Monday, August 18, 2014

I Thought He Was Jesus

I remember when I was a child, I thought he was Jesus.  No, he didn't have long hair and a beard and he didn't wear a robe and sandals.  As a matter of fact he wore a suit and tie and his hair was slicked back in a very conservative hair style.  Still I was convinced he had to be Jesus.  When he spoke, it was as if God, Himself was speaking.  I remember he spoke with authority and his voice filled up the room.  I felt like his eyes could see right through me.  He was a bit intimidating without being scary, if that makes sense.  Perhaps intimidating is not the word I'm looking for but the picture I'm trying to paint is one of reverential fear.  An awe inspiring type of thing.  One who was real and approachable, but one who was to be honored and respected.

I later discovered that this man, Wayne Brashear, was not Jesus.  He was my first pastor.  And while I only sat under his ministry until I was about 8 years old, his impact on my life has continued until this day.  My family left Urban Park Assembly of God nearly 40 years ago when my father was transferred to the Houston area.  I thought it was odd that even after many years we still received a monthly newsletter from the church.  What was even more odd was that at a young age I looked forward to reading it every month.  It was as if, even though we were 200 miles south, we were still connected to the only church home I knew as a young child.  When we would visit family back in Dallas, we would often pay a visit to Urban Park Assembly, something I always looked forward to.  To this day I can't tell you why exactly, but I can tell you it wasn't the pinched cheeks or the "my, they look so grown up," comments we always received.  There was just something about this man of God that I was drawn to.

I remember years after we had moved and left the church, my dad was in the hospital in the Dallas area.  Somehow word of my dad reached pastor Brashear and he showed up at the hospital to pray for him. This wasn't a "token" visit because throughout my dad's hospital stay, he showed up regularly. We hadn't been members of Urban Park for a couple decades at this point, but that seemed to be completely irrelevant.  This wasn't an isolated case either.  We had extended family members who never stepped foot into the church he pastored, yet, whenever they needed him, he showed up.  Whether it was hospital visits, a death in the family, or something else, you could count on him stepping in if he was ever needed.  I think the thing that amazed me the most was when my father died and he drove 200 miles to be a part of the graveside ceremony and to be there for our family.  A family that hadn't been members of his church in over 30 years!

Several years ago, I was afforded an opportunity to minister along side of him.  My grandmother had passed away and the two of us were asked to minister at her funeral.  I remember sitting there beside him and although now a minister myself, the awe factor was still there.  He had done hundreds of these while this was my first. Yet, he didn't treat me like a rookie.  He treated me with mutual respect, as if I was no different than him.  I was honored to minister along side him that day and when it was all over I was left with the sense of how awesome it would have been to serve along side him in ministry for a season.

This week he'll step down as senior pastor at Urban Park Assembly of God after more than 55 years.  After more than 5 decades of loving people and proclaiming the Word of God. To put things in perspective, I'm coming up on year number 7.  If I make it 55 years, I'll be well into my 90s. I'm different than he is.  He speaks with a booming voice that is clear and concise. I sound like you would expect someone to speak with DNA from West Virgina and East Texas.  He wears a suit and tie.  I wear a jacket with jeans and seldom strap on a tie.  He speaks behind a big wooden pulpit.  I use a music stand.  But that's enough of the irrelevant stuff.  Our goal is the same.  To make a difference in the lives of others.  To love others with the love of God and to challenge them to be who He created them to be.  To proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in a world that desperately needs it.  And above all, to live our lives in such a way as to reflect the image of the One we serve to a world that needs to see Him instead of us.  Perhaps some 40 years ago, he was already getting this last thing right and that's why I thought he was Jesus. He's got a bit of a jump start on me but my goal is to follow him as he has followed Christ.  And who knows, just maybe someday I'll too be mistaken for Jesus.


  1. Thanks for sharing Tim...a powerful story about powerful man being used by a magnificent creator...I pray the Father will richly bless your ministry...Brother Ray...

  2. Tim,

    Thank you for this. Wayne is my father -in-law and I have been around him for 42 years. Your summary pretty much explains what I have seen in him since I started dating his daughter Carol. He has earned a well deserved retirement but I expect he will always be visiting those in need as long as he can. Thanks again, Dennis Wolfe