Dave currently serves the network as the Interim Executive Director. His previous roles include Associate Director and, prior to that, as Executive Assistant to the first director of Sojourn Network, Brian Howard. He is originally from Fayetteville, GA and holds a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance (classical drumming!) from Columbus State University (2009) and a Master of Divinity (2013) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dave also serves as an elder at Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville, KY where he lives with his wife, Anna, and two daughters, Harper and Natalie. Dave joined the Sojourn Network staff in 2011.
Tell us about your role at Sojourn Network.
Over the years I've done just about anything and everything needed to get a non-profit organization off the ground—buying and making coffee to planning events, hiring staff to building teams of volunteers, managing budgets to building new ministries. In God's wisdom, he has brought and built an amazing and growing team that is infinitely more gifted than I am in all these areas and more. Now, as interim executive director, I am working closely with our board of directors and interim President, Mike Cosper, to keep our currently ministry and mission moving forward with excellence and to keep us moving towards our future by helping craft a new strategic plan (mission, values, vision and strategy) that will help guide our ministry for the next season. We'll then begin a season of aligning ministry, staff, and resources to that vision in 2020 and beyond.
Tell us about your family!
I grew up in Fayetteville, GA with a twin brother (yes, that would be Mark Owens, who also works for Sojourn Network!), three sisters, and a mom and dad who loved Jesus and served His church. After moving to Louisville to attend seminary, I met my beautiful bride-to-be, Anna in 2010. Anna is an incredible singer, artist, creative, researcher, conspiracy theorist, and lover of coffee and cheese (not usually together). We were married in January 2011 in Louisville by our father-in-law, Buddy Young, who quoted the infamous wedding sermon in cult classic, Princess Bride. Within the next four years, we would have two beautiful daughters: Harper Kate (born December 2011) and Natalie Jane (born August 2014). Harper's artistic bent and love for music complement Natalie's intensity and athleticism. Watching them play is one of my favorite things to do!
What's your favorite thing about where you live?
Currently, Anna and I live in the Clifton neighborhood of Louisville—which sits close to Frankfort Ave, home of dozens of boutique restaurants, coffee shops, and ice-cream parlors. I love being close to local eateries, parks with hiking/biking trails, and downtown Louisville, where we can walk or take a short drive to the river front or a Louisville Bats minor league baseball game. I also love being part of Sojourn Church!
What are your favorite books, movies, or TV shows?
I remember watching the HBO series, Band of Brothers, and loving it. Breaking Bad was (darkly) fun as well. I love having an Atlanta Braves baseball game on in the background at night while I wash dishes after the kids go to bed.
I enjoyed most of the seasons of Parks and Rec and The Office. I really enjoy Wendell Berry's novels and poetry (especially his collection of sabbath poems, This Day), Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, and recently broke into the Wheel of Time fantasy novels. Recently, I enjoyed working through Creativity, Inc, Sabbath by Dan Allender, and Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson. Hinds’ Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard was a deeply meaningful work for me in a trying season. I'm also enjoying working slowly through Herman Bavinck's, Our Reasonable Faith. And, of course, in my leisure time, I'll flip through Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines!
What's one crazy thing you just have to do before you die?
I'd love to travel to each of the 7 continents with my wife. I'd start with Europe. I also love to hike, so I'm working my way (slowly) towards some great hikes around the world. First up: the Grand Canyon, Lord willing, rim-to-rim-to-rim trail in September 2019.