Name: Colin Simmer
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate (New York Super Fudge Chunk)
1. Tell us how your story started.
I was raised in Pittsburgh and went to architecture school at Syracuse. After college I moved to LA where I met my wife Sarah. We lived there about 8 years and moved to Austin soon after the birth of our daughter Josie last August. We found Vox last fall and, after an eventful first visit, started attending regularly.
2. Tell us about how your story intersected with Jesus’ story.
I was raised in the Presbyterian church growing up and was taught about Jesus from a young age. My grandfather was a Baptist pastor and so there was definitely the idea of rule following. I first encountered Jesus in a real way on a high school youth retreat where I was saved. It was during the time I was about to go off to college so life was a little unsettled and Jesus seemed like a way to give my life purpose and meaning.
3. Describe what your journey of following Jesus has looked like up to now.
After being saved in high school I attended church occasionally during college but didn’t connect in a real way until moving to CA. I got plugged into a church and bible study and saw people living for God in their everyday lives in a meaningful way – connecting to the community through outreach and service activities, caring for the homeless, actively reading the bible and praying. There didn’t seem to be the disconnect between Sunday and the rest of the week, people could be themselves. I didn’t have big dramatic encounters with Jesus but small moments where I could feel his presence and he could guide me through life decisions.
4. How do you sense God leading you to participate in creating His Kingdom here on earth?
I really hope to live into the image God has for me going forward, being a good father and husband and really connecting with the community here is Austin. I’d also like to use my skills in architecture more towards the Kingdom by helping the less fortunate. In terms of a role model, Sarah’s dad has been such an inspiration of genuine faith. Recently he passed away from ALS and throughout all of his suffering he maintained his faith and never blamed God for his illness which was such a cool testimony. Also, as someone who came to Christ later in life, he had such a passion for Jesus in everyday conversation and led many people to faith. I hope I can have the same zeal for God going forward.
[Photo by Elaine Roome]