It’s a match made in heaven! Students and young married couple are experiencing positive change beginning this summer as God draws from the deep well of talent He has brought to Houston’s First. On Sunday, Aug 9, two men stepped into new leadership roles: Brad Talbert as Minister to Married Young Adults and Derek Nease as Minister to College Students.
Brad Talbert officially began as Minister to Married Young Adults less than a week after he and his wife Laura celebrated their sixth anniversary. “Teaching, encouraging, and edifying couples in the role of marriage as the gift it is—” said Brad, “that’s what I will enjoy about this new assignment God has given me with young married couples.”
Brad’s three-year ministry to college students at Houston’s First was all-encompassing as he served as a Life Bible Study teacher in addition to his ministerial duties. Piper, Brad and Laura’s daughter, was born just as he began working at Houston’s First and Luke was born about midway through their tenure with college students, so they became like extended family to the new parents. “Laura was bawling when we told our students the news of our new responsibilities,” said Brad, “but they made us feel loved and encouraged as we begin a new season of ministry.”
The prospect of equipping lay leaders, helping people gain a deeper understanding of biblical marriage and encouraging them to dig deeply in the Word while depending less on what they are taught — these are the things that excite Brad most about his new ministry role. “We are just trying to figure out how to do God’s will in our lives.”
Derek Nease began his tenure as Preteen Ministry Associate in 2012 and has been serving in the many, many activities and ministries devoted to children at Houston’s First. Derek’s first contact with our church was in 2010 while leading a mission trip for middle- and high school students from his home church in Abilene. His team was assigned to help out in the Faith Center, facilitated by Charlotte Hudson in the Houston’s First Missions office.
A few simple conversations together while in Houston set the stage for a long-term relationship between Derek and Charlotte. The two reconnected again months later and began a five-month dating relationship until Derek moved to Houston in the summer of 2011 to pursue his soon-to-be wife.
A few years earlier Derek had left Hardin-Simmons University to serve at a local church as music interim, and later as a music minister in a small church just outside of Abilene. When Derek came to Houston, he applied for jobs of all kinds to make ends meet while planning for his future with Charlotte. He had not one response. Scotty Sanders, director of the Faith Center, remembered Derek’s heart for ministry and hired him to help with their daycare for low-income families.
Derek and Charlotte were married in October 2011. A meeting with Chad Overton, Minister to Children at Houston’s First, set in motion the job as Preteen Ministry Associate as well as Derek’s reentry into college. Derek is attending Liberty University and is set to graduate next year. Derek and Charlotte Nease welcomed Lydia to their family in December of 2012.
Derek’s focus as Minister to College Students is to raise up leaders. “I hope we can provide a catalyst for students to become leaders on their campuses or in their jobs,” he said. “Building community is also important. We have a relational church and we want to create a family here while they may be apart from their own families.”