Todd Gray has served as pastor of Brownwood’s Coggin Avenue Baptist Church since November 2021. Gray, a captain in the U.S. Air Force before being called to the ministry, and his wife, Tammy—with their three children: Isaac, 18; Autumn, 16; and Christian, 13—moved to Brownwood just over a year ago.
What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
TG: There’s so many things to celebrate at Coggin this first year. We’ve celebrated over 140 members joining in 2022 as people have come out of COVID. We’ve seen a lot of people grow in their faith. We also celebrated going to three services. Pretty exciting. What’s also been so impressive are the baptisms at the Brown County jail. It’s a ministry we do through Celebrate Recovery, led by Bill Allen. We’ve got 10 men and women who go in there every week to share the gospel. There were 46 baptisms in 2022. We are about to baptize one in church, but most baptisms have been in the jail.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?
TG: A transition is a challenge. This one meant taking my son, who was playing his senior year in football, to another school. He’s playing at a very high level, and to make that change is a challenge—but he did it with grace. He has excelled. Bringing my family to another place is always a challenge, although it’s turned into a blessing. We now wonder why we were so worried about it.
[Editor’s note: His son, Isaac, signed a letter of intent with Harding University on the day of this interview.]
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
TG: Balance. I just think it’s balance. Pressing toward your passions but having balance in your life. I learned it early. I have always put my family first. I’ve always been up front with churches about my priorities concerning my wife and family. I try to be clear that the church hired me and that my family are regular members. It’s a lesson I learned early from many mentors.
What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church?
TG: That we would see God do a movement in such a way that we could not get credit for it. A revival. Some rejuvenation of the soul that, when we look back on it, we’ll say that it had to be God. Human intervention and invention couldn’t do it.
How can the other churches of the SBTC be praying for you?
TG: One thing is effectiveness with these young pastors I am mentoring. Honestly, they are teaching me more than I am teaching them right now. The goal is for lifelong ministry friendships, spiritual health, and longevity in ministry. I am encouraged about the future of the SBTC with young pastors like these. For Coggin, [pray] that we would continue to be a spiritual lighthouse for Christ in Brown County.