Brian Sumner is a City Pastor at Branches Church in Huntington Beach, California.
Born in Liverpool England, but transplanted to America at age 15 to become a Professional Skateboarder where he traveled the world riding for Tony Hawks Birdhouse, along with Adio, Volcom, Analog, Independent and the likes.
A street skater at heart, he followed in the footsteps of hometown hero Geoff Rowley while room mates to Andrew Reynolds, Jim Greco and Ali Boulala. Brian soon established himself as a main stay in skateboard culture, jumping down stairs, rails and gaps.
In 1999 Brian was married and soon he and his wife were expecting their first child Dakota. Over the course of the next few years Brian’s life and marriage faced a lot of challenges ultimately ending in divorce, with his feeling depressed and even over living.
Through a year of separation from his wife Brian got into trouble requiring anger management, and ended up doing community service at a Christian thrift store.
Having made it to America, making the most of his career, and now facing such challenges, he was not happy with where things were, and so he decided to challenge God, whatever that means, and search for truth. After many months of study, challenging people of different faiths, and pursuing truth as best he could, he had a life changing experience leading to his becoming a Christian in 2004.
“I was going to God to fix my life but He was dealing with me about my sin, about the world I was born into and about why He sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins and offer His forgiveness. That night I cried out to God to be forgiven, repenting as I understood for the first time that Jesus is Lord, and that I would get baptized, use my skateboarding for Him and even re-marry my ex-wife.”
Brian had an encounter that night in prayer and his life has never been the same. Today he is re-married to Tracy, and they now have two additional children together. Soon after becoming a Christian Brian began to share his conversion story, which soon led to him traveling the world, only this time to proclaim the good news.
Today Brian’s time is spent Pastoring, helping with Outreach and Evangelism to the City, as part of the “teaching team”and also using his marriage story to encourage and counsel other couples. He still travels, leading up missions trips and connecting with ministries to do outreaches, preach and teach at churches, conferences or festivals, based around The Bible, his story, marriage and more.
Brian has also been part of many amazing projects such as the “I Am Second” video testimony series, Billy Grahams “My Hope”, the “Hardflip” movie, and “Foolishness” the SkateBible movie which Brian co-produced, wrote, and directed that went on to win “best Evangelistic film of 2013″. Also in 2015 Brian published his first book, “Never Fails” a 30-day marriage devotional.
Born: Liverpool, England
Skating: Started skating at 13 years of age after watching Police Academy 4.
Ministry: We are all called to ministry, and it begins with God, then to our spouse, kids, the local church, and on into the world. Through the years I spent skating and traveling the world I saw many things that led people to all kinds of struggles. Coming to faith in 2004, the mission began as Christ called me to walk with Him, and sent all who hear His voice on into the world to lift Him up.
Music: Colossians 1:16 tells us that “All things were created through Him and for Him.” Music then, was created for worshipping God. Passion, Josh Harmony, Dominick Balli, Phil Wickham, Keith Green, Leeland, Johnny Cash, Josh Garells, Hillsong.
Hobbies: We’ve got a Mission! Ephesians 2:10. Family, friends, Jiu Jitsu, surfing, music, art.
Influences & Heroes: Jesus, He never quit, didn’t tap, was more punk and wasn’t ashamed of you and I. My dad has always been a hero of mine too. Verses: Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Read: Bible, Don’t Waste Your Life, Mere Christianity, The Case for Christ, More than a Carpenter, Knowing God, Real Marriage, The Measure Of A Man, Doctrine, A Call To Resurgence, Spiritual Leadership, Why Revival Tarries.
Future: He first said in Matthew 4:19 “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”, and before He ascended He gave us The Great Commission, not suggestion, in saying, Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jeremiah 10:23 “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” Been working on lots of media projects, films and with different ministries lately. Books.
Thanks: The Lord, my wife and best friend Tracy, family, friends, the Body, Branches Church HB, those who come alongside in prayer and support making this possible and sponsors.
Last Words: John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
For more information see check out the “Testimony” page.