Michael grew up in a small town in South Alabama where he grew to appreciate good conversation, nature, sports, family, hard work, school, church, and friendships.
He became a Christian at age ten and made a public commitment to ministry at age eleven. As a senior in high school, he reaffirmed his calling to ministry and began accepting offers to preach. His home church, Louisville Baptist, licensed him to the gospel ministry. He pastored a very small church fifteen miles from his home while he attended Troy State University.
He transferred to Samford University at the beginning of his junior year where he majored in human relations and minored in music. Following college, he married Tina, also from Louisville, and continued his training for ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he completed his Master of Divinity with a concentration in pastoral care.
Michael and Tina moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Hartwell, Georgia, where he served First Baptist Church for 4½ years as Minister of Youth.
While serving First Baptist Church in Hartwell, he completed the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia and gained clinical experience at Patrick Harris Psychiatric Hospital in Anderson, South Carolina. He left Hartwell First Baptist Church to serve as pastor of Clarkesville Baptist Church in Clarkesville, Georgia.
While in Clarkesville, Michael served as a Trustee for Truett-McConnell College and was a founding member of the Foothills Counseling Center.
After a 3½ year tenure, the Helms family moved to Moultrie, Georgia, where Michael began his thirteen year ministry at Trinity Baptist Church. He holds the distinction as being their longest serving pastor.
While there he served as adjunct professor for Brewton-Parker College in Norman Park for five years. He was an active Rotarian during his tenure in Moultrie and served as the president of the Moultrie Rotary Club in 2005-2006 and president of Moss Farms Diving in 2006-2007. He was a columnist for the Moultrie Observer for over eight years and won eight writing awards from The Amy Foundation. His sermons have won awards from the Baptist History and Heritage Society and the Georgia Baptist Children's Home.
His first book, Finding Our Way—An Introspective Journey Through the Labyrinth of Life, was published by Winepress Publishing Group in 2006.
His second book, Hoping Liberia-Stories of Civil War from Africa’s First Republic, was published by Smyth and Helwys Publishing, Inc., in December 2009. All profits from the sale of this book benefit “Bricks for Ricks Liberian Housing Foundation, Inc.,” a foundation Dr. Helms has established to help provide housing for people in third world countries.
His third book, Finding Our With the Magi—A Daily Guide Through the Season of Advent and his fourth book, Finding Our Way Through the Wilderness—A Journey For Lent and Other Days of Spiritual Reflection and Prayer, co-authored with Erica Cooper, were published in 2011 and 2012 respectfully.
Michael's wife, Tina, works for the Georgia State Accounting Office in Atlanta. They were married in 1984 and have two sons, John and Ryan.
Their older son, John, has completed four years of service as a U.S. Marine. He served tours of duty in the Persian Gulf, Haiti, and Afghanistan. He is now a student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Their younger son, Ryan, is a four-time state diving champion, a USA National Diving Champion, and an Academic and All-American diver at the University of Tennessee. He begins physical therapy school in August in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Ryan is engaged to be married in December, 2013.
Dr. Helms began his ministry at First Baptist Church in Jefferson, Georgia on June 1st, 2009. He continues his membership as a Rotarian, his interest with McAfee School of Theology, and he continues to write. He has won two Amy Writing Awards (www.amyfound.org) since living in Jefferson.
Dr. Helms led the Jefferson Rotary Club to place the BP-714 Block Press in Cieneguilla, Peru, in November of 2013. He wrote the grant, spearheaded the project, and helped train the team in Peru in soil selection and machine operation. Through his foundation, Bricks for Ricks Liberian Housing Foundation, Inc., a second machine will be placed at Ricks Institute in Virginia, Liberia in late 2013.
Michael enjoys riding his Harley, playing his guitar, and photography. He entertains children as a very professional-looking clown (he actually went to clown school). He enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping. Mostly, he enjoys quiet evenings at home with his wife.