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February 21st, 2014

Get to Know Your Minister: Roger Severino

Name: Roger Severino
Title: Adult Discipleship – Leadership Minister
Ministry: Discipleship

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Brazil, but grew up in Nashville because my father taught Portuguese at Vanderbilt University.

Where were you educated?
I went to Vanderbilt and got my degree in Economics. I later went to seminary at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois where I got my M.Div. I'm currently pursuing my Doctor of MInistry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.

What's your personal testimony?
I didn't grow up going to church, but I was exposed to the Christian faith through various people, including a neighbor who invited me to church through the bus ministry at Park Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville. I came to faith through that church and got involved in a dynamic youth ministry there led by the Pastor David Busby. The seeds of a passion for discipleship were planted in my heart through some of those early experiences as others invested in me and my family. I experienced what it was like to live in a community of faith.

What's your significant other's name?
Mary Anne (Marshall) Severino, whom I met at Vanderbilt and married in 1989. We celebrate our 25th anniversary this year.

Do you have children? If so, how many and what are their names?
I have a son, Stephen, in college at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. I have a daughter, Kelly, graduating from Brentwood High School this year. And I have a son, Jake, who's in 7th grade at Brentwood Middle School.

What's your philosophy or heartbeat for ministry?
It comes from Ephesians 4:11-12, which tells us that God raises up certain leaders in the church to "equip the saints (believers) for the work of ministry." My passion is to encourage, equip, and empower God's people to serve Christ and His kingdom. I'm an equipping pastor at heart.

Where did you serve before Brentwood Baptist?
My first job out of seminary was for two years in student ministry at Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. I then took a job with a church plant in Nashville and became the second full-time minister on staff at Grace Community Church, overseeing many of their ministries. After serving there for seven years, I came to Brentwood Baptist. This year is my 10th anniversary on staff here and my 20th year in vocational church ministry.

What's your role at Brentwood Baptist?
My main three areas are: 1) leadership, 2) publishing and curriculum related to adult discipleship, and 3) gender-based ministry, which is currently more focused on Men's Ministry.

What's your vision for Brentwood Baptist?
My hope and prayer is that we can be a church that makes a local, national, and global impact for the cause of Christ. Related to discipleship, I hope we can be a church that not only disciples our own people, but can be a resource to help other churches do the same.

Who's your favorite person in the Bible and why?
Jesus. OK, maybe that's cheating.

In the Old Testament, I'm really drawn to Jonathan because of his courage and loyalty, and for the picture of masculinity he models ("tender warrior").

In the New Testament, I've always like Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement, who sought out Saul (Paul) when he was still an outsider and brought him to Antioch. And he also defended John Mark as a maturing future leader in a heated argument with Paul. I've always been drawn to people of encouragement.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Read, learn, listen to music, hang out with my family, go on dates with my wife, hang out with friends, and travel (when time and money allow).

What are 3 interesting facts about you?
1. I worked at a bank as a loan officer before going to seminary.
2. Because I was born in Brazil, I have dual citizenship and I speak Portuguese.
3. My German grandparents ended up in Brazil because they were fleeing the Nazis.

What are 3 words that describe you?
1. Relator
2. Learner
3. Believer