Tobin Porterfield

At my very core is a desire for students (middle school, high school, and college) to understand that God really loves us and wants to be part of our lives. I didn't get it until I was 23 years old. I had just bought my first home and moved into the Canton neighborhood in Baltimore City. Four years at Baltimore Gas & Electric, an associate's degree from Catonsville Community College, a bachelor's degree from the University of Baltimore, a sailboat partnership with my brother, and of course my favorite (still new) 1988 Dodge Dakota pickup. My whole life in front of me and all the right pieces in place ' or so I thought. On the surface, everything looked great but deep down I was extremely frustrated, guilt-ridden, and alone. Most of my friends would have rated me as a 'good person' but I knew of all my bad choices and the relational damage I had done through the years. Somehow through my upbringing, I had adopted a concept of God being this powerful judge who would measure out my good stuff and bad stuff on a scale ' leaving me to hope that my good outweighed my bad stuff. Knowing my deeds made it clear to me that I would lose on that deal. In search of answers, I started attending Canton United Methodist Church. The pastor was a returning retiree that explained God's love in a way that I had never understood before. On the third Sunday that I attended, the pastor was speaking about God's love for us and forgiveness when suddenly the light came on for me. I understood that I could never do enough good stuff to make up for all my bad stuff ' God loved me and knew me well enough to send his son to wipe out the bad stuff. Each service, the pastor would ask if anyone wanted to come to the altar rail and pray ' I was totally there. I asked Jesus to come into my live and sort things out. I had never even heard of 'accepting Christ' or any of those Christian things ' I just knew that God loved me and wanted to be part of my life. All I had to do was ask him. Shortly after that, I met the lady who would become my wife. She started taking me to her church and through lots of prayer and involvement with Promise Keepers, my life got sorted out. There are still tough times and I can get off track ' but God's love for me is never in question.

My Life

Favorite Quote

It is what it is.

Best advice I ever received

Keep moving - just keep moving

My undergrad alma mater

University of Baltimore

My worst subject in school

All math related courses

In college I drove

Dodge Dakota Pickup

If I weren't a professor, I would

Be on staff at an inner city non-profit

Favorite books

Adventure: Cussler

Favorite movies

Indiana Jones - all of them

Favorite city

La Jolla

Favorite coffee

Vanilla Latte