The Duncan Banner
For 23 years, Dr. Brad McCoy has been pastor at Tanglewood Bible Fellowship and his tenure has included taking his parishioners on ventures around the world.
Brad McCoy, it seems, is a Tour Guide for Christianity.
In the years he’s been shepherding the flock, Tanglewood members have participated in mission trips to places like Israel, Jordan, Mexico, China and Guatemala. On Saturday, July 30, another venture begins, this time to Mexico.
As McCoy sees it, one of the church’s callings is taking the message around the globe.
“We are really involved with world missions. In fact, a week from this Saturday, a team of us will go to the interior of Mexico and this will be the 20th year in a row we’ve sent a team to the same section of Mexico,” McCoy said.
“We pray for missions a lot, but we also have had a lot of hands-on, international mission experience, including Mexico primarily, China, Guatemala. And I have been to Jordan several times.”
Along with the traveling missions McCoy is an adjutant professor at Cameron University-Duncan and teaches three courses during the school year. In many ways, teaching at Cameron helps him be a better pastor, as both jobs go hand-in-hand in many aspects.
“In the spring of every semester, I teach a course called ‘Introduction to World Religions’ and we survey the five major world’s religions,” McCoy said. “So the things I teach at Cameron really compliment what I teach at the church, and vice versa.”
One of the other ministries McCoy is big on is a ministry to people who are living with cancer. He is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 1993 with malignant melanoma. Now, McCoy is cancer free and is thankful to God .
“By God’s grace (the cancer) was removed and it didn’t spread, and last time I checked, I was still cancer free,” he noted. “We’ve lost some great people in the church to cancer, and we have a lady at our church, Jarilyn Harris, who has been a real major city leader for Relay For Life.
“Because of her as a catalyst, our church has been involved with Relay for many years, and that is really important to us that we support members or families that may be effected by cancer.”
McCoy is a “different” pastor in some ways, in that some of his practices and methods are a little out of the norm. He doesn’t believe in passing the offering plate and wants the church experience to be a non-pressure situation for members and guests.
“We don’t pass offering plates, not that there is anything wrong with that. We have an offering box, and if you want to give a freewill offering, we will be glad to accept it,” McCoy said.
“We don’t use pressure or gimmicks, we just try to keep it real and emphasis the basics. The idea is to come together and be edified, so that we can go out and live in the world and be ‘salt and light,’ like Jesus said.”
McCoy invites visitors to come experience the atmosphere TBF offers and is very excited about what the church and the members are doing for the community.
“We are very friendly to visitors and we want them to feel comfortable and realize we are not doing anything weird or crazy — we are just emphasizing the basics of Bible studying,” he said.
“I think we got a great group of people here at the church.”