the cross to take my punishment for all the bad things I had ever done. They taught me that God had raised Jesus from the grave to prove He was able to change my life. They taught me that if I would turn from my wrong behavior and put my trust in Jesus and what He did for me, He’d forgive me and change me and give me eternal life. There in that quiet apartment, I put my trust in Jesus and surrendered my life to follow Him and no one else.
He immediately began to change me. The first change was that I lost the urge to follow others. It was ok not to be like the crowd. It was ok to be alone for a season. It was ok to be “different.” After college, I got married to a beautiful, blue-eyed girl named Tricia. We’ve been together now since 1985. Even with Jesus leading the way, things haven’t always been easy. After having a healthy baby boy named Jared, we went through the agony of three straight miscarriages. When the reality of that first miscarriage hit us at the doctor’s office, we were in shock. We stumbled to the car and collapsed into each other’s arms; I didn’t think we could cry that much. Numbers two and three weren’t easier but even harder; those were our babies that we would never get to hold on this earth. It was a painful, confusing season. But even in our brokenness, God showed up and got us through it. He even blessed us with a wonderful second son named Seth. Now we’re celebrating the birth of our first grandchild. We moved to Rocky Mount in 2011 and really love being here. I’m still not perfect but Jesus is still changing me!
Steve was born in Henderson, NC and raised near Richmond, VA (Midlothian). After graduating with a business degree from Elon College he married Virginia in 1985. They have four children: Melissa Felton (Andrew), Jana Woodcock (Neil), Zachary and Luke. Grandparenting is the latest calling on the horizon as Lawson and Ava have come into their lives. Steve earned his Master of Divinity with Church Music degree from Southeastern Seminary. After uniting with SABC as a layman in 1988 and then as a seminary student(1991-1993), the Roberson’s moved to Durham, NC to serve in their first full time position at Gorman Baptist Church. In 1997, God called them back to SABC where Steve currently serves as Associate Pastor, overseeing worship and administration.
Pastor David was born and raised in Mobile, AL where he met his beautiful wife Erin. They were married in 2005 have three wonderful girls (Caroline, Abigail, and Julianne). He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mobile in Mobile, AL, and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Pastor David loves spending time with his family, rooting for the University of Alabama in football, reading, and enjoying the great outdoors. He has been the Minister to Children and Families at Sunset Ave. since 2009 and before that served in children’s ministry at churches in Statesville, NC and Mobile, AL
Neil Woodcock was born and raised in Rocky Mount, NC and has been married to his wife Jana since 2011. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University; and his Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Neil enjoys spending time outdoors and playing sports. He has served with us at Sunset as the Youth Pastor since 2010.