"I’m a Southern California native. My parents divorced when I was just eleven months old. When I was three and a half, my mother kidnapped me and went into hiding for nine months while my father tried desperately to find me.
When I was eight, my mother passed away from cancer, which created in me a disbelief in God—and anger. (Ironically, I didn’t believe in Him, but I hated Him.) In high school, I had many Christians attempt to tell me about the love of Jesus, and even argued a few of them away from their following of Jesus. My senior year, I started to date a Christian who invited me to church. The pastor at that church asked to meet with me, in order to discuss what I didn’t believe about God and the Bible. After a car crash, a break up, and being challenged with the facts of the resurrection of Jesus, I decided to place my trust and faith in him on June 13, 2001.
I started a young adult Bible study immediately after being baptized, and God decided to allow that little Bible study to grow and grow. I sold insurance for years, and used that not only as my tent-making job, but the main place to engage those far from Jesus.
On July 12, 2003, I married my best friend Erin, and we moved to the valley of California, where I seemed to lose much of my passion for and focus on Jesus. After gaining a ton of weight, becoming addicted to some things on the Internet that I shouldn’t have, and seeing our house value plummet, we decided to move back to the Bay Area, where we started to attend and be invested at Trinity Church of Sunnyvale.
After a few months, I was asked if I would like to help start a young adult group at the church. Without any prayer, and a lot of pride, I said, “Sure, I’ve done that before!” The day before I was supposed to start this young adult group, I came home to witness my oldest daughter, Reagan (who was two and a half), have a twenty-eight-minute seizure. It was one of the hardest few days of my life as I realized how powerless I really am. Thirty-six hours after the seizure, we woke up to Reagan jumping up and down showing no further signs of being in an almost coma-like state.
God got my attention through that situation, and I realized that my main job was to teach others what God had taught me. So, I started to invest in many people, one-on-one, in coffee shops, helping them with questions they had about God, and pointing them towards the relationship they could have with Christ through His Word, prayer, and dependency on Him.
On June 1, 2010, I received a phone call from a police officer in Phoenix, Arizona, letting me know that my father had passed away from a heart attack in the middle of the night. In that moment, I flashed back to a year prior, where I had shared with my dad about who Jesus is, what he accomplished through the death and resurrection, and how he can be known personally—and the joy that knowing him had brought to my life. While listening, my father eventually put his hand up and said, “Tim, I don’t want to believe,” which made me realize that my dad had probably left this life without Christ.
But I knew his death would not be in vain, because the Lord used that moment to remind me that my job was simply to share the hope that I have, and not “convert” anyone. Since that day, I haven’t shut up about Jesus. I’ve had the honor to speak at hundreds of different venues from churches, to colleges, conferences, businesses, weddings, funerals, life celebrations, baccalaureates, school graduations, seminaries, junior high and high schools, and all over the Internet, raising awareness that Jesus Christ is alive and can be known personally and experientially.
I have been in paid pastoral ministry at three different churches in the Bay Area, and have served at many more. In August 2012, I launched Compelled (compelled.org): an evangelistic and discipleship equipping ministry that helps equip, encourage, and empower followers of Christ to share the hope that we have, while making disciple makers who make disciple makers. We have equipped over 4000 people in person throughout the Bay Area, and have traveled to Colorado and other places in California as well. We have also equipped many more through our online ministry.
I am married to Erin, who earned her degree in Child Development from San Jose State, and has ran a very successful children’s ministry in the past. We have four children: Reagan (‘07), Lorelai (‘08), Evangeline (‘11), and our one and only son, Boston (‘13).
I love the Red Sox, Peet’s Coffee, Marvel movies, my Apple products, and road trips with family!" -Tim Reilly
Tim is currently the Lead Pastor of Church of the Valley in his hometown of Santa Clara. For more information check out the church website at: covalley.com