To what do you intend to give your life?
It was the question Brannon Hancock remembers reading at the bottom of one of his papers in Dr. Steve Hoskins’ Intro to Christian Thought class during Hancock’s freshman year at Trevecca. Hancock, who dreamed of being a Christian rock star at the time—and was well on his way with a record deal in place—never quite forgot the question or the conversation.
“While I didn’t change paths right away—indeed, I left school for a time, toured heavily for a couple years, made a second album—I see this moment as pivotal in my own life trajectory,” Brannon said, “toward a deeper commitment to serving the church as a pastor and now as an educator as well, training pastors to lead the church in the work of ministry.”
Hancock, a 2002 graduate of Trevecca, currently serves as an associate professor of practical theology and worship at Wesley Seminary in Marion, Ind. He and his wife, Gloria, also a Trevecca grad (’02) continue to serve together to raise their children, build the church and minister in their community.
The couple met during freshmen orientation at Trevecca but didn’t start dating until late in their college careers, marrying in 2001. Gloria graduated with a bachelor’s in music with a minor in music business, which helped hone skills she uses today when leading worship at Marion’s First Church of the Nazarene.
After graduation, Brannon wanted to find a way to combine his love of theology, literature, music and the arts, a desire that led the couple to Scotland, where Brannon completed two degrees—including a doctorate—at the University of Glasgow, and Gloria took classes at Nazarene Theological College in Manchester, UK.
“[The University of Glasgow] has a special research center for the study of literature, theology and the arts, so my English and music background at Trevecca kind of combined with this sense of calling into ministry,” Brannon said. “I decided I wanted to continue my studies, but I was going back and forth between going to seminary because I wanted to study theology, but I also wanted to continue studying literature. So this interdisciplinary program was really attractive.”
After Brannon completed his master’s degree, the couple spent four years in Glasgow as he started working on his doctorate, which he completed in 2010. Their first child, Andrew, was born there. In 2007, the Hancocks moved home to the United States. Brannon took his first full-time ministry position, as the worship pastor at Xenia Church of the Nazarene in Xenia, Ohio.
In 2014, the Hancocks—now a family of five—moved to Marion, Ind. Today, both Brannon and Gloria work at Wesley Seminary—Brannon as a professor and Gloria as a department assistant—and serve their church through the worship ministry.
“The Lord has just given us a heart for being a part of whatever community we find ourselves in and find ways to make a difference in our neighborhood, our church or just whatever we’re doing,” Brannon said.
The couple is also passionate about serving the community. Earlier this year, Gloria and a partner started In A Pinch Inc., a nonprofit aimed at supporting foster parents and children.
“In A Pinch, Inc., puts together kits of necessities for foster kids and parents, especially for those emergency placements where no one is prepared on either side of that equation and there are a lot of immediate needs that need to be met,” Gloria explained. “We really felt like God blew the doors off every step of the way as we were starting conversations and beginning the process to get started.”
While the nonprofit may still be in the beginning stages, but Gloria knows the need is real. In Grant County, Ind., where the Hancocks live, Gloria estimates that there are hundreds of emergency placements each week. When trying to get a sense of the needs in their community, Gloria and her friend discovered that it was much greater than expected.
In early September, In A Pinch, Inc., moved into a new space, giving Gloria and her partner a place to store supplies and assemble kits.
“I feel like God always has a call out to his children and we fulfill that in different ways at different times in our lives,” Gloria said. “Worship ministry has always part of my calling, but I have also always felt very strongly about getting involved in the community. The Lord has deepened that desire in me … and I feel like the Lord was absolutely in the midst of our starting this non-profit.”
From Trevecca to Glasgow, Scotland, and beyond, Brannon and Gloria’s journey has been one of learning to say yes to God’s call on their lives. It’s something they say God began to shape in their lives while students at Trevecca.
“Trevecca was part of an ongoing process in our lives of just learning to say yes to whatever the Lords wants us to do,” Brannon said. “Trevecca was a pivotal time in both of our lives in learning to operate in faith, saying yes to the Lord’s will and trusting Him.”