I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in the fall of 1981 and was given the name Richard Allen Sandifer. However, that name would only be mine for the next few years. My mom got pregnant in high school and made the decision to raise me on her own after her boyfriend at the time decided to not stick around. A year after my birth, my mom met a man named Coy Kerry and two years later I served as the ring bearer at their wedding. A year into their marriage Coy adopted me, giving me his last name.
Although I grew up in a loving and supportive home, the name of Jesus was rarely if ever spoken, and we attended church less than ten times in my childhood. Through some God-ordained friendships in high school, I became a Christian and immediately began reading Scripture, focusing in on passages in Romans and Ephesians that spoke about being adopted by our heavenly Father. Those passages resonated with me, as I had experienced adoption first-hand.
I spent 2000-2009 serving as a student pastor at two different churches in Arkansas and one in Tyler, TX. In 2008, I met my wife and her daughter Isabel. In 2009, we married and Isabel served as our flower girl. The following year, I adopted her as my daughter (isn’t God awesome?).
I came on staff at Fellowship in 2011 as a High School Intern and since then have come on full-time serving in several roles: high school pastor, counseling pastor, and now marriage and parenting pastor. Since joining staff, Erin and I have added Roman (in 2013) and Rhett (in 2016) to our family and in 2018 I became a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas.
My two words are “Cultivating Identity.” I desire for all people—individuals, couples, and organizations—to become exactly who the Lord has called them to be, no matter who they are right now.
As marriage and parenting pastor, I want to equip our families to know and love Jesus and to make Him known to others through the way they interact. We are currently doing that through our marriage mentoring program, Mom Life, parent dedications, and training experiences for couples and parents.