A Church from the Ashes

By Kelsie Beers, Class of 2016

Brett's musical talent earned him a featured role in ORU Theater's production of 'Hello, Dolly.'
Brett's musical talent earned him a featured role in ORU Theater's production of "Hello, Dolly."

His great-grandfather and his grandfather were pastors, and Brett Heide knows he is called to take up the mantle of ministry that they began.

A freshman at Oral Roberts University this year, Brett is a person of many talents. He's studying theology and church history, minoring in music, sings with ORU's Chamber Singers, and one day plans to serve the country in a political aspect.

Although he has been a part of several missions trips in the past, Brett knows he isn't called to long-term missions. Instead, he wants to strengthen and train up the churches in America, providing a better foundation for those who are going into the entire world. "We were a nation simply for the freedom to experience the Holy Spirit," Brett explains, "and if we can return to that, we can get the gospel to all nations as it was intended to be."

ORU, he believes, will provide him with the training he needs to accomplish his goals. When he was searching for a school, he had it narrowed down to ORU or Evangel University; the latter had offered him substantial music scholarships. Although ORU was his first choice, he had to take finances into consideration. His pastor nominated him for a Quest Whole Person Scholarship, but the sheer number of candidates convinced him that his chances were slim.

On Feb. 20, 2012, he visited Evangel. On Feb. 21, he prayed that God would make the right decision clear and obvious to him. And on Feb. 22, he received a phone call from ORU letting him know he had won a full scholarship.

ORU is important to him because of its strong standing in both the church and in academia. If ORU's mission is to create whole people, it is, itself, a whole school. "This place is anointed to teach to the mind, body, and spirit. There is no university that compares," Brett says. In his opinion, ORU will give him the ability to go into the world as both a scholar and a strong Christian. More than just a Christian education to back him as a future pastor, he wants to be intelligent and ready for the challenges he will face.

Brett's mission, as he sees it, is to help repair the damage that Christians have done to one another. The church, he points out, cannot be ready as the bride of Christ until she sees herself as one body with many members instead of being divided. This is why he wants to plant a church modeled after the church in Acts 2. "I believe that the message of the next revival will be that of grace," he says.

While he considers the church to be broken and crumbling in many ways, Brett is undaunted. Interestingly enough, his last name, Heide, comes from a German word that, loosely translated, means "from the ashes" -- reminiscent of the verse in Isaiah (61:3) that says God will restore to Israel beauty for her ashes. Brett doesn't want to start a new denomination, but hopes instead to take the fractured relationships within the church as a whole and help mend them. ORU provides him the practical opportunity to follow through on his ambitions. That's why the Quest Whole Person Scholarship is important to him -- more than just rewarding academics, athletics, talent, or performance, it allows ambitions to become reality.