Brent & Julie Blaise were both born and raised in Missouri. While they have had the privilege of ministering on various mission fields around the world, it was here that they both came to trust Jesus Christ as Savior as college students, and it was here that God placed the burden on their hearts to serve Him in full time ministry.
If you were to ask the Blaises what life-changing event(s) led to the ministry God has entrusted to them today, the answer would be surprisingly simple… almost anticlimactic: discipleship. As young parents, both Brent & Julie began taking discipleship classes through their local church, and a passion for knowing God was awakened in their hearts. They took every class that was offered, devoured everything they could get their hands on, and when there were no more classes to be taken, they began discipling others. This became the passion of their lives and the focus of their ministry.
For several years the Blaises served as Junior High teachers and youth leaders in their local church. Soon they were working in detention centers, sharing the Gospel and teaching devotional thoughts with little league teams, and using their printing business to produce materials for missions projects around the world.
In 2008, God placed a burden on Brent’s heart to commit to full time ministry, and Julie gladly followed. They closed the doors to their printing company, packed up everything they owned, and moved to the Pacific Northwest, where they served on church staff and ran a Scripture Printing ministry. During this time Brent started an outreach ministry to the juvenile detention center, taught the Junior boys class, taught a Bible class in the Christian school, and led a Singles class, and Julie ministered at the local nursing home through a weekly Bible study and in-home visits and care, taught in the Masterclub children’s program, and worked behind the scenes cleaning the church building.
In March of 2012 Brent, Julie, and their two youngest children — Cailey, and Cord — traveled to Uganda, Africa where they took the place of a missionary family on furlough in the States. God used their eight months on the field to stretch and grow them to new levels of ministry, and it was during this time that God solidified the call in Brent’s heart to pastor a church.
You don’t have to be around the Blaises very long to realize that they don’t think they are anything special. Instead of seeing themselves as an ornate chandelier in a grand foyer, they would see themselves as a simple back hall light. They are servants who are blown away that God has chosen to use them in this capacity. And we at Grace & Truth are privileged to serve alongside them and call them our Pastor and Pastor’s wife! (Matthew 23:11 & 12)
Brent & Julie have been married for 28 years. They have four wonderful children who are loving and serving God with their lives:
Code and his wife Anna serve as youth leaders in Florida. They met as teenagers in the youth group Brent & Julie led, and God has specially equipped them with a love for Him and a burden and passion for youth. They have an adorable little girl, Josanna, plus another little one on the way!
Cole is an extremely talented videographer who uses his abilities to help his local church as well as other missionaries and churches (ourselves included!). Cole’s joy is contagious! You can always tell where he is in the building if you pause and listen for the laughter.
Cailey (the one and only girl) is a vibrant Christian young lady who has her mamma’s joyful Christian spirit and a willingness to serve anywhere and everywhere — just point her to the need! Like her older brother, she fills the halls with laughter and leaves everyone around her with a smile.
Cord (the not-so-little baby of the family), has been an instrumental part of the renovations on the church building, from installing windows to hanging sheet rock, and even putting up a chandelier or two! Cord plays the cello and leads the congregational music for our prayer meetings, and if you take the time to notice, you’ll find him in the background (like his mamma) serving with a smile.
Together, the Blaise family is an all-around encouragement to be with. They share an enthusiasm and passion for God that is contagious, and we are blessed beyond measure to serve with this family!
“After spending eight months in Uganda on an extended missions trip, we returned to Missouri to spend time with family and friends. But along with the joy of reuniting with loved ones came the grief of learning that while we were away, the only independent Bible-believing and teaching Baptist church in Pleasant Hill had closed their doors. For years, the building sat vacant and was in terrible disrepair. The news of this tragedy and the subsequent reproach the building had become on the community grieved my heart terribly, and for weeks the words of Nehemiah echoed through my heart and mind. “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left… are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:3 & 4)
As Julie and I continued in prayer, God impressed a clear calling upon my heart. I had been praying for this community and ministry for years, and now God was answering those prayers by sending us back to Pleasant Hill. We did not have the first clue as to how to start the work. There were no funds — no savings to draw from — no backup plan — just a clear leading and a subsequent step of faith.
While this burden was fresh on our hearts, we were introduced to Pastor Randall Moody of Wilson Creek Baptist Church in Springfield, and a partnership in ministry was born. Through their ministry, New Testament Church Planting, they graciously took us on and helped us begin the work of re-building the building and planting a church in Pleasant Hill. I cannot begin to express the incredible ways this ministry has impacted our church plant. They have been instrumental in helping provide the materials and even skilled laborers to bring the old church building back to life!”