In the fall months of 2006, God through His providence brought together Ms. Fan Zhang and Ian Brown in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Although they were both lost without a saving knowledge of Christ. God would end up saving and calling both of them to His work, shortly after their marriage.
Mrs. Brown's Testimony
Fan called on Christ to save her while attending a Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Wixom, Michigan - During the invitation, The Holy Ghost convicted her of her sin, and showed her clearly that if she had died that day, she would have died in her sin, and spent eternity in Hell. Going forward to the altar, The Pastor's wife showed Fan from The Word of God how that Christ died for sin, and rose again three days later, victorious over death. Fan knelt at an altar, repented of her sin, and called on The Lord to save her soul! On the ride home, she told her curious husband how she felt "Lighter", as if a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. "I remember how everything seemed so fresh, looked so beautiful. Life was new, & I felt like a new person" - It was hard, however, for Fan to grow in The Lord, seeing as she had a lost husband, But God would soon change that...
Since her salvation, Mrs. Brown has been an incredible help to her husband. Anyone who has met her will testify of her sweet spirit, and servant's heart. She has enjoyed helping her Pastor's wife in Michigan yearly in their Ladies Conference, being a Pastor's wife, teaching Sunday School, and discipling young ladies in The Lord and His Ministry.
Pastor Brown's Testimony Ian did not get saved the day his wife did. Although he knew about Jesus Christ, he lacked a relationship with God as his Savior. He could tell you that Jesus died for sin and even felt that he was "good" with The Lord. However, he was lost eternally, and destined for Hell. Shortly after his marriage, Ian's wife, and his brother, Aaron, both gave their lives fully to the Lord. Noticing the difference and the changes that Jesus had made in their lives, he began to secretly question his own life and motives. "I had absolutely no desire to live holy, to read the Bible, to pray, to be close to Jesus... it was all a show"
Although he had a successful career at a local Toyota Dealership, a beautiful wife, and plenty of "toys", he felt absolutely empty inside. Turning to drugs and alcohol to fill this void, he found himself in jail. "Is this what life is all about? God, if you are real, show me truth
" - Over the coming days, The Lord showed Ian how REAL HE IS, and how lost Ian was. In The Livingston County Jail, in Howell, Michigan - after attending a Jail Ministry Church service, Ian knelt at his bunk, knowing he was a sinner, and called out to God to save him. Soon after, he began to read the Bible he was given. Starting in Genesis, he read daily, and began to write letters to family and friends, telling them what Jesus had done and how they, too, could be saved!
When reading in Isaiah, Ian came across Chapter 49:1-4
"...The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God."
Immediately Ian heard, and accepted the call to leave his secular job, sell his "toys" (TV's, 4-Wheelers, etc) and enter the Gospel ministry. After his release and subsequent finish of probation, Ian and Fan moved to Gaylord, Michigan to attend Grace Baptist College, under the ministry of Dr. Jon M. Jenkins.
Today, Ian holds two Bachelor's Degrees. One in Pastoral Theology, and another in Automotive Technology. Ian is currently pursuing his Masters and ultimately his Doctorate in Divinity from S. Indiana Baptist College.
Growing in Grace, and Laboring for The Lord
While attending Grace Baptist College, God opened doors for Ian and Fan to be involved in many ministries. During his time at Grace, Ian labored in the Jail Ministry, where he preached his first sermon and was able to see three trust Christ! He also became the assistant Bus Director of the Grace Baptist Bus Ministry, under the direct supervision of Dr. Jenkins. Ian was an instructor for two years in the Christian School at Grace, teaching high school Bible, and an automotive technology course. Fan loved working with Mrs. Jenkins closely on various projects and still looks up to her Godly influence. Today she is thankful for her friendship.
It was during their time at Grace, that God blessed Ian and Fan with two children, Lydia in 2010, & Declan, just before they moved to North Dakota in 2013.
In Late 2012, God burdened their hearts for The Northeast and its great lack of Biblical Churches. After praying and fasting, God made it clear to them that it was not His will at that time. Soon He opened a door for them to Pastor Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Beulah, North Dakota.
Though their time in North Dakota would be short, it would be fruitful. God blessed their work in Beulah, and the church grew in
both Spiritual Maturity and size. Within months they would break the all time attendance record and see many saved through Biblical Preaching. God then began to burden Pastor Brown for North Dakota's capital city of Bismarck. The Grace Baptist Church of Bismarck, North Dakota had their first services May 31, 2015 Through much prayer, hard work, and God's Grace.
While Pastoring Cornerstone Baptist Church of Beulah, North Dakota, God blessed Pastor and Mrs. Brown with great families and great opportunities. Every Door in Mercer County was knocked at least once. While locally every door in Beulah, and neighboring Hazen were knocked three times with The Gospel. To the Glory of God, The Church has also increased their missions giving greatly!
The Call to Quincy, Massachusetts and Greater Boston
In the fall of 2014, The Lord began to burden Pastor and Mrs. Brown again toward Boston and the Northeast. Countless days were spent fasting and many nights spent awake in prayer between October and February. On March 1st, tired of feeling torn between two places, Pastor Brown set his heart toward finding God's Will. After Twenty-three days of prayer and fasting, on March 23rd, 2015 - God gave clear commandment, a threefold call from three places in Pastor Brown's Daily Bible study:
- Joshua 14:12 - "Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said."
Luke 1:80 - "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel."
- Though Boston is a "Great" and "Hard" City, GOD is able to subdue Mountains, and Giants for HIS Name and Glory
Acts 23:11 - "And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome."
- Our Time until now has been preparing us for this great work. The Lord is fulfilling the call of Isa 49:1-4
- The manner of ministry in which we testified and preached Christ in Gaylord, and Beulah; is the same manner we are to preach Christ in Boston and Quincy, Massachusetts
Sent to Quincy, Massachusetts by a Local Church in Gaylord, Michigan
The Brown Family are sent to Quincy, Massachusetts under the authority of a Local Church, The Grace Baptist Church of Gaylord, Michigan. To learn more about Grace Baptist Church and its Pastor, Dr. Jon Jenkins; check out - www.gracebaptist.us