Bryan was born into a Christian family in 1975 and raised in an Episcopal church in Richmond, Virginia. It was not until high school (1990) that he started following Jesus and sensed a call to ministry. At the time he was attending a charismatic Presbyterian church. He studied archaelogy and music at Wheaton college and graduated in 1997. He was a missionary at an Anglican cathedral in Cairo, Egypt for two years helping refugees. In 1999 he moved to Oregon to marry his wife Lynn (who is originally from Eugene, Oregon). She got her PhD in Musicology while his ministry focus moved away from Episcopal and PResbyterian options. Bryan gained gained IT skills and supported Lynn’s education. In 2006 Bryan started his MDiv at TEDS and attended VCL. He graduated in 2009, moved to Oregon with a prelimiary call to serve the Lord somewhere in the state. In 2010 Bryan got a call from the Lord and the Pacific Northwest district to plant a church in Eugene. In July they started prayer meetings, and then preliminary gatherings in September of that same year.
This what Bryan has to say about their ministry:
Early this summer, our core group began to assemble itself into tiny clusters of twos & threes as “Life Transformation Groups.” We do three things in these simple and multipliable groups: pray for unbelieving friends, read large portions of scripture, and prayerfully confess sin that we might grow together in Christ in both word and deed. Pray that God will sharpen us through prayer and his word, and multiply these groups that others might grow in the Lord.
I continue to minister at the nearby community college (LCC). While some of things we started this spring did not pan out as we hoped, I continue to try to connect with students and foster spiritual conversations. Pray for new interactions, fruitful conversations, and wise planning of fall session Bible studies. Pray for R., a Jewish faculty member who enjoys discussing Biblical topics (esp. archaeology) in spite of an anti-supernatural bent, and pray for J., a young semi-Buddhist student who enjoys talking spiritual matters and is open in certain ways.
We continue to seek ways to be regularly in the lives of those apart from Christ. Lynn and I organized a community bicycle ride, hosted a neighborhood BBQ, and try to go out of our way to connect with our neighbors. Pray for greater connections with our neighbors, especially one Muslim family, J. who moved to our complex raw from divorce, and J. whose dog Lydia likes to play with.
This past April, the EFCA sent me to a very helpful church planting conference, and I continue to find great encouragement from fellow pastors in the region. During the past few months, I have completed my doctrinal thesis for ordination. Pray for increasing doctrinal maturity as I go before the licensing board on September 9th.
Our core group continues to meet weekly for worship, and we have been going through 1 Peter this summer. We are also taking 8 weeks to prayerwalk through each member’s neighborhood. Pray with us that we can show Christ in the various communities in which we dwell.
Last time we asked for prayer about finding a meeting space, and since then sensed the need to slow down to make sure that we as a group are spiritually ready to grow before we made space to do so. In this process, Lynn and I have been sensing the need for a larger space ourselves and have begun the search to buy a home. Pray for wisdom in financing and selection of a house, and that this place will be well-suited as a ministry hub for our church.
This summer we are trying to serve our community in a number of ways. Last weekend we volunteered at a farm that grows food for the poor. We are also partnering with a number of other churches in town for a back-to-school campaign. In addition to donating school supplies for low-income families, local churches are also volunteering for a work day at area schools. We will be landscaping and painting at a center that provides support services for families with at-risk children. Pray for continued ways to serve the poor and hurting in this community effectively.
Lynn continues to perform professionally with colleagues connected with the UO School of Music, and a few weeks ago she accompanied a regional Tuba festival. She also interacts with various moms in the area, and recently she joined the board for a non-profit group that supports the Midwifery Birth Center where Lydia was born. Pray for her leadership in this role, for divine appointments at the library and local parks where Lydia plays, for meaningful and gospel-directed conversations with colleagues and other moms with whom she interacts. Lydia is nearly 18 months old and learning many words, such “purple”, “peas”, “shoes”, “toes”, “teddy”, “Jesus”, and the letter “O”. On August 5th, Lynn and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversery. Praise the Lord with us for how God has blessed our marriage and daughter, and pray for continued growth and health in our marriage and wisdom in raising Lydia.