About Engage

Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association.

Apathy to Passion, My Journey to Faith

Chris Woodward
Reporter for One News Now

Did you hear the one about the Canadian and the Southerner who went for coffee? It sounds like a joke, only it’s not. It’s actually the beginning of how I came to Christ.

At the start of 2010, I was a husband and father looking desperately for a job in my native Mississippi so my wife and infant daughter could be closer to family. At the time, I was working as a news producer for a top-rated television station in a neighboring state. While the money was good, I had been battling a sense that there was something much more I could be doing with my life. I was also tired of feeling like I was only telling people bad news and I longed for more positive news.

In spring 2010 I reluctantly took my mother-in-law’s advice to send my resume and writing samples to American Family Radio. While I had been raised in church and participated in various programs throughout my childhood, I was not a Christian and I didn’t feel comfortable getting into the culture war. Sadly, I had been sitting on the fence about many issues for several years and, therefore, did not think choosing a side was in my best interest.

Not long after I sent AFR my information, American Family News Director Fred Jackson contacted me. A native of Canada, Fred had come to the States in the 90s to begin a career in news that delivered information from a Christian perspective. He invited me to Tupelo “for a chat,” and I made the drive over a few days later. Once there, I toured the facilities, met with various individuals, told Fred what little I knew about hockey (his favorite sport) and we went to a coffee shop later that day.

Towards the end of our conversation, which involved what exactly I was looking to do with my broadcasting background, Fred brought up the Bible and the road to salvation. I told Fred that I believed in God, but I was honest in saying that I had not been involved in church as an adult. Fred told me that participating or being a member of a church didn’t matter in the long run, and what I really needed was to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. To Fred, salvation was what really mattered and he informed me that it would only be after I came to Christ that we could continue our discussion about a job.

I thought about that conversation for several days after our meeting and I began to have the feeling that this was God’s plan for me. Things were just coming together in a way that I could not explain, even a year before the interview when my wife was pregnant with our daughter.

Another morning came and I made my decision. I acknowledged to God that I was a sinner, that I needed His Son Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and I asked Jesus to take over from that day forward. I eventually emailed Fred to say that, while it was not for employment purposes, I really took his comments to heart and got it settled in my heart. I was going to live for Jesus.

While it goes without saying, I did eventually land a job with American Family News and AFR. However, if it wasn’t for that Canadian and the conversation we had over coffee, I would not be where I am today.



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