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Stu’s Bio

Stu Coston

Lead Web Designer, stu@gobycreative.com

I grew up in an upper middle class family in south central Arkansas (Benton/Bryant area). My parents were married Christians and I was an only child. I had very little hardship growing up. Rarely was anything that I wanted withheld from me, and I certainly never lacked love and affection from either my mom or dad. Because of their relationship with me, each other, and those around us, God provided me with a well painted picture of what it meant to love my neighbors as myself. God’s gracious hand on my development as a child through my parents is inconceivable to me.

My mother took me to an average sized Southern Baptist Church in our town almost every Sunday and Wednesday for as much of my childhood as I can remember. When I was seven years old I professed faith in Christ and tried to live as though that faith was true by regularly attending Christian summer camps, initiating prayer meetings at my school, playing in a praise and worship band, and going on several youth retreats. I did everything I thought was necessary to be considered a Christian.

Within the first year of college, however, I had completely stopped going to church, stopped praying, and had lost my connection with the Christian person I thought I once was. I fell deeply into my sins and could not see a way out.

Through a series of events and interactions with people during my graduation year of 2012, Jesus saved me and I turned and put my faith in him. After graduating from the Air Force Academy, getting married, and moving to middle Tennessee, Melissa and I began to feel a deep passion for sharing God’s Word but could not figure out the most effective way to do it. During this time I got into arguments with seasoned pastors, threw out half my clothes, stopped wearing socks, and stopped wearing deodorant. I didn’t know what to do with my new salvation and it made me pretty weird. Luckily, Melissa was very patient and encouraged me to stop arguing and wear socks and deodorant again. This is when she got pregnant with our first baby, Jeremiah.

I tried a little bit of everything to tell people the Good News. We started bible studies in the park, but the winters were cold. A homeless shelter nearby let us teach a bible lesson there, but once we started really confronting them with the truth we were thrown out. One thing led to another and I started looking into blogging.

Over the next couple of years we had our first daughter, Adah, we moved across the country from Tennessee to Utah, and I was promoted to Captain in the USAF. During this time I took to the internet and tested every major DIY website builder out there trying to find a way to share this newfound Good News inside me. The DIY builders were good, but not quite right. They were too restrictive for me and they each had something about them that I didn’t like but couldn’t figure out how to change. I tried Wix, Shopify, SquareSpace, WordPress, Blogger, Big Commerce, Weebly, Jumla, Zoho, GoDaddy’s builder, and probably some others that I can’t remember. I couldn’t make the standard templates do what I wanted, and I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a better template, so I took to the Google and started teaching myself front-end development.

Blogger was the only platform that I could figure out how to access and modify the file(s) controlling the website design at the time, so I bought a domain (costonmission.com) and got to work. With the help of GitHub and Stack Overflow I created a website using HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery from a blank document and styled it to look almost identical to desiringGod.com at the time. I thought I was something cool.

I fell in love with it and began creating a stockpile of style sheets, scss/sass files, vanilla java scripts, and jQuery scripts on my GitHub account. I created test projects for fun and tried to replicate cool features from award winning websites just to see if I could. Reaching out to some friends to do small projects for them helped me get more practice designing to a client’s requirements too.

At this time we were attending a medium-sized church in Northern Utah called Redemption Church (redemptionutah.com). Some of the guys from this church found out that I did front-end development and asked me if I was interested in starting a web and graphic design business with them that used it’s profits to support church plants. I felt like everything I had been trying to define for myself was figured out and handed in my lap. It was the best of both worlds because I got to do what I enjoy, design custom websites, and generate funding to help share the Good News with others, something I’d been trying to do for years. Obviously I said yes and so our #GoodProfit company, Goby Creative LLC, was born.

It has been a blast working with the other Gobies, serving our clients, and getting better at my craft everyday. Melissa and I have since had our second daughter (Indie Grace), separated from the Air Force, and moved back home to Arkansas. Goby doesn’t make enough revenue yet to be our full time jobs, but we continue to pray that one day it will. The purpose of our business, to help plant more churches, motivates us to do better everyday.

If you want to learn more about our purpose and what we offer, join the Fishbulb.

If you want to get started with your new project (website or graphic), email me: stu@gobycreative.com.

If you want to find out more about our other primary Goby, Daniel Ray, click here.

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