I grew up in a working-class family on the Mojave Desert in Southern California where my father was employed by an aircraft company. My dad grew up Lutheran (all the Brandenburgs who immigrated from Germany were Lutheran!) but he knew nothing about a relationship with the Lord. A neighbor friend invited me to attend a movie in Los Angeles when I was about 13. Little did I know it was a Billy Graham movie. When I heard the gospel, I surrendered my life to Christ and began attending my friend’s church. I wanted my dad to know what I knew, so I asked the pastor to come to my home and explain the gospel. He did. My dad prayed to receive Christ and we were baptized together at the same Sunday evening service.While I had become a follower of Jesus, I continued to pursue my own dream of becoming a major league baseball player. I received a full-ride athletic scholarship to Oklahoma State and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles after my senior season. Three years into my professional career I was miserable. I was blindly pursuing my own agenda and living in a way that was not pleasing to the Lord. At the same time, it was becoming clear that I would not be promoted to the big leagues, but I had no other plans.
My watershed moment came one Sunday evening when I drove around Charlotte, North Carolina, where I was playing that season looking for a church service to attend. I found an evening service in a small church and when I walked in, a visiting missionary was giving a challenge to follow Christ anywhere and do anything for the sake of the Kingdom. I accepted that challenge and surrendered my uncertain future to Christ. Within three weeks I received a phone call from my home church in California asking if I would be willing to serve as High School Pastor during the off season. I accepted the position and never looked back.
I recently celebrated 40 years of pastoral ministry and I have no intention of stopping now. My years at Fellowship have been some of the hardest but most rewarding years of my life. I can’t wait to see what God does with Fellowship in the future.
I exist to awaken people to a life worth giving by showcasing the power of purpose. My two-word life core is “Inspiring Discovery.” Nothing makes me happier than seeing the light go on in someone’s eyes when they discover something previously unknown about God and about their own purpose in the world.
For fourteen years I’ve served as Lead Pastor of Fellowship Dallas. With the passing of the baton to Kurt Pressler this September, I will take on a different staff role that is still being decided.