Tyler Brasher

It’s 11:30 a.m. on a Friday and 23-year-old Tyler Brasher shows up to work, citing a uncooperative trash bag as the reason for his lateness. His brown hair, expertly styled to the perfect amount of mess, his scruffy brown facial hair, black framed glasses and tall lean, frame make him look more like a Portland coffee shop hipster than a leader at an Assemblies of God church located right in the middle of the Bible Belt.

Tyler Brasher may be only 23 but he has already accomplished an impressive amount in his professional life. Brasher is the Worship and Creative Director at Thousand Hills Church in Corinth, Texas, making him one of the youngest to hold this position in the church’s history.

He was chosen at the age of 14 by the leaders of his childhood church to be mentored and tailored for exactly this role. They helped him hone his musical gifts and promoted him to leadership roles within the church’s youth groups from a young age in an attempt at preparing him to one day work for the church.

Brasher believes he was called upon by God to serve and inspire through music and worship and has devoted his life to following the path that he feels was set out for him by God himself.

“The lord spoke to me,” Brasher said. “ I saw visions of leading worship to thousands someday. I still think that there will be more than this, that this is a stepping stone.”

Stepping stone or not, Brasher has spent most of his young adult life working with and being in charge of people much older than him. He was thrown into this role sooner than planned but his talent, motivation and optimism have garnered him the respect of coworkers many years his senior.

Brasher tells how it was hard at first for people to see him as a leader and not as the little kid they watched grow up within the church but now he has earned the respect of his peers.

“I had to let go of the idea that I was too young to lead and accept that I don’t have to have strengths in everything in order to gain respect,” Brasher said. “I’ve had to work for it in order to gain credibility.”

He now is in charge of the entire church band as well as planning all of the churches productions and worship events; a job that consumes almost every minute of his day.

Brasher’s day is a whirlwind of jumping from task to task. One minute he’s writing e-mails and formatting sheet music, the next he’s pitching Rihanna parody ideas to his pastor, and then he’s off to the sanctuary to help a youth group member prepare her solo for Sunday’s service.

“Tyler is busy 24/7,” his girlfriend, 19-year-old Nicole Messner said. “He spends hours every night working on songs and coming up with production ideas, it’s pretty impressive.”

Although Brasher is well-respected and very successful, he gives all the credit to the people that surround him. Rarely does he take the glory for himself but instead says how God, his parents and his mentors at the church have guided him to where he is today.

He surrounds himself with people that share his strong faith and claims that without the opportunities he has been given through church and growing up in a religious household, he would not be the man he is today.

“Tyler makes us all better,” Brasher’s coworker Tiffany Brewer said. “He is so humble and makes you work harder to live your life for others. He’s also super goofy and knows how to have a good time which can sometimes be a hard thing to balance.”

When asked what his “end game” is for his life, he didn’t give the expected answer. He didn’t mention love or money or success but rather a much deeper take on what he wants out of his life.

“I want to know that I did everything that God wanted me to do,” Brasher said. “I know that if I do that, I’ve done everything right.”download

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Music and Community Come Together for a Day of Giving on the Square

Every year, the North Texas community comes together on September 22nd to spread awareness and raise money for the hundreds of charities benefitting the DFW area.

This year, Denton has increased its participation in North Texas Giving Day more than ever before with an entire day of activities and events happening in the downtown square in the name of charity.

With help from the University of North Texas, local business, the mayor and even a special performance courtesy of the Oaktopia Festival, organizers are hoping this will be the biggest and most successful year yet.

We are excited that Oaktopia is providing us with the band, The Texas Gentlemen, at free of charge and is helping to promote our event,”  Laura Wells, Director of Research Development for the Good Samaritan Society, said. “The Actor’s Conservatory of Denton will also be doing a flash mob at 6:15 p.m.. These are all efforts to attract more people to the square.”

Because the event is taking place on kickoff night for Oaktopia Fest and the Food Truck Festival, Wells is expecting a higher turnout which means a higher number of donations.

“I’ve heard about [Giving Day] but I wasn’t really sure what it was,” sophomore business major David McCoy said. “It sounds like fun though so I’ll probably check it out.”

According to Wells, this event, which is put on annually by the Communities Foundation of Texas, is “the largest online giving event in the nation” and has been going on since 2008 and is growing every year.

According to the CFT website, this event raised $33 million across all of North Texas last year which was nearly $8 million more than the year before. In 2015, 2,022 nonprofits participated with 137 hailing from Denton County. This year there are even more charities getting involved.

Wells is expecting even more of a turnout, with 61 confirmed charities participating in the events at the square, eleven more than last year.

They have also been doing a better job of getting the word out. There are signs hung around town as well as coverage from local news outlets and promotion by Oaktopia, Wells said.

“I had never heard of this event before this year,” junior media arts major Maria Lempke said. “I saw a sign about it and I saw UNT tweeting about it. It sounds like a really good cause and I’m definitely gonna try to make it down there.”

“Everyone on a regular basis spends $25 going out to eat or on a new shirt,” Wells said. “Why not give it to a nonprofit and help them make a difference in the lives of others in the community.”

The website is open for donations from 6 a.m. to midnight on September 22nd and events will be happening all day at the Square and around town.

For more information and to find out how to give, visit NorthTexasGivingDay.org.