My name is Nick son of Scott, and I hail from a small Texas town just north of Austin where I was greatly blessed to be born and raised in a God-fearing home, and taught strong family values. My family is very large, loud and Italian, and being the oldest of five, I inevitably learned some hard leadership lessons growing up.
I went to a small town public school, and like many others my age, I was a sportsaholic. I lived and breathed sports, particularly basketball. Though I was always considered the “silent type,” I eventually became a captain on the varsity basketball team with the girlfriend and the popular friends. I graduated at the top of my class, and after receiving a scholarship, I decided to go Concordia University Texas in Austin to further my basketball career. This is where things shifted for me.
Although I grew up in a Godly family and accepted Jesus into my heart at a young age, I never allowed Him to take over my heart. “God” was where we went on Sundays to eat donuts, sing songs, and hear stories. I knew He gave Himself for me, but I never gave myself to Him, partly because I didn’t know how, and I was content with living behind my parent’s faith. I was always the “good” kid, but I knew I was never the “Godly” kid on any level. After a summer of being steeped in compromise, I found myself dulled and defeated. I was spiritually empty, bored and on the verge of departing from the faith altogether until the Lord graciously and zealously intervened. Out of nowhere, I made a last minute decision to go to a youth camp that my uncle was leading about a month before I stepped into my freshman year of college (August 2007). The Lord had set me up. I was already at a cross roads in my own heart after dealing with relationship issues which left me vulnerable. I finally let down my guard, and I was willing to let the Lord show Himself, and He did. I was filled with the Holy Spirit as someone prayed for me during worship one night, and I encountered His love like never before. I knew that He was calling me out to be set apart for Him, and that I was meant to be apart of something so much more than bouncing a ball and making a name for myself. He showed me that I had been on the sidelines for far too long, and it was time for me rise up off the bench and play for His team. I was overjoyed to have my uncle baptize me at the end of camp, and I recommitted my life to God. Since that camp, I have been completely free from certain strongholds of immorality, addictions, and from a crippling fear of man. While I had my own plans to pursue a career in college basketball, the Lord had something else in mind, and I spent my first semester of college being rewired by the hand of God in a wilderness season. With my newfound love for the Bible and music, I found myself spending days at a time reading, writing, singing, listening, learning and seeking the heart of God. All I had was hunger. It was raw and simple, but it was real. I tasted and saw that the Lord is good!
I was then invited to join a group of young adults going to the Onething Conference and The Call ‘07 in Kansas City, MO. My eyes and heart were opened in powerful times of worship, and I experienced the Lord as never before as we spent new year’s eve in fasting and prayer for our nation. I was apart of His team now. As we traveled home, we had a supernatural encounter with the Lord that I will never forget. After a few hours of driving, a few of us began to pray for someone who was feeling sick, and the fire of God fell. The only way to describe it is to say we were set on fire. The Lord branded and sealed me with His all-consuming love. We spent the remaining seven hours or so praying and worshiping, feeling as though we had been caught up in the very glory cloud of God. We now refer to that encounter as the “van 5 revival.” It was from that experience that the Lord marked and commissioned me for ministry. I remember Him speaking to me so clearly that this was a foretaste of what we were to contend for back home. I never knew His presence could be so tangible, and He ruined me for the “ordinary” church kid experience. I could never go back. Since then, I sought to step into every door of service that I could find. I had to be about my Father’s business no matter the cost. Alongside my schoolwork, I have had the undeserved privilege of serving the Church as a worship leader and teacher. I also served as a leader in the youth ministry for about two and a half years. In my short time in ministry (since 2008), I have had the honor of starting and leading a “prayer room,” teaching and preaching the Word of God in different settings, and being apart of many local outreaches and short missions trips across our nation. I even had the opportunity to lead worship at the same camp where everything changed for me.
I know that my life today is the product of a praying family and a powerful God, and it is my life vision to pour out everything for the sake of knowing Christ and making Him known. May my testimony continue onward by His grace and help others to overcome.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain…” (1 Cor. 15:10)