Alumni Highlight: Sara Paulson Brummett – Bth 1994

About Sara Paulson Brummett

Sara’s journey at PBC began in 1989, right after graduating from Temple Christian School (now Mannahouse Christian Academy). Sara grew up in a Lutheran church, which had ended up becoming Spirit-filled. Her family moved to Portland from Wisconsin, so her dad could attend PBC and they could be a part of what was going on in the church.  Her mom became one of the elementary teachers at Temple Christian School. Her dad taught music and voice at PBC and eventually became the Principal of the school. 

It was a natural next step for Sara to go to PBC. She intended to spend just a year there to get a good biblical foundation. However, God had other plans!  Sara fell in love with PBC during her first year. Getting to dive deep into the Word every day was transforming for her.  Every single class felt like a fresh revelation.

As I read the assigned books and studied the commentaries for writing papers, the Word became so alive to me and helped me formulate my foundational convictions.

During that first year at PBC, she spent time searching for God’s will regarding other colleges and universities. Because she wanted to be a singer and study music, she auditioned and received numerous scholarship offers. However, through prayer and various signs, it became clear that God was directing her to stay at PBC and study theology. It was one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make, but she never regretted it.

Her first two years were foundational for decades of future ministry, although she didn’t know it at the time. She traveled with ministry teams to many churches overseas. While studying at PBC and being part of the traveling ministry she continued to pour countless hours into voice and piano lessons and leading worship.

Her junior year, Sara was asked to enter a local county Miss America competition.  As a teen, she had won the Miss Oregon National Teenager competition, and the director of that pageant called to tell her she should enter and would win.  Her first response was “No.” But as she thought about it, she felt the Holy Spirit tell her to enter it.  Sara competed and won, giving her the opportunity to compete in the Miss Oregon pageant. She won that as well, becoming that year’s Miss Oregon.

She took a year off from PBC to fulfill her duties as Miss Oregon. That became a ministry, giving her the chance to be a witness while learning to communicate her convictions and present God’s word to those in that world who didn’t know Him. Doors kept opening for her to sing and speak in schools, churches, and communities as well as political events, and she used every opportunity to talk about the Lord and sing Christ-centric songs. Because of her training at PBC, she had the boldness to stand for her convictions in front of the press and media.

Sara was able to return to PBC to finish her theology degree with a full scholarship from winning Miss Oregon. She then went on to get her master’s degree at Regent University, debt free, while simultaneously singing wherever the doors opened.

And there were plenty of doors. She fulfilled a life-long dream of being offered a recording contract with a Christian music company. She made it into the top 10 radio charts alongside of some of her childhood heroes in the Christian music world. After graduating she was able to travel all over the country and perform in concerts at churches and conference events. She sang at major ministry centers and churches including those pastored by Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. James Kennedy, and many others. Sara even got to open for Michael Bublé, sang the national anthem for President George W. Bush, and shared the stage with Sandi Patty at a national women’s conference.

When the record company was searching for a booking agent for Sara, she went to Nashville to minister with a group called Spiritbound. There, she met and fell in love with their lead singer, Rick Brummett.  They got married in 1998, and her record company signed them to a new recording contract together after hearing them both sing at their wedding.  They toured together singing for churches and events all across America: everything from Moody Bible Institute, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, and cruises with Dr. Jeremiah, to Gaither concerts and videos, singing on TBN and touring with The Happy Goodman Family. 

Sara and Rick had a son, Brice, whom they homeschooled so he could go with them on the road as they toured. They went all over the world, including Greece, Turkey, Israel, Italy, and Egypt.  They got to be the nightly Christian concert entertainment aboard a ship and also sang and led worship at such historic sites as the Sea of Galilee and the ancient amphitheaters where the Apostle Paul preached.  

Their last decade has been spent building their family and serving as full-time worship pastors at their local church. Sara admits she had never wanted to be on staff at a church, especially after all the traveling she had been able to do over the years. But she recognizes that things are not always up to us when we choose to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit. Though they have received other opportunities, they have chosen to stay where God has called them. In this role, Sara has for the first time begun to direct choirs, often calling on her dad for advice. She is responsible to choose the songs themselves, deciding the order and flow, putting music folders together, sometimes making her own charts, and coordinating the band and vocal schedule-most which she learned to do while at PBC.

“While in PBC, I surrendered entirely to doing whatever the Lord wanted me to do for His kingdom. That has now taken many forms, from leading worship weekly to directing, acting and singing in the Broadway-style musicals we produced while being full-time Music Pastors at Gateway Church.”

Message to PBC Students

“Take everything in. Don’t discount a class, an assignment, or an experience, as unnecessary to your future because you think “you know” what God’s called you to do.  Because you don’t!  God uses everything, and when you’re called to ministry you truly have no idea what God will have you doing in the future!  If your heart is fully surrendered to Him for His use, and you are truly going to let Him “help Himself” in your life, be aware that you will be broken and spilled out for Him, and that’s the point.  He gets to decide what it’s going to look like, so I pass on the advice Pastor Iverson gave us in the chapel when I was there, to “hold your dreams loosely.”  The Christian walk is all about dying to self, but if you’re in full-time ministry, that’s on steroids!  People are sheep, and they act like it, and you have to keep serving them with a smile and the right heart.  And, there is no point in a job description, because you do whatever is needed to be done, and you’ll never get paid for all the work you do!  No matter how hard you work, it doesn’t translate financially, but God always provides in other ways.  You may never get credit for what you do, and so much of it goes unseen.  It’s hard!  It’s the greatest, most fulfilling adventure, but incredibly difficult.  The depth of your daily walk with Him, which for me deepened immeasurably while at PBC, determines everything, and keeps you from giving up.  That’s why I have to remind myself constantly that I work for the Lord to “show myself approved unto Him” (2 Timothy 2:15).

“Looking back, I’m SO grateful for the foundation laid in my life while I was at PBC.  It’s where I truly learned to love spending time with the Lord and His Word, to clearly hear His voice, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.  It led me to all the amazing ministry experiences God is allowing me to have and helped me to remember that all ministry springs from the local church.  As Pastor Iverson always emphasized, the church is His chosen plan for extending the Kingdom of God on the earth. From my time there I also learned the secret to longevity in ministry.  Wendell Smith used to say that to avoid burnout, we have to keep the oil in the lamp, and the oil is the Holy Spirit.  Pastor Iverson used to preach about that too, and how we cannot try to put “new wine in old wineskins.”  When preparing for every service, I ask God for a fresh “rhema” word.  What is the Holy Spirit saying to the church TODAY?  And He tells me!  So, my goal going forward in ministry is to “press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God…” knowing that one day, it will be worth it all…when we see Jesus!”  

– Sarah Brummett