Brian Weaver

"But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth."
(Psalm 86:15)

Posters of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller join spectacular sepia toned pictures of WWII airplanes on the walls of Pastor Brian Weaver’s office. Bookshelves adorned with pictures of his wife and children all inform his passion for family, music, and flying. But this limited perception is wiped away on any given Sunday morning at CCO, as Brian begins to strum his guitar and lead the congregation into the throne room of grace in worship of the Creator God who saves. As anyone who knows him will tell you, Brian’s first and abiding passion is his love for Jesus, the One who saved him from a life of dissipation and certain destruction.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1961, Brian’s early life in the country offered great fun. Along with his twin brother Jeff and sister Michelle, they built forts by the nearby creek, played baseball, hockey, and kick the can, and flew model airplanes.

Church attendance was a sporadic affair, occasioned by special events such as Christmas and Easter. Brian’s paternal grandmother was the only one in the family who ever spoke of God, but they were empty words lacking the reality of relationship.

Then, everything changed as Brian’s father was diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder). His dad would not stay in the hospital or get the help he needed and the marriage suffered.  Brian’s mother divorced her husband in 1974 and moved the family to Naples, Florida, close to her brother. But a disaster was coming that would destroy the growing peace of the family: the uncle, who had months before taken Brian under his wing, died in a work-related accident. Then, just before Christmas, close upon the heels of his uncle’s death, the family was once again overwhelmed by grief: his father had committed suicide. Crushing shame and embarrassment overpowered Brian; for years after when asked about his father’s death, he recounts the story of a heart attack. The stigma attached to his father’s mental illness and suicide would bring nothing but derision and taunting from neighborhood kids if the truth were told. A life of secrecy and lies was building anguish in a young man’s heart.

Life went on. Brian’s maternal grandmother had a relationship with Jesus and was a member of a nearby Baptist church, so the whole family began to attend. Then his mother received Christ as Savior, a sliver of light in the darkness.

During his high school years, Brian began to drink, and his alcohol use became another shameful secret to keep. Brian does not make the excuse that he drank because of the pain in his life. Instead, he admits, “It was just what I ended up doing.”

At about this time he and Jeff, encouraged by their mother, joined the school choir and Brian realized his love of music. He and Jeff became leaders in the choir as lowly sophomores. The choir leader, recognizing Brian’s talent, encouraged him to develop his gifts. He was honored to be chosen for the All-Florida High School Choir as a tenor. These were hard years, however. His dual existence was tearing at him as he heard the Lord calling him to Himself. By day, he wore the veneer of a hard-working, talented student, but by night off came the mask of respectability and the degradation of intoxication ruled. Finally, at 17 he accepted the gift of salvation but kept drinking.

After graduating in 1979, the boys moved to California. Brian drifted along with no clear path and continued a life of dissipation.
In 1983, Brian began a job with a telecommunications company. As he would tell it, there he met the greatest blessing of his life, his wife Kelly. Several years later, they married and began attending CCO. Brian continued to drink behind the scenes, hiding beer in the garage so Kelly would not discover how much he was actually ingesting. God was still wooing Brian, but he was resistant. The battle continued for several years. When Brian was asked to join the worship team at CCO, the Lord’s work intensified in Brian’s spirit. God was speaking loudly, impressing upon Brian that He had so much more for him, if he would only repent. Finally, one day in company with a dear friend, his heart broke and sobs convulsed him. Total repentance began the process by which God opened Brian’s heart and then his mouth to confess his sin and be restored from the years eaten by locusts. God was cleansing him of all the secrets that had been eating his very soul all those long years of inner torment. Today Brian’s life shines as a testimony to God’s loving grace and enduring patience.

Brian joined the staff of CCO in 1998; he currently oversees all the aspects of music ministry at the church. Come join us on a Sunday morning as we, along with Brian and the team, worship before the throne of Grace!