David Shields

David Shields

Content Warning: Childhood Sexual Abuse and Suicide

These things are so strange to write. You’ve found yourself on this website for one reason or another and are wondering what kind of pastor I am or what kind of church this is. So now I am expected to sell you on how great a pastor I am and why you should come visit Tanglewood. I’ll tell you a bit about myself and then you can set your expectations accordingly. I am an average pastor, but I do think this is a beautiful church.

I grew up in a small town called Lexington, Nebraska. This has given me a deep love for smaller places like our community. I am a pastor’s kid who once swore that I would never go to seminary, I went twice, and that I would never become a pastor, which I am.

I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. I was sexually abused as a child by an extended family member. It was traumatic and left me unable to trust anyone including Jesus. I was depressed and decided that I did not want to live anymore. Before I started formulating my plan I decided to give Jesus one more shot. I figured that I might as well surrender to Christ and if didn’t work, then I could always end my own life later. But Jesus saved me. I’m a pastor today because I love Jesus and cannot imagine life without Him.

I eventually felt called to ministry and attended college at Liberty University in Virginia where I got my B.A. in Pastoral leadership and an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling. I have complicated feelings about Liberty today, but I am forever grateful to it because it is where I met my wife Brianna. We got married and moved to Dallas Texas where I received my Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary.

I’ve served in a variety of ways in everything from tiny church plants to massive mega-churches. I’ve seen the dark side of churches and been deeply harmed by them, but I still love the bride of Christ. I became the Senior Pastor of TBF in March 2020. My second Sunday was when COVID shut down the country.

Brianna and I have been happily married for 8 years and we have two beautiful young boys named Calvin and Grant. My favorite pastime is reading. I try to read 100 books a year in everything from Fantasy to the early church fathers.