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Andrew Shanks is the pastor of Fontaine Baptist Church in Martinsville, Virginia.

Andrew Shanks is the pastor of Fontaine Baptist Church in Martinsville, Virginia.

My parents tell me I was born in Ohio, so technically I suppose I am a mid-western boy, but we moved to Virginia so early in my life that I really consider myself a southerner. The city of Lynchburg, Virginia will always be my hometown.
          Both of my parents were raised as Methodists and they were eventually saved through the testimony of Methodist friends, though they were soundly convinced that the label on the outside of a church is not nearly so important as the content of the message which is preached on the inside. As a result of this conviction, my sisters and I attended a number of different churches from a number of different denominations during our childhood, before eventually settling at an independent Baptist church in Lynchburg. That was when I was eight years old or so, and although my folks have now moved on into a Presbyterian church, I have been a Baptist ever since.
          Many Christians have radical salvation stories to share, but not me. You know what I mean, of course. My salvation itself is as radical as it gets, in that it involves the bloody physical death, spiritual condemnation and glorious bodily resurrection of the only Son of God, applied substitutionally to my spiritually dead and rebellious heart through the violent intervention and regeneration that is brought about by the Holy Spirit of God for the sake of the glory of the Father. So, yeah, I guess it was pretty radical. But I don’t have any sort of Damascus Road experience to talk about. The truth is, I don’t remember any particular point in time when I first gave myself, body and soul to Jesus. I don’t remember any moment when I first realized that I had to trust Christ as a substitute for me. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t recognize my own sinfulness and my need for the forgiveness that is found only in Jesus. It seems to me as if I’ve always been a Christian. I credit this phenomenon to the solid, Bible-preaching churches to which my parents always took me. No doubt, there was a time when that simple knowledge and child’s faith became personal for me, but I can’t distinguish that moment from the rest. That’s my story.
          So how did I go from believing in the gospel to taking my livelihood from preaching it? The answer to that is really two-fold: First, I became convinced that God had made me into a communicator. That conviction was borne in on me in my teenage years and the various goals that I have aimed for since then have taken that into account. But it was only in my final years of seminary that I came to believe that God has also given me a pastor’s heart. Perhaps it would be better if I said it like this: It was only then that God softened my heart and prepared me to be a pastor. That’s the second part of the answer to how I became a minister of the gospel.
          This has been my spiritual journey, in a nutshell. But even an autobiography as short as this one would not be complete without a comment on one of the greatest avenues of grace that God has employed in my life thus-far: My family. My wife, Laura, and I were married the same Summer that I graduated from college and our first child, Julienne Anastasia, was born six years later. Since then, the Lord has added to us a second daughter, Evangeline Noelle, a son, Ransom Owen, and a third daughter, Sophia Grace. They are an incredible blessing to me, a means of grace in my life. Through my interaction with them I learn more about God and my love for them echoes God’s love for us. I have come to believe that family is a sacramental experience.
          Currently, I serve as the pastor to a wonderful group of folks at Fontaine Baptist Church in Martinsville, Virginia. Visit our church website to learn more about us, to make use of some of the resources we offer, or to listen to sermon audio. Our desire is to see the gospel impact our community for the glory of God.
          That’s all I will say about myself. Anything else worth knowing about me can be gleaned from the various writings on this website. Soli Deo Gloria!