Landin Brown is a graduate student at East Texas Baptist University, where he is an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is the captain of the men’s basketball team. As team captain, Brown strives to uplift his teammates spiritually on and off the court. He also is an active member of Greater Macedonia Baptist Church.
From deep in the heart of one Texan, Brown shares his background and thoughts on being a follower of Christ in the community. To suggest a Texas Baptist community leader to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
Where else have you led in the community, and what was your role there?
I have served as a volunteer and youth leader at the Boys and Girls Club of Marshall, as well as Marshall Junior High School. I also have had the pleasure to share my spiritual gift as a youth leader at Camp Fuego, a summer camp designed to create a peaceful yet eventful experience for youth through spiritual principles.
Where did you grow up?
I was raised in Houston.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
Although I was raised in the church and with a strong spiritual foundation, my faith became even stronger when one of my good friends and teammates encouraged me to focus on my spiritual gifts and utilize them to help bring others to Christ. As I dove deeper into the word of God, I grew closer to Christ and discovered my spiritual purpose, which I believe is to lead others to Christ by sharing my spiritual journey and actively serving as a positive force in my community.
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
I am a magna cum laude graduate of East Texas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education, emphasis in kinesiology.
I am pursuing a master’s degree in Christian ministry.
About community life
What is your sense of calling to be a Christian engaged in the community?
My calling is to empower youth by helping them to recognize and comprehend the importance of establishing a firm spiritual foundation. I am dedicated to helping youth find their spiritual gifts and utilize them to help others recognize the greatness of Christ.
How does being a Christian influence your decisions?
Being a Christian is who I am. My entire life is based upon spiritual principles and my overall spiritual foundation. I involve Christ in every aspect of my life, as he is the reason for my entire existence.
What do you love about your community? Why?
I love the diversity of the people, as it is my belief that embracing the people in the community is the first step to bringing people to Christ.
How has your community changed?
My community constantly is changing and developing. People are open to learn about the power and the greatness of Christ by working together for the greater good of the overall community.
How do you expect your community to change in the next 10 to 20 years?
I anticipate my community will continue to develop and expand in ways that contribute to the greater good of the world by demonstrating Christian principles.
Name the three most significant challenges and/or influences facing your community.
One of the biggest issues that exists, not only in my community but in society, is one’s desire to fit in. This is a major challenge, as one must gain a connection with Christ, because only then will one recognize the only acceptance that holds value is the acceptance of Christ. Through Christ, one learns to discover, appreciate and share their spiritual gifts with others in the community.
Another challenge is the element of judgment. Too many times, I have encountered individuals who wanted to attend church or Christian-related events but were discouraged due to their appearance or lack of spiritual knowledge. For this reason, I think it’s important that communities work together to make everyone feel welcome and accepted in the house of the Lord.
I am a young man who once struggled with low self-esteem. I didn’t always have a great deal of self-confidence and felt I lacked those elements that made others great. However, over time, I grew closer to God, and he revealed to me that every element I believed I lacked was right there inside of me and in abundance.
Through Christ, I learned even doubt and a low self-esteem was nonexistent, as Christ helped me to discover my strengths and focus on the positives. I began to believe in myself and recognize Christ is great, and every being created by him also is great. When I learned to lean on Christ and Christ alone, I discovered my strength.
Why are you Baptist?
I was raised Baptist. However, as I transitioned into adulthood, I began to appreciate the deep-rooted values of Baptist churches. I admire the principles and practices exercised in the Baptist church.
Baptists perform baptism ceremonies only after a person has professed Christ as their Savior. Baptism symbolizes the cleansing of sins. This is a powerful experience, as one truly must understand and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and believe he died for our sins. The Baptist faith is all about discovering and embracing spiritual truths.
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
• Malik Black, a peer mentor, helped me recognize the power of Christ and his impact on my life.
• Brad Austin, my Amateur Athletic Union coach, encouraged me never to give up and always to strive for greatness.
• Coach Ament, my high school basketball coach, pushed me to live up to my greatest potential.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
Faith without action is dead, because you’re not using your faith in God to do his work. When following God, he may ask you to do something you don’t want to do, but we must be obedient to him and follow his commands. Faith plays a big part in this, but we also must be willing to go out in the world and follow God’s purpose and sacrifice what we want to do.
Following God doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy. It’s going to require some faith and action that lines up with God’s will.
There are a lot of people in this world who believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in him but are not living for him. When you’re living for Christ, you put away your own desires and follow what the Lord wants.
Saying I have faith in Jesus Christ means I am actively seeking him, diving into his word, letting the Spirit use me and bringing people to Jesus. I am not just doing what I want to do and saying I have faith in him. I am pursuing him, building a relationship with him and actually following his commands.
James 2:14-26 shows me that having faith in Jesus Christ is not just believing he died on the cross for our sins but actually is living for him, putting away everything I want and desire and sacrificing it for a God who is bigger than everything in this world.
I pray Jesus Christ will use me how he wants to use me, put me where he wants me to be. I am willing to go wherever he desires. My doubts, fears, anxiety and struggles have nothing over him. He has overcome the world and everything in it. I have faith in you, Lord!
Who is your favorite Bible character, other than Jesus? Why?
Noah, because he utilized his talents and physical strengths to develop a shelter after listening to God’s word. This is important, as it reveals when we listen to God, he can guide us through any storm.
Name something about you that would surprise people who know you well.
In elementary and middle school, I constantly was in trouble for misbehaving. This always is shocking to those I have encountered in my adult life, as they often consider me well-mannered and reserved. Praise God for growth and maturity.