Josh Daggett is the lead pastor at Living Waters Fellowship in Des Moines, Iowa and has been the preaching pastor since the church was founded in 2008. He was born in Creston, Iowa in 1981 but spent most of his growing-up years in Winterset, Iowa. Josh graduated from Winterset High School in 2000. He earned his Bachelor’s degree (Pastoral Major, Greek Minor) from Faith Baptist Bible College in 2004 and earned his Master’s degree (Biblical Studies) from Faith Baptist Seminary in 2005. Josh and his wife, Danielle, have been married fourteen years and have four children. He has been an ABWE Board member since 2012.
Josh’s Testimony in His Own Words…
I grew up in a loving Christian home, learning the great truths of the Old Testament and New Testament. I could easily recite the Gospel if asked and was pretty knowledgeable of the Scriptures, but I had one problem…Christ was not actually in my heart.
Though I had grown up with lots of Bible knowledge, I had a very hard, sinful, and deceptive heart. My heart had grown to love a myriad of sinful things, with sexual sin and a popular American idol called “Sports” topping the list. In my pride, I worshiped at the alter of both sex and sports and became very lost in my Jr. High and High-School years.
From the age of twelve to seventeen, my sin went from bad to worse and I couldn’t stop my desires for more and more self-gratification and self-glory. During this time of spiritual struggle, I was in church almost every Sunday, hearing the Gospel preached and communicated at church. Though I heard the truth over and over again, I never saw my own personal need to embrace Jesus. Religion had jaded me for sure and I was a little disillusioned with the whole church environment and some of the legalism/rule-keeping that came with that.
My sin continued pile up to the point where it was catching up with me rapidly. As I was privately struggling with depression and self-doubt, my sexual desires and relationships were getting out of control, and overall, I wasn’t feeling a real sense of satisfaction from my sports experiences and accomplishments. Outwardly things “appeared” to be going pretty well, but inwardly, it was a very hollow and discouraging existence. I continued to live my life day by day, but inwardly, my heart of rebellion would not allow me to turn to God.
In the summer of 1999, my dad made me go to New York City on a missions trip. The first two days of the trip were filled with diversions, avoiding spiritual gatherings and trying to access pornography on the streets. The third night we were there, in God’s perfect timing, I heard a young dude from Texas share his testimony. He talked about his sin and how much Jesus Christ loved him and died for His sins. I could tell that Jesus was this guy’s Treasure (Matthew 13:44). I could tell he was joyful (Psalm 16:11). I knew I wasn’t joyful. I knew I was broken. I knew I was headed for hell and judgement when I died (Romans 6:23). I knew I needed Jesus.
As I heard the Gospel message, the Holy Spirit came upon my soul in a very powerful way and in tears, I repented of my sin and asked Jesus to save me (John 6:47)! Through the words of genuine repentance and surrender, I could feel Jesus come inside (John 7:38). I could feel the weight of my sin lift as I asked Jesus for forgiveness. It was the beginning of a new life for me (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Since my salvation, God has given me a new heart and has given me a passion to know and communicate His Word to others. God has also been gracious to allow me to continue to grow spiritually over the years by guiding many outstanding mentors and spiritual teachers into my life. I’m now a pastor, which is still hard for me to believe because I know how much God has forgiven me in my life (Luke 7:47). I’m in love with Jesus and it’s my greatest joy introduce others to a saving knowledge of Him and feed the flock of God at Living Waters Fellowship. Acts 20:24 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I think it summarizes my desires now as a maturing believer. It says, “But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Thanks for reading my story!