William James Herath (Willie) began working with high school youth in 2006. He quickly discovered “science” to be a major cavity on the faith of his students. Understanding that most young people have smartphones with more computing power than it took to put a man on the Moon, Willie did not agree that science is what they had a problem with. Once the conversation got a little deeper, evolution revealed itself as the problem.
Wanting to know exactly what evolution entails, Willie went back to the works of Charles Darwin and many other evolutionary biologists all the way up to now. He read scientific journals, articles, and even court cases pertaining to evolution. Willie contacted University professors across the country and through all of this he encountered one shocking fact. There is no scientifically agreed upon definition of biological evolution! The Next Generation Science Standards require evolution to be taught in public school but has failed to offer a standard definition. Many states require evolution to be taught, but like the California Department of Education, most states have failed to produce a standard definition. Seemingly endless court cases have played out over the conflict of evolution, yet the U.S. judicial system has also failed to produce a legal definition. Evolution is taught as fact, yet we have no idea what it actually is. If the U.S. educational system requires it, evolution must be given a standard, scientifically agreed upon definition.
Willie Herath’s approach uses scientific data, turning confusion into clarity. He has spoken to dozens of youth groups and is a speaker at the Truth Conferences with Josh McDowell. He is also an author, filmmaker, and has appeared as an actor in over forty television commercials.
I grew up in a spirit-filled home home. My parents ran the prayer and healing ministry at our local church. From a young age, I realized the power and love of Jesus Christ. When going to summer camp, every form or release of liability that asked for the family physician, my parents filled in Jesus Christ. Seriously, they did!
From a very young age, I remember being aware of my sin and knew that Jesus was the answer. I felt loved by Him and knew that if I stepped out to share or pray with others He would be there too. Then in high school, I was distracted by the coolness pyramid. Style, friends, music, parties, and girlfriends all seemed to work better at helping me get to the top of the coolness pyramid than praying for someone. The cool people were not going to youth group, they were going to parties.
I never said in my heart that Jesus wasn’t real. I had seen too many miracles and felt His love so deeply. I could never say He didn’t exist, but I could ignore Him. My heart was hard and numb. I chose to focus on being cool rather than focusing on godly character. Then one night, I was hanging with a bunch of cool people that didn’t care about me or anyone else when I was overwhelmed with the feeling of death. I ran outside and I felt a rumble in my chest. It was God. He told me that He didn’t create me for this and that He want to give me a platform to expand His Kingdom. That night I took stock of my life, my friends, and my priorities and started living for God.
I felt a call to move to Los Angeles and God gave me a platform to expand His Kingdom. I started acting in television commercials and was able to minister to people that had never meet a “sane Christian” before... their words. Ha ha ha... I married my high school sweetheart who had also decided to follow Jesus shortly after me. God is so good! He has given us opportunities to serve our local youth group for many years. I was asked to be the pastor of youth at the Westside Vineyard Church in Los Angeles and served on staff for five years. God has opened awesome doors to speak, lead worship, and even be part of the Vineyard curriculum team that produces resources for youth pastors across the country.
I still am aware of my sin and know that Jesus is the answer. I’m not perfect, but I love God and care much more about my character in Jesus than what the world says is cool.