Thanks to our fathers’ shared interest in a church basketball league, Bryan Grisham and I have known each other most of our lives.
Our parents met at Lakeshore Baptist Church back in the 1960’s where our fathers joined a church basketball league and hooped and hollered their way around Shreveport-Bossier church basketball courts.
In later years, our fathers bought land, built houses and established small farms – another shared interest which took the friends from the basketball court to the cow pasture.
Sadly, their friendship ended when my dad died in the year 2000. I can’t see Mr. Grisham today without thinking of my father and all the good times they were blessed to share together.
Bryan is six years younger, so in our youth we ran in age-appropriate circles. However, we reconnected years later when he was late teens and I was in my early 20’s. We did a few musical events together, attended a concert or two, and then went our separate ways for the next 20 years.
He served in full-time ministry as a worship pastor and I worked in healthcare public relations at hospitals in Shreveport and Jackson, MS. Our paths crossed again after I came on the mission field and began developing the European Worship Institute.
Bryan had spent a lot of time in Europe working with the Continental Singers and had a great passion for missions and Europe. We began making plans for him to bring a team over to work with me and to this day, we’re still making plans. We called it ‘stumbling’ … trusting God to lead us, step by step, into His plan for our ministry partnership.
Bryan has partnered with me in no less than eight European Worship Institute events in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Austria and Italy. No one has brought more teams over and been more actively involved in EWI than Bryan. I’m so thankful for his friendship and partnership in ministry. He always brings his ‘A’ game and his ‘A’ team.
In fact, here are brief bios on Bryan and the team he’s bringing with him to teach at our upcoming Immerse Camp in Belgium.
Bryan Grisham has been a worship and arts pastor for over 25 years in churches throughout the southern US. His ministry has included large groups of volunteers, which has compelled Bryan to become a student of leadership and group dynamics. Bryan also coordinates mission activities for his current church, Word of God Ministries, which leads multiple mission ventures annually. This marks Bryan’s 8th partnership with European Worship Institute.
Bryant Wilson has been a volunteer leader in church since his teens. Now a successful business owner and entrepreneur, he dedicates hours each week in volunteer service to his church playing keyboard and assisting in development of the instrumental team. Bryant is a seasoned veteran who understands the value of authentic worship. He also has tremendous experience helping leaders and volunteers find their spiritual gifts and organizational strengths.
Kevin Richardson spends his days as the Chief Financial Officer of a successful global corporation. What qualifies him to be a leader at Immerse Camp is his vast experience as a worship drummer and Bible teacher. Kevin currently plays drums as his church, and also assists with development of the instrumental team. He is a keen student of the Bible and has taught Bible studies on broad topics for over 25 years.
Calen Walker is a senior student at East Texas Baptist University, studying worship and ministry. He began his ministry as a young boy, preaching his first sermon in church in his early teens. Since then, Calen has been a leader in countless Christian camps, worship services, and retreats. With acoustic guitar in hand, he is a uniquely gifted worship leader who can connect with all ages. As a college student, Calen brings a fresh insight to current trends in worship.
Ben Densmore is a consummate professional in all things guitar. He plays bass, acoustic, and electric, and is regularly seen with a harmonica or some other unique instrument that he’s adding to his repertoire. Ben is a teacher at heart. He loves to see the spark in someone’s eye when they final connect with their instrument or the subject matter. Ben serves as Band Director at his church, where he leads rehearsals and services, and plays lead electric guitar.
Braxton Odom may be the youngest member of the team, but don’t let his age fool you – he is a highly experienced worship technology expert. Braxton got his start as a young boy patching in lighting and sound equipment. He has a keen eye for creative set design and intelligent lighting programming. Braxton is the Associate Technical Director at his church and also owns a “DJ” business. He is well versed in the operation and usage of worship software and hardware.