Meet the Rev. Dave Brunson of Trinity Life Church in Lawrenceville. "Pastor Dave," as he is more commonly referred to, is a 44-year-old married father of four grown children. A true believer in sharing his faith and bringing others to do the same, Pastor Dave and his church have planted three ministries in five years, and they are all healthy and thriving.
Q: How and when did you know that this is what you wanted to do as your life's work?
A: I knew I was supposed to be a minister at about age 16. I didn't know I was supposed to pastor a church until about 10 years ago. I guess life's processes brought me to a point of maturity.
Q: Did you ever consider a different career?
A: I'm bi-vocational. I'm an electrical engineer by trade. We manufacture medical and high-end research equipment. At one time I wanted to be a doctor, but the sight of blood took me out. So I doctor on machines instead.
Q: Who would you say was the greatest influence on you and your choice?
A: There are a couple of people. I had a mentor in Connecticut. He's no longer with us, but he was very influential in my life. An old pastor friend of mine at a Baptist church in Florida has been very influential. My wife is also a real big support. Without her, I wouldn't get half the things done that I do. She is a huge encouragement.
Q: What would you say is the most challenging thing about your job?
A: Sometimes I think it's managing natural human emotions. Let me give you an example. In one day, I did a funeral in the morning, a wedding in the afternoon and a baptism in the evening. Just being there for people requires depending on God's strength.
Q: What's the most rewarding thing?
A: Seeing people get restored in relationships or get delivered from things that are incredible obstacles. They haven't done something magical, they've just put their trust in the Lord.
Q: What are your long-term goals as pastor of your church?
A: I'd like to see not just our church but the Christian community come together in Gwinnett to meet the challenges of the hungry and homeless. In Matthew chapter 25: 31-46, Jesus identifies what it is that his followers do - it's clear that we serve him when we serve the least among us. America is at a critical junction. A lot of the government programs we have today have failed to solve these problems.
Q: Who would you most like to meet, and why?
A: Other than Christ, a man that has served in ministry, like Billy Graham. He and others like him have had a clean life. He represented God well.
Q: If you had to name one thing that's changed the most in Gwinnett's worship and religious trends over the years, what would it be?
A: Twenty years ago, 70 percent of Gwinnett went to church. Today 30 percent go to church, but 70 percent say they are Christians. It's difficult for me to understand that.
There's no price for peace; there's no price tag on joy. This "candy gospel," this "prosperity gospel" - believe in the Lord and riches will come to you - it isn't what the Bible teaches. You don't hear that in Third World countries where people are starving. I think we're at a point where we're going to see a revival in America.
Q: What is your favorite scripture?
A: It was written by Paul, I Corinthians 9: 16-18. "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel."
Q: If there is a young person out there who is considering entering into the ministry, what advice do you have for them?
A: Find a Bible-preaching church where there is a pastor who has a passion for mentoring young people into their calling. Get connected there and allow God to mature you, to watch Biblical examples. I get great joy out of hearing someone say, "I feel that I have a calling to be in ministry." I look for those people to pour into.
Trinity Life Church is located at 837 N. Clayton St. in Lawrenceville. The church's third planted ministry is a Spanish ministry, and Brunson and his congregation will be leaving the Clayton Street facility to that church in the near future. Brunson said hopefully Trinity Life Church will be moving to another existing facility in Lawrenceville. For more information about Trinity Life Church, call 678-376-1668 or visit www.trinitylifechurch.net.
Each week, the Daily Post profiles a different religious leader in Gwinnett. If you have a suggestion on who we should profile next, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.