By: Brian McKinney
My journey of full-time ministry started in the summer of 2006 when God called me to attend Southeastern to earn my M.Div. in Christian Ministry. In May 2009, I completed my degree and started searching for associate pastor positions even though I wasn’t exactly sure what God was calling me to do; however, thanks to the provisions of God putting Dr. Coley into my life, I was able to realize my call was to stick with education as I had been serving as a teacher and administrator since 1995. Through godly wisdom and advisement from Dr. Coley, God impressed upon my heart the shift of thought from serving as a secular, public educator to a private, Christian educator. I began the road to earning my Ed.D. in the fall of 2009 and through God’s strength and will, I completed in 2012. While starting my dissertation, God called and moved my family back to our home state for me to serve as the secondary principal of a small Christian school in 2011.
After five years, the call was to pack up and move to Titusville, Florida to serve on Park Avenue Baptist Church’s staff as the director of their private school- Park Avenue Christian Academy. We serve 350 students from preschool through eighth grade and I am truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful ministry. This was an answer to prayer for our family to come and be a part of a great community that is still rebuilding after the economic crash caused the city to really fall on hard times. The town is better known as the city where Cape Canaveral is located and where a large majority of all space launches have taken place throughout the last 50 years.
If I could ask for anything to pray for, it would be for this community to continue rebuilding in a way that people of faith can be strengthened while unbelievers see the Lord Jesus Christ through all of trials and tribulation and come to faith in Him. There is something different about this community and it doesn’t take long to see how great it is for a family to be raised as God’s Spirit is felt throughout the town. The churches in our community unite under the umbrella of “the church is one” in order to do community work in the town. It is really a pleasure to see brothers and sisters in Christ working together regardless if they are Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal or any other denomination.
Southeastern was a pivotal part in my spiritual maturity, my marriage and the rearing of my children. I look back over those years as some of the best years of my life while also knowing God still has work to do in me and through me. While the academics are top notch with wonderful professors who will help navigate the storms of life with you, it is the whole experience of learning to be a servant leader and developing lifelong friendships that are the most pivotal things you will take away from your time there. I am thankful God brought me there in 2006 and for the life and ministry lessons I have learned along the way. May God bless each of you in your future endeavors and ministry!
Dr. Brian S McKinney
B.S.- Elementary Education, 1994, Austin Peay State University- Clarksville, Tennessee
M.A.- Educational Leadership, 2000, Trevecca Nazarene University- Nashville, Tennessee
M.Div.- Christian Ministry with Biblical Languages, 2009, SEBTS
Ed.D.- Christian Education, 2012, SEBTS