A Word from Your Crossroads Team: Brandon Sutton is a graduate of Crossroads Bible College. He now serves as the Senior Pastor of Blue Ridge Christian Union Church in Shelbyville. He is also the Executive Director at the Grace House Ministries, a Christ-centered men’s recovery home. Currently, he is pursuing his M.Div. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the husband of Sherrie, father of Emma, and a devoted lover and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Raised to Be a Heathen
I was not raised to be a Christian. I was raised to be a heathen. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a great home with wonderful parents and a loving older brother. We just didn’t go to church. It wasn’t a part of our lives. We were moral people. My father owned his own business. My mother was totally devoted to taking care of our home in every way. But, Christians we were not.
By age 16, I developed and maintained a serious drug addiction. I was incarcerated many times and my life looked utterly hopeless. I barely graduated high school with an impressive GPA of 1.6. By the time I was 21, my love affair with drugs and alcohol earned me several trips to the county jail, a total stay of nearly six months. Practically, my life was hopeless. Theologically, I deserved God’s wrath.
A New Life in Christ!
Why I am telling you all of this in a blog that is supposed to be about my time at Crossroads Bible College? I am telling you these things because it is an absolute miracle that God saved me. Like Paul, I am the worst sinner you will ever meet (1 Timothy 1:15). What’s even more amazing is that God not only saved me, He has given me a completely new life as a pastor, husband, father, preacher of the gospel, and leader of men.
And none of this would have been possible if it were not for Crossroads Bible College.
My First Visit
My time at Crossroads began in the spring of 2010. I had not been in school since I drank myself out of Vincennes University after one semester in 2004. So, needless to say, I was a bit nervous.
I will never forget my first visit. I met with Marcus Schrader. When we sat down in his office, his first question to me was: “What kind of degree course are you interested in?”
I had no clue. All I knew, and what I told him was, “I need to pursue a degree that will equip to me fulfill God’s calling on my life.” So, he signed me up for a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership and Ministry. It was a good choice. It was broad enough to expose me to a wide range of topics but focused enough that I did not lose track of what I intended to do once I graduated.
My First Class
My first class set the tempo for my entire time at Crossroads. The professor was Jim Brandyberry, a wonderful teacher and good man. The course was Understanding and Applying the Bible. I remember all of this vividly because I had just gotten married, and I was literally doing homework for my first night of class while on the plain traveling to Hawaii for my honeymoon. I prepared diligently for the first night because I was nervous. I had never taken school seriously, let alone college. I read the books, did the work, and participated in class.
When I got my first paper back, I was excited to the see the outcome. It was a C! I was really disappointed. I wanted a good start in my college career. This wasn’t it. But I continued to work hard. By the end of the course, I submitted my work, attended all the classes, and hoped for a good grade. I expected a C, maybe a B at best. To my surprise when I got my final grade, I had earned an A. I say all of this because this gave me the confidence I needed. I became convinced that if I worked hard and stayed determined, I could really benefit from my experience at Crossroads. I believed I could get an A in every course.
Boasting Only in the Lord
And that’s what I did. From that point on, I studied endlessly. I gave myself to the work and by the time I was ready to graduate in the spring of 2013, I did so as the Valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA. This is a far cry from a 1.6 GPA in high school. I don’t say this boastfully, except in the Lord. Keep in mind, I was a lowly addict, a typical failure.
God saved me and Crossroads Bible College inspired me to become who I am today.
During my time there, I gained the confidence that if I worked diligently for the Lord, it would pay off. I am very grateful for my time at CBC.
In addition to all of this, I met friends that I still talk to and cherish today. In fact, the associate pastor at my church, Theron St. John, is a CBC graduate. As we pastor the people of God, there is no doubt in my mind that our time at CBC is still flowing through our ministry and benefiting the church.
Crossroads—For Those Called to Serve the Church
The most important thing I took away from Crossroads is the foundation it laid. Had it not been for my time at Crossroads, I would not have been able to apply for and secure my job as a pastor or begin my M.Div. studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I thank God for Crossroads Bible College and commend it to any serious student of God’s Word and minister that has been called to serve the church.