By John Fulton
Brian Robbins has joined the pastoral staff of Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene as its youth pastor. Robbins and wife Ashley moved to Vicksburg in June with their three children, Caleb, Grace and Cora.
Robbins grew up in Vicksburg, attending school here from kindergarten through high school. He was in the youth group at ChapNaz, played drums in the youth praise band, taught 2nd grade Sunday school, volunteered for Bible School and had an active role in all church activities.
His local involvement didn’t stop there. He was in the Vicksburg High marching band drumline and jazz band, ran track and played several other sports. He was a member of the National Honor Society, graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was homecoming king in the fall of 2003. His parents are Rob and Sherry Robbins. They have lived in Vicksburg for 27 years.
Robbins moved to Illinois where he attended Olivet Nazarene University and graduated in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Robbins has had a minister’s license since 2014 and is currently in the process of being ordained. At the university he ran track all four years and graduated summa cum laude. Upon graduation, Robbins accepted a position in the Office of Admissions at Olivet. While working there, he obtained a masters of business administration in 2013. He remained employed there until September, when he commuted for a short time before starting at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene in October.
Robbins said, “I was about half way through my masters’ program when I started feeling business was not where I was supposed to be in my career. I was involved in youth ministry and felt that was where God was calling me to be.”
During his 10-year tenure at Olivet Nazarene, he was the College Age Pastor at College Church in Illinois. The church is on the campus of ONU but is not part of the school. After that, he was the lead pastor at St. Joseph First Church of the Nazarene while still employed at ONU. Robbins explained, “Co-vocational is when a pastor is employed in a secular field and is also employed by a church.”
His wife, Ashley, was born in Ohio. Her family moved to Michigan when she was in the 5th grade. Her parents are David and Kelly Downs. She graduated from VHS in 2004. She attended Olivet Nazarene University and graduated in 2008, then went on to obtain her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois, graduating in December 2009. The couple married in 2007. Growing up, Ashley was very involved in the youth group at ChapNaz and also very active at VHS, playing tennis, a member of the Student Senate and National Honor Society. She is currently the Mothers of Preschoolers coordinator at ChapNaz.
Robbins concluded by saying, “I am excited to be serving back in the community I grew up in and love.”