Brian is a prison chaplain, working with men incarcerated at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles and in the Orange County jails. He is in his mid-thirties, with long hair and arms covered with tattoos, who has done time in prison himself. If you talk to him, he will describe himself as one who has been deeply touched by the gospel of God’s grace and overwhelmed at times with God’s mercy which is completely undeserved. He has an infectious smile and an easy-going manner. He is theologically well read and is a gifted teacher of God’s word. He has an unshakeable love for the many men he ministers to on a weekly basis.
Two years ago, Brian founded Shepherd’s Door Prison Ministry which reaches out to inmates with the good news of the Gospel, disciples converts, and supports them through an emerging aftercare program. His identification with former addicts and alcoholics has led Brian to establish monthly testimony events where he recruits former inmates in various stages of recovery to share their testimonies, encourage, and challenge those currently in residence at various detox and recovery programs.
On a recent evening, Shepherd’s Door led a recovery event at a Salvation Army Men’s Rehab Center. A large group of sixty program residents were in attendance, and a panel of four men shared their personal testimonies of transformation and the power of God to bring lasting change. Each of these men
(Brian listens intently as Dr. Cecil Murray shares his vision for community development and social engagement)
were former inmates, recovering addicts, and TUMI students! Brian guided the panel and took questions from the residents as they responded to what they were hearing. Brian highlighted TUMI and articulately shared the vision to see leaders raised up in the church and equipped for ministry. Before concluding the evening’s program, he extended an invitation to those who had never surrendered their lives to Christ, as well as, for those who wanted to recommit their lives to following the Lord. Many men came forward as they listened and responded to God’s call. A total of seven men made first time commitments to Christ that night!
Brian’s vision is to see that the men he reaches out to and equips are empowered to rescue other men who find themselves in similar situations of hopelessness and/or addiction; where those who are reached with the good news of the Gospel are transformed and able to be fully reconciled with their family, church, and the broader community around them. To this end, he is planning on starting a men’s training home that will receive ex-offenders and provide for them a safe environment where they can continue their theological education with TUMI when they are released, as well as, actively engage in ministry through the local church to make a lasting impact in society.
(Brian, with fellow TUMI student, Jesus, worshiping at a local Urban Pastor's Association meeting)
The Urban Ministry Institute of Los Angeles (TUMI-LA) 2001 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90007 (323) 735-3400 ext 372 firstname.lastname@example.org