May 13, 2018 – REV. BRIAN HANSEN, INTERIM PASTOR
We are excited to announce that Brian Hansen and his wife Luella will be joining Faith United as our interim pastor. Brian will be worshiping with us on May 6, and following the service we will celebrate our First Sunday Fellowship with them. Please join us as we welcome them to Faith United. The following Sunday, May 13, will be their first official week with us as Brian will begin handling pastoral duties.
Some background information provided by Brian:
Brian and Luella have been part of the Church of God (Anderson) all our lives; Luella (Joslin) Hansen and I grew up in the same congregation of the Church of God in Muskegon, Michigan. Luella grew up in a Church of God household with her father serving as the youth counselor for more than 25 consecutive years! He was a dear friend, an amateur playwright and directed inspiring, Christ-centered plays for the local church.
My call to the ministry came one evening while working at a factory near our home in Muskegon. We were married and already had two children. The call was clear, and within the year we had sold our home and moved our family to Houston, Texas where I attended what was then called Gulf Coast Bible College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology. (Today that school is in Oklahoma City, OK and called Mid-America Christian College.) During college, Luella and I worked full-time and volunteered at the Spring Branch Church of God where Luella directed a Children’s Church of a couple of hundred kids. Upon graduation we moved to northern Indiana where we served a rural church (Big Lake Church of God.)
After several years we moved closer to family and served the Eastwood Church of God during which time I earned my post-graduate degree from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. Several years later we accepted a call to a church in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. To aid with the finances of this small church, I became bi-vocational and accepted an invitation by a small, volunteer hospice program to work as its director. With support from its Board of Directors, we were able to achieve Medicare certification, negotiate contracts, and hire professional care-giving staff. I was also able to initiate the local hospital’s first volunteer chaplaincy program.
It was during this time that Mercy Health Systems recruited me, and we moved to Southeast Michigan where I worked as a hospice administrator. Fourteen years later, and following my own diagnosis of cancer, I stepped down from administration and worked for about seven years as a hospice chaplain. Luella worked for Guardian Industries, a world-wide glass manufacturer. Brian and Luella are retired from full-time work and enjoying our grandchildren and time to visit with their friends and family.
We have served three churches as interim pastor: First Church of God in Owosso, MI; the West Court Street Church of God in Flint, MI and most recently the Family Worship Center in Grass Lake, MI.
We have some familiarity with Faith United Church of God, having known some of your previous pastors (Paul and Diana Stover, and Steve McDaniel). We have worshiped with Faith United on a couple of occasions and are pleased to be invited to be a part of your congregation for a time.
In the past year and one-half, since returning to live in western Michigan (Norton Shores/Muskegon), we have worshiped with the First Wesleyan Church with active community ministries. There, Luella and I have led small group studies (“Life Groups”), helped to roll out a church management software tools (Servant Keeper 8) and been blessed to make a friend in the local state Correctional Facility (Brooks) whom I visit regularly. The move back to western Michigan has also enabled us to support and be supported by our own family for which we are grateful. We have not yet become “snow-birds” and stayed this past year in our condo in Norton Shores.
We are enjoying our own “take” on retirement, and now look forward to learning how we may serve together with you.