Rebuilding the ministry
Rev. Brian Burkholder

Other job experience: Former associate pastor in Atlanta; former missionary in Mexico City; former Central America co-director, with Baptist International Missions; former Broward campus pastor, New Testament Baptist Church

Education: Degree in theology from Baptist University of America, Atlanta; master's degree in ministry from Temple Baptist Seminary, Chattanooga, Tenn.; master's degree of arts in religion from Liberty University.

Personal: 48. Born in Canton, Ohio. Family: Married to Vickie, a piano teacher. Three children.

The church has been through some tough times - shifting neighborhood, changing pastors, falling rolls. How are you coping with that?

Our passion is to rebuild this ministry. We're up in just about every area: attendance, baptisms, giving. We had a special offering, just under $100,000.

How are you accomplishing that?

We're making a concerted effort to love people and care for them. We're doing a lot of home and hospital visitation. They've been without leadership for several years. Now there's a new leader, and there's excitement and vision. And it's like an avalanche: Once it starts, it builds.

Don't you feel some emotional whiplash as a pastor?

You have to believe God is in control. I had to deal with this 16 years ago, when our daughter Amber was born with cerebral palsy, severely mentally and physically disabled. We decided that God didn't make a mistake with Amber, that she was born in the way God intended. Whatever happens in life, we might not understand, but God's plan is perfect. That's given us a tool to minister to others.

How do you like to relax?

I enjoy golf and reading. I like to lift and run a bit. But I don't get to do any of those things as much as I'd like.

Favorite pastime?

I a football fanatic. My favorite teams are the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Dolphins.

Favorite film(s)?

"What About Bob?", with Bill Murray. It's so stupid, I laugh at it over and over.

Favorite music?

Selah. I like their harmony. And they're former missionary kids. I can relate to that.

Do you have a hero?