7210 Lisbon Street, San Diego
Pastor: Brian Henderson
Born: Pewaukee, WI
Formation: University of Wisconsin-Waukesha; law-enforcement patrolman, U.S. Army; Officer, U.S. Border Patrol; American Bible College and Seminary, Bethany, OK; Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Seminary: Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology Distant Learning Program, St. Louis, MO.
Years Ordained: 8
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite sermon on which to preach?
Pastor Brian Henderson: Justification. God’s declaration of righteousness over the sinner that’s received simply because he says so by faith and it comes through his son Jesus Christ in no other way. That’s what we need to hear after a week of being beaten up by the world, by our bad choices, I need to hear that God still loves me and hasn’t given up on me.
SDR: Why Lutheran?
PB: When my grandfather died, I was ten years old. He was friends with the local Lutheran pastor in Pewaukee. My grandfather told my grandmother, and we didn’t know this until we were older, that if he ever died, he wanted her to take the family and join the Lutheran church up the street. My grandmother asked him why we couldn’t stay Baptist. He told her that while he loved the Baptist Church, the Lutherans have the best doctrine and best teaching. I didn’t know any of this until I was in my 20s, when my grandmother told me. That always stuck with me. I have great memories of my Baptist background — so I would never speak badly of them. But that’s what my grandfather said and it’s what brought me to the Lutheran Church from a very young age, and, honestly, it’s why I stayed Lutheran because of the theology and the doctrine. It keeps Christ central and the cross is everything.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PB: To equip the saints to reach the lost through Jesus Christ. Mine is first a teaching ministry — and equipping ministry. So the Church together reaches our community; and I think we do an excellent job at that with all our ministries. We have a food pantry we support through our church and other area churches which believe in what we do. Once a month we give the poor a week’s worth of groceries and we gave out seven tons of food last year for free. Then we have a senior breakfast we have Monday through Friday. And that’s free, too. We have a Bible study every Wednesday and the Jesus Jazz Café every other Friday evening, where we have open mic and musicians get together. We even have a professional recording studio on campus — and not many people know that. Anyone who wants to record, the studio is primarily for Christian groups — although we also welcome non-Christian groups as long as it’s a wholesome message in the music. No profanity or violence toward or talking down of women.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: I go to be with the Lord….Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. But God doesn’t desire that we should perish, but all should have everlasting life, that we should all be in heaven. But he also tells us that the way through his son, Jesus Christ, is the narrow way. I believe there is a place that sinners desire to be all alone. Scripture said there is only one unforgiveable sin — blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the constant and continual rejection of God’s love through Christ.