We are pleased to announce that Josiah Brown has agreed to serve as our next Pastor of Student Ministries. He will begin that work sometime in June of 2017.
Josiah grew up in Chandler, Oklahoma, attending the Friends Church there. He was active in the church and in Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America Yearly Meeting youth ministry events (MAYM is our district of Friends Churches in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas). Josiah’s grandparents, David and Mae Kellum, were MAYM missionaries in Burundi. He attended Oklahoma State University for one year, then transferred to Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where next May he will receive a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in Christian Spiritual Formation. Josiah’s training in the Christian Spiritual Formation program, which is directed by James Bryan Smith makes him especially qualified for ministry among us. Smith, who is the founder of the Apprentice Institute and author of several books that have shaped and formed our congregation, has become a key leader in the Spiritual Formation movement. We have endorsed his teaching, sent people to Apprentice conferences and adopted much of Smith’s language for Christian spirituality. Josiah speaks this language too. After his screening interview with Ministry Architect’s Rob Dulaney, Rob reported, “After talking with Josiah, I understand your church and Quakers much better.” In our initial interview with Josiah, our search committee knew he understood and shared our church’s goals for Christian growth and maturity.
As stated above, Josiah is scheduled to graduate from Friends next May with a GPA of nearly 3.9. Then, on June 17th he will marry Courtney Helm, who will graduate from Oklahoma State University this December with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Sometime after their wedding, the couple will move to Friendswood and Josiah will begin his ministry among us.
In the meantime, Jason Porterfield will continue leading our student ministry with the excellence he has exhibited over the past few months. Josiah will visit Friendswood several times next spring in order to become oriented to our church and student ministry, receive training and instruction from Jason Porterfield, and begin to build friendships with students, parents, volunteers, and other members of our congregation.