By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
It was more than the people of Trinity Baptist Church and a growing, vibrant community that has brought Brian Mills to preach this Sunday in Yukon.
It was a calling that Mills first heard five years ago.
“I want to be a pastor who shepherds people, stays conservatively strong in the pulpit and preaches a Godly word each and every Sunday,” Mills said this week. “And I want to be a pastor who has the freedom to lead. That’s Trinity Baptist. That’s what they want. And they confirmed that over and over and over again.”
Trinity Baptist Church leaders contacted Mills early this year about coming to pastor the church, 620 N Cemetery Road. Several months later, that day has come.
“We knew that this was what God was calling us to go do,” Pastor Mills said. “It was time to go do it. And God confirmed it 100 times over.
“It’s more than people, it’s really a call. That’s really been confirmed in our heart.”
Since 2015, Mills has led the college ministry at the five-campus Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. He previously had nearly 20 years of service leading youth ministries in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Tennessee.
Mills and his family were drawn to Trinity Baptist Church and he couldn’t wait to get started as the new senior pastor.
“God just kept confirming and kept confirming and kept confirming that this was it,” Mills said. “God was moving us out of our comfort zone and into our calling. We’ve been in our ‘preparation season’ and it’s almost moved us to a ‘comfort season.’”
Pastor Mills also was drawn to Trinity because of the people and opportunity for him to lead the way he’s designed to lead as a pastor. Mills and his wife have prayed the Lord would find a church that fits his family and leadership.
He’s considered offers to lead other large churches in some “incredible” cities but didn’t believe God had said “go” – until now.
“Trinity’s ready for a leader like me and a pastor like me to come pastor the people and preach in the pulpit,” Mills said. “We really felt that. … And He confirmed that through the people of Trinity over and over and over again; through the search team, through the elders and through the staff. That just confirmed it.”
Trinity’s longtime associate pastor, Scott Kinney, believes the time is right for Mills to lead the church – which started in 1979.
“He is full of energy, direction and vision,” Kinney said. “He also is someone who likes to be involved in his community. We’re all just thrilled to have him here.”
YEARS OF MINISTRY SERVICE
Mills has been in ministry since 1998.
That includes nearly 20 years in youth ministries, as small as seven students and as large as 3,000 students. He served churches in Tulsa, Fort Smith, Ark.; Houston, Texas; and near Memphis, Tenn.
“In all those ministries, we just watched them ‘explode’ in growth,” Mills said. “We saw thousands of students coming to the Lord. … We saw a lot of spiritual growth through those days.”
In 2014, Mills felt the Lord tell him to step out and begin the journey to go pastor a church someday. He left student ministry and spent time traveling for church leadership consulting and speaking across the country and world.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, then-senior pastor at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, asked Mills in 2015 to lead that church’s college ministry and serve on Floyd’s leadership team. For the past four years, he was a chaplain for the University of Arkansas football program.
Mills earned his undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Speech Communications from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. He is completing a master’s degree from Liberty University.
Pastor Mills and wife Jennifer, who have been married 17 years, both are passionate about seeing people saved, baptized and grow in their faith. They have a 14-year-old daughter McKenna and 12-year-old son Parker.
Mills and his wife are published authors, having written devotionals for teenagers. Pastor Mills’ third book, released in January, is titled “A Different College Experience – How to Live for Christ in College.”
AN AREA OF GROWTH
Canadian County, and more specifically the Yukon area, helped attract Mills as much as Trinity itself.
“I feel God’s designed me and equipped me to be in an area that’s growing and in a church that doesn’t want to stay where it’s at today – but wants to see God-size things happen,” he said.
“Around a 10-mile radius of Trinity is about 220,000 people. And people I’ve spoken with told me that is the fastest-growing area of the Oklahoma City area right now. … Canadian County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country.”
So this Sunday morning, God has brought Mills and his family to Yukon.
“I was really praying the Lord would take me to a place that I could spend the rest of my life prayerfully,” he said. “I’m not going to put God in a box. I’m not going to say it’s 100 percent. But it’s sure what I’m longing for.”
Trinity’s new senior pastor believes strongly his new church will now reach many more people and disciple so many others. And he believes the future will build on what the Lord has done.
“We can really just let the Lord do what he wants and let the manifest presence of God just rest on that place,” Pastor Mills said. “And we can just see this move – not just numerical, but marriages being restored, and lives being changed, and people being ascended into the workplace as Kingdom influencers.
“And we’re going to live out the Gospel, not just attend church. I just believe Trinity is ready for that.”