I am thrilled to have Pastor David Nasser join us as a keynote speaker at Fluid 2014. I first heard him speak at Willow Creek Community Church a couple of years back, which left an indelible mark on my faith. He is a gifted communicator and an excellent bible teacher that I am sure you will enjoy!
If you don’t know about David’s story, you have to read on:
David Nasser was born in an idyllic time in Iran in 1970. The country was enjoying a time of wealth and prosperity. His family was sophisticated, educated and culturally Muslim. A world traveler by age 2, David had visited nearly every continent by the time he was a teenager. His early childhood memories are filled with happy times with his generous family and friends. He had everything a child would want.
But, as a nine year old boy, David’s world turned upside down. Every part of his normal life fell into chaos. His beloved homeland, Iran, was embroiled in a violent revolution. The international economy was in turmoil due to skyrocketing oil prices. David’s father, fearing for his family’s safety, decided they should flee the country leaving everything they owned behind.
November of that same year, 66 US citizens and diplomats were taken hostage by a militant Iranian group. Young David and his family hoped for asylum in the United States, but the turmoil in the Middle East made immigration impossible. After almost a year in exile, David and his family were able to come to America.
Yet life in suburban America (Alabama) brought its own set of difficulties. Different clothing, skin color and his heavy accent made David an object of merciless taunting. For years, David never felt like he fit in. As a teen, he began to search for value and meaning through whatever his peers said was acceptable – cool clothes and nice cars, drinking and fast living.
David finally fit into American culture. He was invited to the right parties and hung out with the popular kids. But he was still empty inside. The acceptance and expensive possessions could not fill the void inside. A month after high school graduation, David visited a church in his hometown. As a cool-18 year-old, David believed that church was not for him. But after experiencing the unique acceptance and grace extended by friends who attended the church, David realized the peace and worth he desired was only found in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Rejecting his Muslim culture was not an easy choice for David. But he saw a freedom from legalism in his new Christian faith. A few years later at a Christian camp, David met a beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed small town Baptist girl. Jennifer and David were married 2 years later, not without both families wondering what had happened. Yet the couple believed their upbringings – as a Baptist and a Muslim – would be instrumental in creating a home of grace and acceptance. Now part of the Nasser household of grace are daughter Grace (5) and son Rudy (9).
Today David serves as the Lead Pastor at Christ City Church in Birmingham, Alabama and is the visionary behind D. Nasser Outreach (DNO), which allows him to speak to more than 500,000 people each year at revivals, citywide rallies, camps and concerts. Never concerned with building a big ministry or platform, David simply wants to present a relevant message of Jesus to a hurting world. DNO is also growing in the areas of mentoring and consulting, working with ministries such as the Billy Graham Association, Youth Specialties, Student Life, and Acquire the Fire to assist other Christian leaders in their own ministry efforts.
—————————————————————————————————————————————- Paul Yoon is co-founder & executive director at Fluid. Follow him on twitter here!