Derrick grew up near Chicago in Gary, Indiana. As a high school student, Derrick was introduced to Christ through Kaley, the woman who later became his wife. Derrick and Kaley went to Indiana University, where they joined the campus ministry staff and helped to reach out to African-American students.
While living in Indianapolis, Derrick connected with Traders Point Christian Church and the lead pastor, Aaron Brockett (an Orchard Group board member). That friendship brought Derrick and Orchard Group together. Aaron writes, “God has uniquely wired Derrick for making Jesus known across racial lines.”