Andy’s Story

By Barbara Witter with John and DiAnne Mott
 Andy Mott, during junior firefighter training at the 2009 FASNY youth day in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Andy Mott, during junior firefighter training at the 2009 FASNY youth day in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Most of us wonder what it’s like to hear God’s voice resound as thunder. But Andy Mott doesn’t wonder. He’s heard it, and those who where with him continue to tell of it.

Andy, 20, is the son of John and DiAnne Mott of Mayfield, N.Y. He is a member of the First Free Methodist Church of Gloversville, N.Y. pastored by New England Conference Superintendent Wil Sharpe.

Soon after Andy was born his parents knew something was “different” about him. His head was large for his age, and he wouldn’t sit up or talk. He didn’t walk until 19 months. After bouncing between diagnoses the Motts finally received one that made sense: autism.

Andy’s parents knew this life-changing news set him apart from others and meant an uncertain future. They decided that in order to survive, they would dwell on the positives.

At an early age Andy fixated on telephones. The Motts later realized that he hears phones before they ring and can hear the yellow traffic light change. Andy calls this extra sensitivity “long distance hearing.” He was also fascinated with clocks, fire extinguishers and emergency personnel.

Doctors told the Motts Andy probably wouldn’t have many friends. However, a few years ago about 250 people attended his Eagle Scout Court of Honor; his congenial personality has gained him countless friends.

Andy’s literal mindset has become a strength. He takes people at their word, stays focused on his goals, and is committed to his standards and beliefs. At a young age, Andy chose a total commitment to God from which he’s never wavered. His first sentence was, “I was put here to help others.”

Andy’s commitment to community, God and church gives him opportunities to display a powerful, childlike faith. His uninhibited testimony is the catalyst for “Andy’s Story.”

Andy serves as a staff member at Camp Russell, a Boy Scouts Camp near Old Forge, N.Y. One day he was assisting Corey, one of the older Scouts, in a cooking merit badge class. Corey walked among the groups of boys encouraging them to take their time and build good fires because they had a lot of cooking to do. Andy followed saying, “Hurry and build your fires because it’s going to rain.”

Corey kept saying, “It’s not going to rain. Take your time and build good fires.”

Andy continued to say the opposite until Corey retorted, “Andy, it’s not going to rain!”

Andy responded, “Yes, it is.”

“No, it’s not!”

“I know God and it’s going to rain.”

“You don’t know God.”

“I know God, and He knows me.”

“God doesn’t know you!”

According to witnesses, Andy stepped forward, raised his hands and said, “God, show Corey that You know me.”

Immediately, the blue sky rolled away as dark gray clouds blew in. Thunder roared and lightening cracked. Everyone stepped away from Andy. Then the rain poured!

The boys ran under a tarp and sat at picnic tables for almost 2 hours watching rivers of water wash beneath their feet. After the first 45 minutes one scout asked, “Andy, since you know God can you ask Him to stop now?”

Andy replied, “No, He’s not done yet.”

Corey shook his head as he stood beneath an umbrella stirring the only pot of food still cooking. Finally, he agreed. … Andy does know God.

From left to right: Mayfield, N.Y. Fire Dept. Chief Chris Mraz, Mayfield Fire Chaplain Andy Mott, and Rev. Alan Witter. The photo was taken at Gloversville FMC in Gloversville, N.Y. on the day Mott was commissioned as the Mayfield FD Chaplain.

From left to right: Mayfield, N.Y. Fire Dept. Chief Chris Mraz, Mayfield Fire Chaplain Andy Mott, and Rev. Alan Witter. The photo was taken at Gloversville FMC in Gloversville, N.Y. on the day Mott was commissioned as the Mayfield FD Chaplain.

Along with being an Eagle Scout, Andy’s interests in education, safety and God form his foundation for life. He bought a fire truck and teaches fire safety to children. His former pastor was a fire department chaplain and mentored Andy in chaplain duties. He was the youngest fire chaplain at this year’s NYSAFC (New York State Association of Fire Chaplains).

Wanting to pursue a Christian education as well as fire safety, Andy contacted his mother’s alma mater, Roberts Wesleyan College, and proposed a certification program in fire safety with fire extinguisher emphasis. He wanted to attend chapel and train to be a fire chaplain while doing most of his training in his own community, where he desires to serve.

After meeting with Andy, the college suggested an internship with the security department at the college. With his program approved, Andy completed his freshman year spending some time on campus, communicating online with his advisor, and participating in numerous mentorships around the state. He also completed his fire extinguisher maintenance course and passed the state test.

Andy works mornings at Wilde Fire Truck manufacturing plant servicing fire extinguishers when not at college. He loves being the Mayfield Fire Department Chaplain and visits other fire chaplains and funeral homes.

Andy enjoys being an usher and playing the trumpet at his church, helping with the food pantry, serving meals at the Salvation Army, and being assistant scout master for Mayfield Boy Scout Troop 53. Andy’s life is fully blessed.

This young man with autism has a story everyone should hear. Andy knows God, and God knows Andy. It’s no wonder his favorite worship song is “Awesome God.” He’s heard God thunder an acknowledgment of their relationship, and he is quick to tell others they can have this relationship too.

11 Responses to Andy’s Story


  1. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Rev. Susan Wynn
    August 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Andy is a blessing and encouragement, a true witness of Jesus! I loved the story about the rain. His faith is as ours should be — childlike. May the Lord continue to bless this young man. I know the Witters and Andy’s dad, John. They have all been used of God to disciple and love Andy as he grew up. To God be the glory!


    • Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

      Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
      Barbara Witter
      August 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      You’re so right Sue. God is using Andy & his family as witnesses to His glory. The day DiAnne, Andy’s mom, shared Andy’s rainstorm story in church I knew it had to go beyond those walls. Childlike faith such as Andy has should remain with us throughout our lives. Andy’s achievements are by God’s grace, his parents’ & other family members’ commitments, an embracing church & community, & Andy’s simple trust & faith in Jesus Christ. Let God be magnified!


  2. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Cynthia Mengele
    August 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    The article says how blessed Andy is. Well I have to say how blessed we are because of Andy. I watched him grow up and he is truly one of God’s chosen people. God Bless you Andy and your fine parents. Andy, you “rock”. Keep looking up to God Andy, He really adores you.

    Love ya Andy

    Cindy and Gerhard


  3. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63
    Tara Collins
    August 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    What a beautiful world this would be if it were filled with more Andy’s! I’m proud to be part of his family. Every time someone mentions his name I picture that smile he’s always wearing and the love he so freely gives.What an inspiration! Keep smiling Andy and keep being that beautiful you that you are! :) ~Tara ( Larry’s daughter )


  4. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Hollie Dorman
    August 25, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    This is one AWESOME young man!! Love you Andy

    Mrs. Dorman


  5. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Uncle Larry
    August 25, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    Andy senses and sees into the Spiritual world in a way we all envy as Christians. His understanding of life and death are so pure and simple, but so accurate and beautiful. His faith is “as a grain of mustard seed”, and he can “move mountains!” …well at least he can talk to God and make it rain. God will continue to bless Andy in ways we will never know until we reach the golden shore beyond the sunset.


  6. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63
    Todd Daningburg
    August 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Serving as Andy’s advisor at Roberts Wesleyan has been a joy. His faith and focus are inspiring and contagious.


  7. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Brenda Richey
    August 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Andy has an amazing love and boldness for God. He tunes into God and His will and follows it to a tee. God can only do great things with someone like Andy whose heart is willing and unwavering to obey and follow Him. Thanks Andy for being and inspiration and role model to all of us!


  8. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63
    Cynthia A. Lovely
    November 12, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    What a beautiful story. I don’t know Andy personally but it’s clear God knows him!


  9. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

    Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
    Barbara Witter
    June 11, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    I was very pleased when I picked up the June issue of LLM at Good News FMC in Mechanicsburg, PA yesterday and saw the update on Chaplain Andy Mott on page 12. Having written his story it’s wonderful to see new chapters of his life unfolding. My husband Alan and I are blessed to be connected with Andy and his family as God inspires us through the things He’s doing in their life.


    • Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63

      Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /nas/content/live/fmcusa/wp-content/themes/canvas/includes/theme-comments.php on line 64
      Jeff Finley
      June 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      Barbara, thank you for the message. I hope the LLM brief will bring people to this powerful story you wrote.