I have experienced the grace and blessing of God. My father managed to escape with his mom, dad, brothers and sisters the horrors of the Japanese takeover of China. His family was not as lucky with the Communist regime of Mao Tse Tung. One of my father’s brothers was the President of Shanghai Baptist University and was captured and eventually starved to death in prison for his Christian beliefs. My dad managed to escape to Hong Kong where he met my mom. Through God’s loving hand he opened the doors that allowed my dad and mom to come to Louisville to study at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – School of Church Music.
The Lin family, in China had strong faith as Christians. My dad’s family was also a family of professional teachers, who worked and were active volunteers in their churches. My mom’s family was active in the life of Hong Kong Baptist and her father, a successful businessman who owned factories and banks, founded Hong Kong Baptist University and Seminary.
I was called by God to be a teacher, a minister in the public schools, at age fifteen. My son, Stephen and daughter, Brittany, each received a call by God at the same age of fifteen to become teachers or work in some type of church ministry. I may have been trained as a public school teacher, but I have had a professor of church music training me all my life.
In 2001, our family felt the presence of God when my wife, Sharon, needed to be hospitalized for a deteriorating colon after a ten year battle with ulcerative colitis. She was in and out of the hospitals for five months and had to undergo five different operations in which she came close to death on two occasions during those operations. It is a miracle that she is alive today. By God’s grace, blessing and his influence in guiding the surgeon’s hand, she lives today. My family felt the presence of God through prayers from many churches, schools, work places, family and friends.
In 2004, I co-taught in the small group ministry program of Companions in Christ, here at Broadway Baptist. During those soul searching sessions and rediscovering my faith journey, I found God calling me to be thankful for my music teaching gifts and to open myself for the possibility of continued music ministry after public school teaching. After a second year of teaching Companions, I started receiving invitations to serve as interim music minister at several churches. After 8 years of serving at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church as Director of Music Ministry I decided that it was time to come back home because of my family experiencing God’s grace again: the birth of a grandchild in December 2014. My parents and my wife’s parents have worshipped here at Broadway. I met Sharon here and we were married here at Broadway. Both our children were born, baptized, gave youth sermons and married here at Broadway. And now, the fourth generation of Brown/Lin will be coming soon to Broadway.