Let me tell you a little story about my friend Brian Davis. This story has four short chapters. Chapter 1 (1987-88): I worked with Brian for a couple years beginning in 1987 as we traveled the country with Life Action Ministries in a 1970's Silver Eagle tour bus. We worked in some of the largest churches in the country at that time, and saw some amazing things happen. I didn't know we were forging a life-long friendship--but looking back I'm not surprised. We always had a great connection.
Our paths went different directions for awhile as Brian went off to college and I continued my work with Life Action--until I joined the Granger staff in 1994.
Chapter 2 (1997-2002): Toward the end of 1997, we had a children's ministry bursting at the seams with over 300 kids every week and no staff. We didn't know who to hire. My friend Brian was also in transition, so I asked him to come up (from Missouri) and join us for an interim 6-month position until we could find the right person. He came, and at the end of the 6 months our church had fallen in love with him. He was definitely the right person and we hired him in a permanent role as our Children's Ministry Director. Brian became very close to my family. He came over to the house about once a week to hang and watch LeFemme Nikita, our favorite show in the mid-90's. (If you missed it, I'm truly sorry).
Brian stayed on the team until around 2002 when God (or was it Mike?) called him to sunny Florida.
Chapter 3 (2006-2011): By 2006, the ministry had grown to more than 1000 kids weekly. Georgia, our children's director (who Brian had hired as a nursery leader a few years earlier), came to me and asked if she could hire Brian Davis back (he now lived in sunny southern California) to be our Elementary Director. Frankly, I was shocked that Brian would even consider living in the north again (he is a Mississippi boy with thin blood), but was delighted when he agreed to join the team once again.
Brian has served us well these past 5 years. And especially the past few months as we have been in a state of transition. I wrote the book (yes, literally) on "long hellos and short goodbyes" -- so when Brian decided a couple months ago to move back to southern California, I was reluctant to have him hang around much longer. But he stayed for a couple months to help us through a tough season of transition and has been amazing. Brian's last day in Granger is today. Rarely have I seen a church staff member leave so well with high integrity and a great attitude.
Chapter 4 (?): I'm not sure what the future holds, but I won't be surprised if there is another chapter ahead for me and Brian. He's been a great friend for the past 23 years. He's one in a small circle of people who I know has my back and would do anything for me. And I feel the same about him.
Brian, you will be missed.