March 15, 2017IMLAY CITY — It was almost two decades ago that James Brandt's life changed in a flash.
Well, not a flash, exactly, but it was something absolutely electric, says the 1996 Imlay City High School grad.
Brandt was sitting alone in his apartment, immersed in a dark depression, flipping through the multitude of channels on TV. For some reason he stopped on TBN—Trinity Broadcasting Network. That random stop ended up starting Brandt on the road to clarity and freedom. The preacher on TBN was talking about making a true commitment to Jesus Christ; saying that doing so would unlock one's purpose in life.
As Brandt began to listen more deeply, he felt a shift in the atmosphere around him.
"My apartment was filled with the presence of God," Brandt says. "The only earthly way to describe the heavenly experience is that it felt like electricity and warm oil being poured over me."
As that feeling of light and warmth grew, the darkness of depression began to lift. Brandt says his entire being experienced a peace and joy unlike any other he had felt, ever. It was at that moment his life changed. He found the key that unlocked his purpose in life.
"It was right then that I received my calling into the ministry," he says. "It was an amazing supernatural experience."
The path opened up, and Pastor James Brandt emerged.
Pastor James Brandt, a 1996 graduate of Imlay City High School, talks about finding purpose in life during church service.
The road more
After becoming a pastor and leading a church in Big Rapids for almost five years, Brandt created a traveling ministry where he hosts monthly meetings at a variety of locations. He posts his ministry schedule online at his website, www.jamesbrandt.org.
He says he enjoys the life of a traveling minister, because it gives him great joy to watch people progress on their spiritual path.
"Of course I enjoy seeing people get born again by making Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of their life, but even more than that, taking them into the deeper things of God and seeing them mature in their walk with God," he says.
A new chapter
During his time in Big Rapids, Brandt was a frequent contributor in the religion section of 'The Pioneer' newspaper. His columns became quite popular, and attracted a loyal readership.
Brandt felt that was a sign that he should do more with the columns, and so he did. He recently published the 'Revival Experience Handbook,' which is a compilation of the columns enhanced for book form.
"I felt led by the Lord to make them into a book that would be a blessing to people," Brandt says.
The 'Revival Experience Handbook' is composed of a number of biblical topics with a basic theme resonating throughout the pages.
"Every person on this earth has a purpose, and only Jesus Christ can unlock that seed of purpose," Brandt says. "My book will teach the reader spiritual laws that God set into motion, that will help them tap into and live an abundant life."
Readers will also find keys that help with overcoming the obstacles that sometimes appear along the way.
"I hope the reader of my book receives an impartation and a hunger to press into their relationship with God, and to experience his presence and power in their life," he says.
Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to stop by a book signing event at the New Life Christian Church, 4411 Newark Road, Attica on March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Brandt will be on hand to host a revival service and sign copies of his book.
The book is also available online at amazon.com. Search 'Revival Experience Handbook James Brandt.'
More information is available at www.jamesbrandt.org.
Brandt, who enjoys traveling with his family, working out and sports is married to Marianne. She runs E.S.T.E.E.M. Ministries, a women's ministry. They have four kids—Alyssa, Brooke, Matthew and Hayden.
Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.