Coaching Them Up

Coaching Them Up

I was born in a small town to parents who were teenagers, teenagers that were still trying to figure life out. My parents’ story about how they grew in their faith and established a family that loved Jesus both challenged and encouraged me to live like Jesus.  Living in this small town with my little brother and the rest of my extended family was all I knew as a kid. My grandparents all lived in the same town, and I had more cousins than I could count, somewhere in the twenties, I think. We lived life together, celebrating holidays, being on the same sports team, and attending the same church, family was important. From going to church with my grandma to praying to receive Christ with my youth minister at youth camp, church greatly impacted my life. Church and family really shaped who I am today.

One of the things I loved to do as a kid and still do to this day started because of a youth minister and a cousin, playing the game of tennis. I played tennis in both high school and college at Howard Payne University. I had a decent career, but really learned to love the game for the many life lessons it taught me like overcoming adversity, hard work, and dealing with defeat. As a teenager, I wanted to be a youth minister and tennis coach. These people taught me about faith and life. They helped me learn how to navigate the difficulties of life while still living for Jesus.

I graduated from Howard Payne and began a career as a high school teacher and coach before becoming a tennis teaching pro at a country club. In 2002 I was teaching tennis when my roommate first introduced me to Erin. It was a whirlwind of a romance as we met in April, got engaged in June and were married that December. Within a year of our marriage, we moved back to my hometown of Vernon to coach and teach again. The early years of our marriage were filled with big events and big change. Macie was born in 2005, I surrendered to vocational ministry in 2006, went back to Howard Payne to work on my masters, and Beckett was born in 2007. We packed a lot of life into a few short years.

I would spend the next 17 years serving as a youth minister in several different churches throughout Texas. I would learn and grow as a minister as I had opportunities to teach, lead, and write about various aspects of ministry. In 2015, Henry was added to our family. My family and coaching still greatly impact my life today. My wife and children have helped me think about ministry differently as we have lived the different seasons of life together. I have tried to pour into my family just as ministers and coaches from my life did for me.  I hope this investment has prepared them to navigate the trials of life. Now that I have joined the family at FBCA as Minister to Adults, I hope I can talk these experiences and many more to help coach up fellow believers in living the Jesus Way. I’m coaching them up, as others coached me.


P.S. Maybe there is a place at FBCA where you could get involved and invest in someone. You could serve as a greeter, teach a Bible study class, volunteer in children’s, youth, or college ministry. Join our family and use your gifts as you live the Jesus Way.

Brad Echols

Brad Echols

Brad Echols is the Minister to Adults at First Baptist Arlington. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing racquet sports at a high level, and entering Into conversations about God with the Arlington community.

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