Dr. Brian R. Horton
Dr. Brian R. Horton has served as the Mission Strategist for the Greenup Baptist Association since October 2018. Originally from Boiling Springs, South Carolina, Brian is a graduate of Spartanburg Methodist College (1993, A.A., Business Administration), The University of South Carolina-Upstate (1996, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies: History and Philosophy), and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (2001, M.A., Christian Education; 2011, D. Ed. Min, Education Ministry).
Brian has served churches in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky as a student pastor, education pastor, and senior pastor. He is a certified Church Consultant (The Rainer Group), Replant Consultant (NAMB), and Interim Pastor (Church Compass). He is also a member of the Southern Baptist Conference for Associational Leaders, the Network of Baptist Associations, President-elect of the Kentucky Fellowship of Association Leaders, and a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. Brian is also active in serving the Kentucky Baptist Convention on various committees and workgroups. He currently serves as the Parliamentarian for the KBC.
Brian has served as a chaplain with Marketplace Chaplains for over 8 years. He is a former volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, serving as First Lieutenant. His volunteer service also includes serving on the Board of Directors for Tri-State Bible College, the Institutional Review Board for the University of Pikeville, and Board of Directors for the Botetourt County (VA) Free Medical Clinic.
Brian has been married to Tara, a teacher at Rose Hill Christian School, since January 1, 2000. They live in South Ashland with their son, Adam, who is 16.
I am grateful that my parents never sent me to church as a child. Rather, my parents took me, as well as my two older brothers and older sister, to church. My parents served faithfully as volunteers: church treasurer, deacon, Sunday school teacher/director, WMU leader, security team, sound booth technician, and so much more. Their faithfulness to the Body of Christ modeled for me the importance of servant leadership from a "second chair" position. It is said that many things in life are "caught, not taught." I certainly "caught" that followers of Jesus are active participants in the Great Commission, not passive spectators to be served. When I surrendered to vocational ministry as a junior in college, I knew that whatever role God called me to, I would gravitate naturally to leadership development and discipleship. Thus, for almost 28 years, I have sought to develop healthy churches and healthy leaders.
Do you have a favorite beverage? For something cold, usually its unsweet tea or cub soda. But I am an unashamed coffee snob. Currently my favorite coffee the Brazilian Roast at Sky37 Bistro in Ashland.
Do you have a favorite sports team? My oldest brother attended Clemson when I was in elementary school and would take me to football games on the weekend. That was also when Clemson won their first national championship. I was hooked! But baseball is my first love. I am a fierce fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. Their minor league team was in my hometown when I was young, so I started following them and never looked back. I also root for the Philadelphia Eagles in pro football.
Do you have any pets? Yes. We have had multiple over the years, but currently we have 2 cats (Danny and Lola) and a Dutch Dwarf rabbit (Hazel). We have in the past had 4 dogs (not at the same time!) and a tank full of fish.
What are your hobbies, or what do you do in your "down time?" I guess I should say reading! And I do, but I really enjoy caring for my yard. I like to keep it neat, and the grass mowed. I love to keep the landscaping in order, so I enjoy planting flowers, bushes, etc. I also love to decorate for Christmas. My goal is to be on the Boyd County "Trail of Lights" next Christmas! Other than that, my wife and I enjoy watching a good, suspenseful TV series. Usually we get in one episode each night, but on the "off days" we may binge watch two or three. We enjoy the mental gymnastics of a good mystery.
What are some favorite books? There are so many to choose from. Lord and Christ by Earnest Riesinger, Disciplines of Grace by Jerry Bridges, The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp, The Measure of our Success by Shawn Lovejoy, City on a Hill by Philip Graham Ryken and Faithful Calling by Tico Rice have had great impact on my faith journey and calling. Currently, my reading list includes The Emotional Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero, Five Voices by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, The Spiritual DNA of a Church on Mission by Bob Burton, Shaped by the Gospel: Doing balanced, gospel-centered ministry in your city by Tim Keller, and Overcoming Apathy: Gospel Hope for Those Who Struggle to Care by Uche Anizor.
What advice would you give someone regarding their call to ministry? The first and obvious answer is to continually pray and discern God's calling. Spend time with other pastors/ministers, especially in the field you are considering (preaching, students, church planting, missions, etc.) and ask every question you have regarding serving vocationally. Dive into some great books on the topic such as Am I Called? by Dave Harvey, Discerning Your Call to Ministry by Jason Allen and Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon. I would strongly encourage reading Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp to understand the gravity of such a call. Finally, it is important to understand what kind of leader God has called you to be. A couple of assessments are very helpful in this. One is the Five Voices Assessment that helps you identify how you "speak" to others. The other is a Harrison Assessment that helps identify "paradoxes" related to expectations, behavioral competency, and strengths and threats (derailers) to these. My friend and colleague Mark Millman is a valuable resource for the Harrison Assessment.