Brian Puckett: our 2018 DNow guest speaker.
We are so excited to have Brian Puckett come speak both nights at our 2018 DNow. Brian is a friend of the Gillionville family having preached and led worship a number of times over the years. He is true to the Word, preaching with a warm and engaging style that our students enjoy. His ministry passion is discipleship, hands down. This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to catch up with Brian to share some breakfast, talk about student ministry and our upcoming DNow. The following is gleaned from our conversation:
BRIAN'S FAVORITES (because you should know for the Pop Quiz):
FOOD - (pointing to these Pearly's) Buttermilk biscuits.
TEAM - Georgia Bulldogs (I knew I liked this guy).
PLACE TO VACATION - Daytona Beach.
FAVORITE HOBBY - Guitar, reading & farming.
Brian grew up in a dysfunctional, non-Christian home. “My first church experience was a Vacation Bible School in 6th grade and that’s when (for a season) we started going to church as a family.” Brian prayed to receive The LORD later in 7th grade, but by that time his family had stopped attending. “I prayed to receive Jesus, but had no way to get back to church. Someone gave me a Bible, but I really didn’t know what to do with it; how to read it. So I was just kind of stuck.” And Brian was stuck for next several years until, as a Junior in high school, he began to really walk with the LORD. “I struggled with all the temptations that high schoolers struggle with. But in 11th grade, I was singing with the youth worship team, and there was this one particular song surrounding Psalm 139 that really gripped me. In that Psalm the writer asks, ‘where shall I go from your Spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence?’ I was convicted and repented of my sin and took ownership of my relationship with the LORD. At that point, I could drive myself to church. I became involved and began to grow in the LORD.”
Brian has served in Collegiate Ministries with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board for four years, as the campus minister at Albany State and Georgia Southwestern State University. Prior to college ministry, Brian worked for eight years in Youth Ministry, most recently at First Baptist Church in Ty Ty, Georgia. While serving there, he was also a volunteer campus minister at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. Brian holds a master of divinity degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.
A MOST MEMORABLE (MAYBE EVEN EMBARRASSING) YOUTH MINISTRY MOMENT:
“Introducing a food challenge--and trying to be cool--I ate a live worm on stage in front of my students. I gagged. That thing was movin' all the way down and I almost threw up.”
WHY EXPERIENCES LIKE DNOW ARE VALUABLE:
“DNow is valuable in that it gives you a focused weekend—that is, time out of your normal routine—where you are with the people closest to you; you can be vulnerable. And it is that combination, it’s really the perfect recipe of time, opportunity and place for God to work in your life. Over the years I have seen a lot of people saved—some even called into the ministry—at experiences like DNow.”