I was one of seven children (6 boys and 1 girl) born to Rev. Duane and Barbara Brunette while my father was serving three small churches in Calhoun County. During my childhood we lived in Bethalto, IL, Hales Corners, WI (suburb of Milwaukee), and Little Rock, AR. I met my wife, Julie Kaphingst, during high school in Milwaukee. We dated for over 7 years before I married my best friend and entered into Concordia Seminary here in St. Louis. Julie and I both received elementary teaching degrees from Concordia University in River Forest, IL (a suburb of Chicago). We have been blessed with four daughters, two son-in-laws, and one granddaughter - Rachel (Chris), Hannah (Ben), Joy, Michala, and Jayla (our granddaughter).
People sometime ask, "When did you become a follower of Christ?" I was baptized as an infant and don't ever recall a time Jesus wasn't gently tugging, leading, and guiding my life. Becoming a pastor wasn't one of my early dreams (maybe a professional athlete or a rock musician!) My life is a constant reflection of God's grace. I was an insecure, competitive, young man who sometimes struggled with stuttering. I constantly find comfort and encouragement in Paul's words when he wrote, My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV)
I enjoy watching the Cardinals, an occasional round of golf or playing tennis, taking Julie on dates, and experiencing our little princess (Jayla) grow up among a family of princesses. And, you still might see me playing some power chords on my electric guitar or picking (and grinnin') on the six string banjo or acoustic guitar in worship. Mostly, I enjoy seeing people carry out their passion and vision as it is connected to the extraordinary life found in Christ and the mission He has given each of His children and His Church.