For the preaching
of the cross
is to them that perish
but unto us
which are saved
it is the
power of God.
I Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)
Rev. Bradley J. Stevens is the founding pastor of San Antonio Community Church. He has served on the staff of Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida.
Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Pastor Brad grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. His earliest experience in church was in the Assembly of God. It was there that, on the last night of Vacation Bible School, Opal Walker knelt beside him and led him to give his heart to Jesus. He was not finished when Mom & Dad came to pick him up, but they had no problem waiting around that night!
Pastor Brad's family began attending the neighborhood Baptist church a couple of years later, and he was baptized there. During this time, the Stevens family became very active in the church: his parents began teaching Sunday School and became active in working on the church facility; the kids were in every study group or faith activity available. The whole family was beginning to grow in faith to become a center of God's work in them and their circle of friends.
In his early teens, Pastor Brad began teaching Sunday School and leading children's choirs in his home church. Called to Ball Camp Baptist Church in Knoxville as Minister of Youth in his late teens, his eight-years there were blessed, and as he grew in faith, his ministry grew. While at Ball Camp, Pastor Brad married his high school sweetheart, Janet, who has become his right arm in ministry, finished his degree at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and became Minister of Music and Youth for the last three years of his ministry there.
While attending the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he served as Minister of Music for Advent United Methodist Church in Middletown, a church plant that was only three months old when he came on staff. That experience, on top of a three week ministry trip to Southern Baptist mission churches in South Dakota in 1976, sowed the seeds of a vision for church planting. It was a vision that he and Janet came to share as they often spoke privately of the vision that they would one day be used by God to plant a church.
After serving Cason United Methodist Church in Delray Beach, Florida, as Minister of Music, and the First Baptist Church of Dade City, as Minister of Music and Senior Adults, he was asked by the Pasco Baptist Association director of missions to consider planting a church in east Pasco. This occurred with not one mention between them of that long-held vision to plant a church.
After prayer and exploration, the San Antonio community was the clear choice to begin this work, and San Antonio Community Church was born. Visit the Pastor's Page to learn more about the early days of the ministry here.
Pastor Brad's hope for San Antonio Community Church is that we continue to be open to all people and to the work of God in their lives; that we love each other more than ourselves and stay focused on building God's kingdom and not our own; that we shine the light of hope and faith to our community, whoever our community becomes in these years of transition; and that we worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth.
Pastor Brad enjoys art and music; his first three years of college were as an art major, and he designs and makes jewelry now; he plays the piano, organ and violin and composes original works. He loves Janet even more today than when they married in 1977. He also loves "The Princess Bride" and "Law and Order" and Five Guys bacon jalapeno cheeseburgers, but not as much as he loves Janet.