By: Dezaray Barr
Bill Richardson is the senior Pastor of Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church in Goshen, Indiana. He graduated from Asbury University in 1974 with a Bible Major, and he received his M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1977.
“Being at the Asbury institutions were incredibly formative to my life and to the future of my ministry,” Richardson said. “I enrolled just after the Asbury Revival broke out in Hughes Auditorium (Feb. 3, 1970) that spread all over the world. Many of the professors at both schools highly impacted my life, not just in the classroom, but in seeing them model the life of Christ in their own lives.”
Richardson first felt called to preach when he was 16 years-old at Epworth Camp in South Carolina. “I think anyone who knew me then would have never pictured me preaching, as I was pretty shy. I’m still an introvert. My wife likes to tell the story of the first time she heard me preach in her home church in Cincinnati before we were married. She said she sat there and wondered as I got up to preach, ‘What if he isn’t any good?’ After the sermon, she was able to affirm God’s calling on my life,” Richardson shared.
Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church has been a part of the Goshen community since 1878. It was named after one of the founders of the Missionary Church—Daniel Brenneman. “We currently run an average of 500 in attendance. We are currently ‘raising the bar’ when it comes to discipleship. As our culture continues to decline, God is calling us to become influencers in our culture by becoming fully devoted followers of Christ,” Richardson shared.
If Richardson could share with IWU, he’d say, “Be sure of your calling. There will be many times in ministry when it will seem easy to just walk away. After 41 years, I’m glad I never took the easy way, and it was the conviction of God’s call on my life that held me steady in the rough times.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.