Maurice “Mo” Christmas ’92

An All-State athlete at LCA, Mo was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1992 and spent six years playing professional baseball with the Atlanta Braves as a pitcher. After transitioning out of baseball, Mo returned to Massachusetts to continue serving at his home church, International Family Church. Mo is married to LCA alumna, Amy (Hartzfeld) ’93. They have two children, Brayden and Olivia. In 2014 he was inducted into the Lexington Christian Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.

What brought you to LCA and what was your experience like?

I came to LCA in the ninth grade. I had a few friends from church that were attending or getting ready to attend so my mom decided to send me as well. It truly was the best situation for me. I loved the small school dynamic. My class was very close and the relationships with the faculty went deeper than just teacher-student relationships. Being in an environment that keeps Christ at the center of everything it does was the best thing for me. 

What activities were you involved in while at LCA?

I played 4 years of baseball, 4 years of basketball, 2 years of soccer, and ran 2 years of cross country (I use the word “ran” very loosely haha)

Which LCA faculty member(s) impacted you the most while at LCA? 

This would be Josh McPherson hands down! He was instrumental in keeping me at LCA and he went out of his way to not only coach but mentor me. He cared enough to have the hard conversations with me and call me out on my foolishness. I was very much into baseball and had hopes of playing professionally. After my freshman year I had attempted to leave the school because I knew it was a lot for my mom financially and I didn’t think that LCA was the best situation for me if I wanted to play D1 baseball at a highly competitive program, but God had other plans. The day I came to the school to get my transcript I saw coach McPherson and explained to him what was going on.

He said he felt like I needed to stay and if I stayed he would help me figure it all out and would do his best to connect me with the right people and put me in the right situations. He was the driving force in making sure I stayed at LCA. I had quite a few people that went above and beyond to invest in me and played a vital role in the man I would become. By the end of high school I had a scholarship to play at Clemson University (one of the top schools in college baseball), I was nominated to the McDonalds’ All-American team, and I was drafted by the Atlanta Braves to play professional baseball. I would not have thought that any of it was possible but God was working it all out. What I needed, God provided, right there within the LCA community. 

Tell us about your role and responsibilities at International Family Church.

I am a staff Pastor at International Family Church. I have been on staff for 19 years but this has been my church for 39 years! I was the student pastor for 15 years before transitioning to the Guest Experience pastor.  I oversee the Guest Services team, the Usher team, the Medical Response team, and the Security team. I am also the facilities director. I serve alongside some incredible people within each of these teams. There are many Pastoral duties that I have the honor to be a part of. I love the opportunities to water baptize those who want to make a public declaration of their faith and love for Jesus; taking a newly engaged couple through premarital counseling and being a part of their special day. I love that I get to help people on the journey to know God more intimately, find freedom from their past, discover their God-given purpose and lead them to make a difference in their world for Jesus Christ.

What are the most challenging aspects of your current job?

The church is all about people and people are the vision. To watch someone struggle in many ways when they don’t necessarily have to is very hard. You help in any way you can but you can’t make someone make the right decisions. I want to lead them to Jesus so they can have the kind of life-change that only Jesus can bring. I believe the local church is the hope of the world and we will always be about leading people to Christ because He is the only answer.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Haha, it’s the people. It’s the many friendships and relationships I have at IFC. Being a part of a person’s journey and seeing them live out their God-given destiny is exciting and fulfilling. To see someone leading and using their gifts to honor God is pretty awesome. 

What would you say are the top requirements (skills, mind-set, etc.) for someone entering this line of work?

Be willing to keep the growing going. We never arrive, we are always on a journey to be better. If we stop learning then we become the lid of the growth of our people. Have patience and give people the same grace God has given you. You must be willing to lead by serving people. Be willing to do whatever it takes to see the vision accomplished. It’s not about the position one holds but about the way we can serve people. 

If you could offer just one piece of career advice to students, what would it be?

No one is the same and everyone has different passions and skills. Only God knows why he created you. Be a dreamer and let God’s plan unfold for you. Your relationship with Jesus will allow you to step right into your God-given destiny. His plan is so much greater than we think.

20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. (Eph 3:20 TPT)