Rev. Brent Nowell & Family
Dear Church Family,
Last year after Jessica Hatfield stepped down as our contemporary worship leader, Rob Emery, our deacon chair in 2018, formed a committee to find a new worship leader for our early service. The composition of the committee included musicians and non-musicians, the young and not so young. That committee began meeting in June 2018 and praying for God's wisdom in the selection process. The process to select the right candidate was thorough and designed to give us the greatest assurance that the person we hire is the right person for the position. We advertised throughout the nation for the position and received over 75 applications from individuals all across the United States. After hours of reviewing applications, the committee narrowed the group to five.
We personally interviewed the candidates via Skype on several occasions. Some members of the committee traveled to some of the candidate's churches in other states to see how that candidate performed in their home environment and to determine whether they warranted an invite to FBC. We contacted all of their references to verify their prior history and to give us additional insight into how they worked, how they got along with others and their experience with them as a worship leader.
If the candidate made it past that evaluation, they were invited to our church for more interviews. At this time, they met and interacted with our staff, who provided the committee with valuable insight regarding any concerns they might have about the candidate. When they were here, we had each candidate work with our praise team one evening and lead in a small worship service on another evening attended by a number of members of FBC. Requiring them to lead a worship service gave us incredible insight into not only their ability to lead worship and their musical talent, but more importantly, it allowed us to see their heart for worship. We had everyone who attended that service complete a questionnaire, which provided us with valuable feedback and identified any additional concerns about the candidate. After they led in worship, they met again with the committee in an informal setting to allow us to learn more about them personally.
After months of engaging in this process, having multiple candidates come to FBC, and spending hours on Skype calls, we believe we have found the right person God has for FBC. For this individual, the response has been overwhelming. The comments from everyone who attended the worship service were uniformly positive. The feedback from the FBC staff was uniformly positive, and the committee was unanimous in their support for this individual. We are very excited to welcome this gentleman and his wife and young child to FBC this weekend. We know that when you meet him and his lovely family you will share in our excitement as well. We believe that he will lead our contemporary worship service in a way that will glorify God and continue to draw people to a close walk with Christ.
Below is his personal information. We ask that you refrain from putting this on social media until the church has an opportunity to vote on him on Sunday.
Rev. Brent Nowell
Wife: Sara (married August of 2016)
Child: Kathy Sue (born May 2018)
Ministry Objective: My goal as a called worship leader is to remove myself so God can speak to the lives of the church and community. I believe in furthering His kingdom through music and teaching authentic worship.
Concord Baptist Church
November 2015 – Present
Liberty University Online
January 2016 – Present
Seeking Master of Divinity in Worship Studies
University of South Alabama, Mobile, Al, 2010- 2013
Graduated Fall 2013 with a degree in Piano Performance with extensive study in voice, choir and conducting
Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Phenix City, Al, 2008-2010
Southern Union Community College, Opelika, Al, 2007-2008
Graduated from Beauregard High School, May 2007
I grew up in a Christian home with family members who all know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the fall of 2000. Near the end of my college career, I discovered that God’s plan was to use the musical talents that He had blessed me with to lead His people in worship and to grow His kingdom. I was licensed and ordained to the ministry in March of 2018.
Below are comments from our committee about Brent:
Cliff Corker, Chair - Not only is Brent a talented musician and worship leader, but he also brings a real humility to his leadership. His desire is to lead us in authentic worship, and in doing so, lead us to a deeper relationship with Christ. He will be a great addition to the FBC family.
Mike Carrier - We’re so looking forward to welcoming Brent and Sara to FBC. The committee is excited, my family is excited, and the praise band is excited as we start this new phase in the life of our church. It was clear to the committee when Brent and Sara visited Kingsport that we needed to get them here. I think they felt the same way!
We still miss Jessica, and we’ve had a great time with the guest leaders during the interim period, but we’re ready to embrace Brent and Sara and welcome them to the fold!
Excited to see what this new phase in the life of our church will bring!
Cathy Combs - As we’ve gotten to interact with Brent and get acquainted with him during this process, a few things have stood out to me about him:
1. I find him to be very authentic – he’s comfortable in his skin and following what he feels called by God to do.
2. I love that his primary focus is on inviting people into worship.
3. Brent has the musical talents and technical knowledge to help us optimize the resources we have available.
Our committee has been praying for God to lead us to the person that He has selected for this season at FBC and I think we all believe that Brent is that person.
David Lane - If I were using a word to describe Brent, I would say humble. He has a true heart for Jesus and wants the focus of worship to be about that. It is evident that it isn’t about him. As a couple, they seem to balance and bring out the best in each other. I think they will be very relatable to young single people and couples just by being themselves and because they are willing to invest their time in young people. Anyone that spends their days off work doing Disciple Now has a heart for youth!
Susan Lane - I am impressed with Brent and Sara as individuals and as a couple. They are both incredibly talented musically but their heart is to bring glory to God through worship. Their reaction to the work at Providence Medical Clinic and wanting to be involved even from a distance impressed me. They have the heart of servants. He spends weekends at Disciple Now and spends one day every week eating fish and visiting with a 90-year old man and to me that just demonstrates servanthood. Going through the entire process of interviews last year and then starting over, the interview/visit with Brent and Sara just was a completely different experience. I had excitement and peace and it just was confirmation God had gone before us, the timing was right, and this is the person He has called to FBC Kingsport.
Spencer Miller - Brent is a great fit to be our contemporary worship leader at FBC - he is a humble and extremely talented leader who leads his congregation to encounter God through worship. Brent additionally has extensive knowledge and experience with lighting and sound systems that will take our praise band and Sunday morning worship to the next level. His wife Sara is likewise an amazing singer and their family will be a great fit at FBC that will help keep our church attractive to young adults and families and make our worship even better.
Greg Cross - I have been impressed with his approach to the interview process. He first wanted to make sure this is where the Lord was leading him. He asked several questions about our church’s position on specific practices.
Brent has a very humble presence about him. He does not want to stand in the limelight or have the spotlight on his musical talents. The service that he presented for several of the church members was a Christ-centered service.
He has a solid background and work experience with:
· Planning and leading worship services
· Sound, technical and lighting systems
· Playing and leading youth musicals through D-Now
· Talented piano and guitar player
· Flow for engaging with others
His wife is a very good singer who will only strengthen our music program. Most importantly, he feels lead to be at FBC and our entire committee was in total agreement on this recommendation.
Rob Emery - I am excited and feel blessed with Brent coming to First Baptist Church as our Contemporary Worship Leader. Brent has a deep love for God which is evident in his worship leadership and will do a great job in connecting with the young people in our worship service.
Comments from Colleagues:
Susan Hoover - Looking forward to continuing our rich tradition of musical excellence at FBC as we welcome Brent to our team!"
Jessica Hatfield - Brent is immensely talented, has a heart for worship, and an undeniable calling on his life to lead. He’s humble yet driven and passionate about pointing others to Christ. He and his sweet family will fall right into place here.
Marvin Cameron - I am truly excited about Brent and Sara joining our church family. They bring a passion for worship and reaching young people that will help us fulfill God's vision for our church.
Members of the congregation who attended the small worship service Brent led had these comments:
“What a true praise service. Lots of energy!”
“Loved the music and good choice of songs.”
“He is an excellent worship leader, great song selection and a real humble leader.”
“He will take our praise team to the next level.”
“Loved his authenticity and passion for Jesus.”
“He is a great worship leader. He was upbeat and drew me closer to God.”
“His stage presentation and vocals are powerful.”
“Delightful family! Very sweet personalities – easy to get to know.”
“Tremendously talented couple. Engaged us in worship.”
“Feel very confident in his leadership.”
“I love Brent’s conviction for God.”
“It is evident that Brent has been called by God. He is humble and willing and incredibly talented. Both Brent and Sara are very real.”
It is with great joy that our committee presents Rev. Brent Nowell to be our Contemporary Worship Leader. Please join us in either the 8:40 AM service where he will lead the service and give his faith story or in the 11 AM service where he will play the piano and give his faith story.
Our church family will have the joy of voting on our committee’s recommendation at the conclusion of each of the two services. In closing, thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement throughout this search. We have been blessed by your support and the good work of our Praise Team throughout this interim.
Cliff Corker, Chair