Brian Whitscell’s life and music reflect his love for the Lord and gratefulness for His gift of salvation. By God’s grace and purpose, Brian has dedicated his life to serving the Lord and using his musical gifts to lead others into God’s presence through praise and worship. Brian is a worship leader, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, husband and father. His heart’s desire is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and for them to experience the life-changing power of the Cross.
Beginning at the age of 5, Brian spent hours singing along with his favorite music while his mom, an accomplished pianist and music teacher, patiently listened and encouraged him. When he was 12, he persuaded his mom and dad to let him trade in his first instrument, a trombone, for an electric guitar.
Throughout his teens, Brian poured all his energy into his music, pursuing what the world defined as success. After several years of traveling and playing with a rock group, he emerged directionless and lost. The music and the life it brought ultimately left him empty and without hope. By God’s grace, his wife Teresa came into his life and Brian gave up his pursuit of a music career, but God had not given up on Brian.
During the years that followed, God took Brian through a ‘musical famine’. “I was searching deep within for something I knew was missing but I didn’t know what it was. I grew up in church where I learned about God, but I never truly knew the Lord in a personal way. God brought many different people into my life to point me to Himself.”
After an invite from a friend, Brian and Teresa began attending a new church where they both gave their lives completely to Jesus Christ. Changes began in their hearts immediately. Their desires became less about themselves and more about seeking God’s desire for their lives and marriage. “Finally, we surrendered everything to God and He began working miracles in our hearts and lives. He turned us right-side up.”
Then, Brian felt the call. “Now I clearly see how God had been patiently calling me all along. Like the prodigal son who finally turns back to his father, God was waiting to welcome me back. He showed me how the music He placed in my heart was always meant for Him alone. It was never meant to make a name for me, but to make His name known.” Shortly after surrendering his life to Him, the Lord spoke to Brian’s heart. “I knew God was saying that I needed to pick up music again and give it entirely to Him. I made a commitment to the Lord right then. I told Him that every note I sing, play and write would be only for His glory and purpose. I prayed that He would use me and the music He would give to lead others to a saving knowledge of Him.”
God began opening doors for Brian to lead worship at his home church as well as at other area churches. Next, He took Brian to the worship concert stage and then to the festival stage he had played years before in a secular band. This time, Brian was there for a completely different reason. God was showing how He is able to completely transform a life. At these events, Brian and a team of worshiping musicians from several area churches loudly proclaimed the joy of Salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ.
Brian is a worship pastor at New Hope Community Church in Traverse City, MI. He has recently co-written and recorded the song More Jesus that is getting radio airplay both nationally and internationally. The song and ministry surrounding it is being used to turn hearts back to the Lord by proclaiming the simple yet profound truth that what we need most in our lives is more Jesus. “I continue to be amazed at how God chooses to use me. I never want to take one single moment He’s given me for granted. My prayer is to be used by God and led by the Holy Spirit to bring people to a saving knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have first hand experience of the life transformation He does within us as we surrender completely to Him. My heart’s cry is to see others changed in the way Jesus changed me!”
Brian and his wife Teresa celebrate 27 years of marriage this year. The greatest blessings of their lives are their two young daughters, Sarah and Mandy. Brian’s continued prayer is “to be part of music and ministry that touches the world for Christ.”