Sometimes finding your path in life, or at least accepting it, can be a long, twisty road. Such was the case for Josh Brown, the Princeton campus pastor for Bethany Christian Church.
Originally from Mooresville, IN, Josh and wife Hannah moved to Princeton two years ago to plant Bethany’s Princeton campus. Although the church is now located on the downtown square, the plant and Josh’s role in it has been a long time in the making.
A self-proclaimed nontraditional learner, Josh gravitates toward relationship building and is naturally both creative (hello self-taught woodworker!) and musical. He began serving the local church as a kid sharing his musical talents with hopes of a potential career. And for two years, that’s exactly what he did as part of a southern gospel quartet out of Owensboro.
But what he missed in traveling 240 days of the year was the connection to the local church. Road life and popping in and out to perform at various churches didn’t provide the connectivity that Josh felt called to. And that led to a number of occupations – real estate, mortgage lending, and HVAC -- that Josh hoped would allow him to both pay the bills and be part of a local church.
Reality hit one day when a close friend had emergency surgery, but Josh couldn’t leave his job to be there. Recognizing that a large part of ministry is availability, Josh determined then to pursue full time ministry and enrolled in college at age 26.
During his time as a student at Oakland City University, Josh grew comfortable in his additional role as director of residence life and enjoyed campus ministry, but he had to make a decision in his fourth year: continue working for OCU or pursue a church position. That’s when a Facebook message from Bethany Executive Pastor Luke Bean caught his attention…notably a message that had sat unread for several weeks.
That Facebook message led to Josh’s hiring four years ago as the worship pastor for Bethany’s Vincennes campus, but Josh says he’s always had a heart to bring another worship environment to Princeton. As a result, he boldly offered himself up to lead the Princeton campus when the opportunity arose.
And the future looks bright for the future of Bethany Christian Church’s Princeton campus. As we’ve watched building renovations unfold at the corner of State and Main Streets, Josh acknowledges that “this building is just a tool box.” Josh and the entire Bethany staff are “invested in removing barriers to church, making community the point, sharing burdens and walking through life together.” And we couldn’t be more excited to have them joining us on the Princeton Downtown square.
Because their previous location in the Princeton Showplace Cinemas was inaccessible during the week, Josh and his ministry team have been members of the HUB 127 since 2021. The open coworking space has provided exactly what they need for team collaboration and the access to meeting rooms allows for larger staff meetings and classes. And even with the completion of the new building, they remain members today: “It was important for us to keep our membership at the HUB because it’s about relationships – you benefit from one another in some capacity.” Josh acknowledges that building the connection with Hannah Whitehead of Downtown Princeton Inc has been especially valuable, and he appreciates the comradery that he finds at the HUB 127.
We love seeing Josh and the ministry team at the HUB 127. They bring a special dose of positivity as well as a whole lot of humor, and have invited us in through their building renovation and church growth. We are a community at the HUB 127 and the Bethany team is an invaluable part of that.