Terry grew up in a Christian home in rural western North Carolina. Being keenly aware of his sin and under conviction by God’s Spirit, he put his faith in Christ around the age of 10. He received a call from God to communicate His Word and serve Him vocationally after two years of college, which altered his plans to major in English and become a writer. He met his wife, Dolly, while majoring in Religion at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. From there he attended Wheaton Graduate School, where he earned two degrees: a Masters in Communications, and a second in Christian Education.
He served full-time on a large church staff as Director of Christian Education before taking M.Div. classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. In 1981, he was called to teach in Christian Education at CIU, before completing the M.Div. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Ministry from TEDS in 1993, and has served full time on the faculty of CIU since 1981. On two separate occasions, Terry has served as part-time Director of Christian Education at Cornerstone Church (PCA) in Irmo (1991-95, and 2007-2011), where he has been a member since 1982. Terry is a licensed preacher in the Palmetto Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Since 1994, Terry has taken 26 trips overseas to train national workers, in a total of 12 different countries.
God’s grace has been especially evident in Terry’s life through repeated bouts of depression. When medical intervention has not worked, his faith in God’s character and God’s promises has sustained him, and he is still learning that God’s power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). He has discovered the truth of what another depression-prone leader wrote years ago: “God gets from us most glory when we get from Him much grace” (Charles Spurgeon).
In addition to his bride of 46 years, Terry has two grown sons, a 6-year-old grandson, plus a 10-year-old dachshund, Farley. His constant prayer is, “Lord, make me the person my dog thinks I am.”