Q&A with Wake Forest church planter, Trea Brinson
Lauren Pratt | February 26, 2018
Trea Brinson is lead pastor of Restoration Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Brinson received his Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies and is working on his M.Div. in Christian ministry. He took some time to share how his time at Southeastern has impacted his ministry as well as the highs and lows of church planting.
1. Why did you choose Southeastern seminary?
I chose to visit Southeastern because a friend of mine, Jim Purdue, was a recent graduate and spoke highly of the school. I took a visit to Wake Forest on September 8, 2004 (my birthday). I stayed in the Manor House. As I attempted to fall asleep, my phone rang with a close friend of mine on the other end. He was calling to inform me that as some of my buddies were swimming, one of my friends had drowned. This is how my visit to Wake Forest and Southeastern started.
The next day as I walked campus and attended the numerous activities, without anyone knowing the current circumstances, my heart was comforted and ministered to in a real way. From the ambassadors to the president, each hand I would shake was an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands. That night, after a day of checking out the school, I took a walk and prayed. I knew SEBTS was where the Lord wanted me. I moved here in the fall of 2004.
2. How does what you studied impact what you do today?
Honestly, my studies take a back seat to the professors who taught me. I learned twice as much from the lives of my professors than I did from the classroom. This is saying a lot because I learned a lot in the classroom. My studies certainly rooted my life deeper in the Word of God and allowed me to learn to read it and study it for myself. In addition, it taught me how to organize my thoughts, interpret God’s Word and to live his Word with fervor.
My time spent with several professors was much more valuable. They weren’t here to collect a paycheck and teach class. They were here to demonstrate, in a very tangible way, the gospel of Jesus to me.
Today, as a teacher of the Word, I see my position as much more than a preacher/teacher. I see my role as a shepherd to sheep, to love the sheep God has entrusted to me in the same tangible way, to both teach them and practically love them. My time at Southeastern shifted my focus off me and my desires and focused me on Christ and his desires. My time at Southeastern allowed me to better understand the grace of God and how that applies to me daily. I knew the gospel, but I had never considered its implications. I read the Word to discover what’s in it for me, but I learned here how to read the Word to know more about my God, and slowly my life was transforming by my understanding of Him. This impacts my relationships with people each and every day.
3. Describe you ministry and how you have seen the Lord at work in that.
We are a church plant in the Wake Forest area. We started with six people in a living room. In three years, the Lord has grown us to approximately 200. The Lord has been so kind to us. When I finally said ‘yes’ to church planting, Wake Forest was not on my radar. However, through a series of events, the Lord made it clear that the Raleigh area is where he wanted us for the next season of our lives. Once we moved back, we were committed to the downtown area. However, through much prayer, the Lord moved us to Wake Forest. It has been challenging for sure, but it has also been richly rewarding. We are starting vibrant ministry in the local schools and were referred to as “the church for the city” by one of our local principles.We have also experienced some significant events in the life of our church:
- We have been able to baptize more than 60 people in the past three years.
- We started Restoration with a group of college graduates from Valdosta State University (VSU). I was a campus minister at VSU prior to being called to plant a church. About 14 of our students from VSU moved to Wake Forest to help us plant Restoration.
- We’ve seen entire families saved and baptized since being here. It was so neat to see one husband walk his family down to the front at church and surrender to Christ. The whole family made this decision and was later baptized.
- We have lost (tragic deaths) a few members of our church. This was a very tough season in the life of a church that had 100 people and was less than two years old. It was a very tough season for my family and our church. We saw many come to Christ through this.
4. What are your long-term ministry goals?
Our desire is to be a tremendous blessing to the city and world we live in. We want to plant churches that plant churches. We hope to raise up leaders and send them out to minister in various contexts around the world.
5. In what ways can the Southeastern community be praying for you and your family?
Pray we would “not grow weary in doing good, knowing that in due time we will reap a harvest” (Galatians 6:9). Pray that we would develop leaders for the glory of God. Pray that we would be kingdom minded and exist to see God’s glory penetrate the darkest parts of the world.
*Photo credit: Six Foot Photography
From our local community to the outermost parts of the world, Southeastern students and alumni are reaching people with the gospel by fulfilling the Great Commission. Using the model of Acts 1:8, we want to highlight these stories of how our Southeastern family is serving in North Carolina, North America and around the world. Acts 1:8 Stories create a collective and consistent way to tell the story of Southeastern, one person at a time. From local pastors to missionaries among the unreached, God is doing a great work among students and alumni. Where are they now and where are they going? We can’t wait for you to find out!