Known for his logic and wit, Stuart Briscoe has been preaching since he was just 17 years old. Now, edging close to 90 years young, he shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, he continues teaching the Bible on nearly every continent. Stuart was born to a believing family in Millom, Cumbria, England in 1930, and began working in banking right after high school and eventually became personal assistant to the chief inspector of the bank. In 1959, a year after he married Jill, a school teacher, they felt a call to leave their careers and serve in full-time ministry. They joined Torchbearers, an international Christian ministry organization involved in evangelism and Bible teaching. Stuart traveled extensively, and Jill remained in England with their three children and was involved in local street ministry.
On a trip to the United States, Stuart was introduced to members of Elmbrook Church, a growing church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. They were seeking a pastor; Stuart was feeling led to find a home church that would value outreach, but also reduce the traveling that kept him away from his family for many months at a time. When Elmbrook invited Stuart to lead them, he accepted, with Jill’s blessing.
That was in 1970. For the next 30 years, Stuart served as senior pastor of Elmbrook, and the church experienced explosive growth. There was an overwhelming hunger in the community to hear expositional Christian teaching. Weekly attendance grew from 300 to 7,000 and numerous sister churches were planted.
In 2000, Stuart decided to step down as pastor; however, it was not a retirement, but a retooling of his mission back into global outreach. He and Jill began serving as Elmbrook’s ministers-at-large, going where they were most needed to support under-resourced churches and missionaries. Today, the Briscoes spend most of their year away from home, bringing encouragement to God’s servants throughout the world.
Stuart has written more than forty books, preached in over 100 countries, and has received honorary doctorates from a number of schools and universities. Stuart and Jill have been asked why they don’t slow down but instead keep going so much and so far. Stuart’s reply? “Because we’re invited.”