Hi, I'm Will
Welcome. If you’re like me, you want to attempt something so great with your life that it will fail if not for God. You want the gospel to influence your work, your relationships, and your home. If that's you, you've come to the right place. I pastor the Journey Church (which I planted 10 years ago) and write.
Will grew up in Barnwell, South Carolina. His father, Wayne, is a crop farmer and a self-made man who borrowed money from his mother to buy his first tractor. Will grew up living the typical small-town American life --playing sports and working on his father's farm, which ballooned to as much as 1,400 acres in Barnwell and Allendale Counties. His mother, Brenda, taught for 33 years as an elementary school teacher. Will is the baby of his family and has one beautiful sister, Shanda. Shanda, along with her husband & daughter live in Evans, Georgia.
In 1995, Will graduated from Barnwell High School and left to study Human Resource Management at Georgia Southern University. There he earned his Bachelors of Administration. Raised as a church-going Presbyterian, he somehow arrived in Statesboro, Georgia as an unconverted, yet moral young man. Will joined Sigma Nu fraternity where he was named Man of the Year, Athlete of the Year, Rush Chairman, Chaplin, and Vice Commander. Most importantly, Will established a friendship with one of his fraternity brothers, Phil Mullinax. Under Phil's leadership and the care of Campus Outreach Ministry, Will surrender his life to Jesus becoming a born-again Christian on January 31, 1996 in his dorm room. Subsequently, Will was baptized at First Baptist Church of Statesboro, GA by his college minister, Stewart Moody.
In 1995, while attending Georgia Southern University, Will met the love of his life Tarah Toy. Tarah a spunky, young woman from Miami who loved to play sports with the guys, met Will on a volleyball court near Will's dorm. A friendship grew into a beautiful relationship and these two lovebirds were married on October 9, 1999. The big-city girl from Miami and the farm-boy from smalltown U.S.A. set out to start a life together. Initially, Will felt God's call on his life was to be christian businessman so they started their life together in Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta, Will attended a worship service for young adults. It was on a Tuesday night at Northpointe Community Church attending a ministry named 7:22 where Will surrendered to God's call to ministry. There in Alpharetta, Georgia the Lord spoke to Will saying, "I want you to spend the rest of your life seeing your generation come to worship me."
With no theological education and little-to-no ministry experience this young couple gave themselves to finding a place of ministry. Will was given his first ministry opportunity as the Youth, Children, & Activities Minister at First Baptist Church, Williston, SC. Will and Tarah were able to see God's hand in their ministry calling, witnessing the student ministry grow at FBC-Williston. Will could not shake the feeling that he needed to take seriously theological education, so the couple moved to Louisville, Kentucky and Will began to study at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While in Kentucky, Will was hired as a Youth & Young Adults Minister at First Baptist Church, Mount Washington, KY. Once again, the couple was able to witness God grow the ministry in their care.
While in Kentucky, Will completed his Masters of Divinity at SBTS in Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth with an emphasis in Church Planting. It was during this time, and his time in Williston, where Will and Tarah became close friends with Clay and Erin Jernigan. These two couples heard the call from God to be church planters. In March of 2007 twelve adults and their children moved from Kentucky to Summerville, SC to plant the Journey Church. While planting the Journey Church, Will continued his doctoral studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary completing a Doctorate in Ministry in Great Commission Studies.
It may be an understatement to say 2006 was a year of transition for the Browning family. Not only were the Browning's putting the final touches on the plans for the church plant, but they also added three kids to their family in a matter of 5 months. In June of 2006, Jedidiah was born and then in November of the same year, Piper (then 6) and Ethan (then 4) were adopted from the Ukraine. Not only was a family blooming, but a church plant was blooming as well.
After several months of planning, praying, and serving Journey Church was off the ground. On September 30, 2007 the Journey Church had its first worship service. Over the course of the next several years the church grew from a dozen people in the Browning's living room to a thriving, church planting church. Journey now hosts around 1,000 people each Sunday, deploying all of its people as missionaries across the Charleston Metro area. Journey has planted seven churches in its first 13 years of existence and has trained dozens more church planters through its church planting coaching center.
Ministry has afforded Will so many opportunities. He has served as a short-term missionary in Bolivia, El Salvador, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Honduras, and Canada, mostly teaching and training indigenous church leaders. Since 2009 Will has written for the Azalea Magazine as their Faith Editor and columnist for the Palmetto Magazine. Will serves an adjunct professor at Charleston Southern University and has served his denomination (SBC) in various leadership capacities.