At the age of twenty-four Brian stumbled, half-drunk, into First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, FL on a Sunday morning. At the end of that service, a man named Kenny asked if he wanted to meet for coffee later that week, and then invited him to meet once a week for a year for “intentional discipleship.” Brian recalls, “I wasn’t sure what that meant, but Kenny seemed cool and I was homeless, so my schedule was wide open!” Brian met Jesus through Kenny, and it radically changed his life.
Fast-forward a few years, and Brian was serving as a youth pastor in the same community where he’d once been homeless. Timo Strawbridge, a seeJesus trainer and Director of Spiritual Life at a nearby church, held a weekly discipleship group for youth pastors in the area. Their discussions quickly began to impact Brian’s life, and he asked Timo where he could go for more. Timo invited him to a Person of Jesus study and Brian dove in.
Watching Jesus led to such a softening of my character...I knew I needed more of this in my life.
“I was in seminary, but there were all these things about Jesus I’d never seen before. Watching Jesus led to such a softening of my character — my wife saw me changing, listening better and showing more compassion. I knew I needed more of this in my life. I needed to stare at Jesus every day!” Brian eventually became an apprentice and then a seeJesus trainer.
In September 2021, Brian joined seeJesus full-time, working with Robert Row on the Student Ministries Team and continuing to pursue opportunities to share the beauty of Jesus with others in Central Florida.
Teen years can be such a time of self-focus — yet I know from my own experience that the greatest gift is to be able to gaze at the beauty of Jesus.
“I cannot imagine being a teenager in our current environment,” shares Brian. “Teen years can be such a time of self-focus — yet I know from my own experience that the greatest gift is to be able to gaze at the beauty of Jesus.”
Brian is our new Student Ministry Coordinator Southeast. He and his wife Amanda and their two children live in Lakeland, FL.