The End of the Road…The Start of a Journey

After more than 2 months and 5,500 miles of traveling around the United States, we finally have a home…and a new ministry family.

It was mid-February of this year when my pastor and I first discussed the idea of my leaving a wonderful church ministry in Denver to pursue a senior pastorate.  I did not have a prospect in mind at that time–just a growing fire in my spirit for a full-time teaching/preaching ministry.  My pastor graciously gave me his blessing and recommendation, and I began to contact churches all across America–even overseas.  In all, I contacted over 30 churches.   Slowly, very slowly, the list began to narrow.

Some churches rejected my resume outright, claiming I wasn’t a match for their ministry profile.  Some decided on other prospects before even having a chance to meet me.  I did have the privilege of meeting and talking with some very good men and women in search committees in a handful of churches.  In the end, however, God must do the leading and He led decisively to a church on the east side of Indianapolis.

I received a phone call on April 2nd from the chairman of the search committee at Heather Hills Baptist Church.  Originally, as I previously mentioned, I wasn’t that interested in taking a church in Indianapolis as my perception was that Indianapolis was filled with Bible-believing churches.  However, God began to show me the incredible need in this city and burden my heart for it.  Indianapolis is a city in which I have lived as a child.  I also spent my senior year of high school here.  I spent a summer in Indy as a pastoral intern near the completion of my college degree.  Now God has brought me full circle.

After numerous phone calls, interviews, and two site visits to fill the pulpit, the search committee voted unanimously to recommend me to stage two: the deacons.  I met with this group of men about 4 weeks ago on a Saturday evening.  We talked at length about ministry, experience, philosophy, strategic planning, and church issues.  I began to realize that there was an incredible like-mindedness between all of us.  Shortly after, the deacons voted unanimously to recommend me to stage three: the congregation.  I had the privilege to candidate last Sunday, July 20th.  It was an exhausting weekend but a wonderful opportunity to talk face-to-face with so many members of this church.

Today, the process came to an end as the church extended a call to me to be their senior pastor.  I gladly accepted and am finally on my way HOME!  The next few weeks will be a flurry of activity as we settle into the church parsonage, find schools for the kids, and jump into the new ministry.  We are relieved that our “homeless tour” has come to an end.  We are exhilarated at the ministry to which God has called us.  It is our intent to spend the rest of our lives leading and equipping this church to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this city and around the world.

I am a debtor to so many of you who have encouraged us regularly, not only with your prayers and expressions of good will, but also with tangible help: money, meals, lodging.  THANK YOU!  You have shown us true Christian love and it has made a tremendous difference in our lives.  I go into this new ministry determined to continue the life of faith which so intensified for me in the last two months.

I’ll be putting more pictures up soon on Facebook to close out our homeless tour albums!  Of course, we could have just hoarded our resources and stayed in one location all this time.  However, the opportunities we have taken to see the beauty and magnificence of this country and fellowship with our Christian family from Chicago to Indianapolis to Sellersville to New York City to Bangor to Albany to Manistique and many more places has been absolutely invaluable.  It has been a wonderful vacation and education for our children.  It has cemented our confidence in the provision and direction of God.  I wouldn’t have traded these past two months for anything else!

I don’t know how regularly I’ll be posting in the next few weeks.  If you’re in the Indianapolis area, please stop by and see us.  If you have any pieces of advice for a new senior pastor, please send them my way!  It is a wonderful privilege to serve the King of Kings.  All glory to Him both now and forever!


12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dan Burrell on July 27, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Brian — so glad for you and for your new church. Blessings on you and your family as you transition to Midwest life.



  2. Posted by Charley Thompson on July 27, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Very happy for you and the family. It is great to hear the good news!! Indy is a great place and we wish you and the family all the best as you minister there.


  3. Posted by Joe Roof on July 28, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Praise the Lord Brian!
    My God bless you, your family, and new church family.


  4. Posted by Pastor Jim Dewar on July 28, 2008 at 5:23 am


    Congratulations and God Bless you and your Family as enter into this new ministry.


  5. Posted by Carol on July 28, 2008 at 6:27 am

    I was moved to tears yesterday when the results of the vote were announced. I heard your witness the first time I attended Heather Hills Baptist Church, and thought, Hallejuah, a man who not only preaches the word of God, but a man who lives it – it shows. After that I learned that Heather Hills Baptist Church is full of followers in word and deed. I am excited that you will be heading up this awesome ministry on the east side of Indianapolis.


  6. Posted by Rhonda Mattick on July 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Pastor Brian or should I say MY Pastor Brian,

    Welcome to you and your family!

    We are so excited to have you. We’ve been praying and (trying to) patiently for the time that God would lead you to us.


  7. Posted by Joy Wagner on July 28, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I guess, then, that you aren’t going to have a satellite ministry in Denver- you could preach in Indy on Sundays and then bring the whole family here on Tuesdays/Wednesdays!
    Seriously, I am excited that God has specifically guided you into your new place of ministry. I have been praying for you and the fam.
    Any stuff that is broken you can blame on me.


  8. Brian,

    We are thrilled my brother. Grateful the Lord has lead you to a new ministry. Blessings on you in the days aheads!

    Straight Ahead!



  9. Posted by Angel Strubbe on July 29, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Hi Brian.

    Congratulations and welcome to Indianapolis! We look forward to getting to know you better over the coming years. I’m sure that all parties involved were wondering when and how this would all work out, but as we all know too well. . . God does everything in his own perfect timing.


  10. Posted by Josh Larsen on August 4, 2008 at 11:49 am


    Congratulations!!! This is such good news! I was really hoping this would turn out this way, both for you and for the congregation of Heather Hills. May Christ enable you to be precisely the undershepherd those sheep need, and may the Spirit empower the entire assembly as you all labor tirelessly for the Kingdom! You will be a terrific senior pastor. We’ll be praying for you.

    God Bless,



  11. Brian,

    I don’t know if you know me from my comments (usually pertaining to ministry in the inner-city) on Sharper Iron, but just wanted to congratulate your calling to be the pastor of Heather Hills Baptist. HHBC has a special place in my heart because I grew up there during my teen and college years (my father was its worship pastor in the 1980’s). Great to see that the family fun fest went well. Will be praying that God will bring several from the neighborhood to himself as HHBC faithfully communicates and demonstrates the gospel!


  12. Brian,
    So good to hear that God has lead you over the last couple months to a new ministry! The Lord has done the exact same thing with us as well. A couple months ago it became clear that it was time to move on to another ministry. But where? We had no idea. I also sent resumes all over the country, and yet in the end God led us about an hour away to a church in Bethlehem, PA. If all goes well we will start there Dec. 1.
    Pretty exciting how God works in our lives, huh?


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