Josh Branham (BA’13) isn’t disappointed with where life has taken him since Boise Bible College. He always thought after graduation he would go somewhere besides Boise to plant a church, but says it didn’t work out that way. What happened was “so much better than what I would have imagined.”
Josh grew up in Alaska but his family moved to Australia where he lived for several years before coming to BBC. He followed his older brother, Andrew (BS’13) and an Australian friend, Chris Stoddard (BC’10), who came to get a Bible certificate. But before that, he’d already been sold on BBC during his time spent with Ira McBee (BS’04) who was from Kenai, Alaska and was his camp counselor while growing up.
His years at BBC were formative. Each of his last three years had key relationships with professors who mentored him. His sophomore year that was Dale Cornett, junior year John Whittaker, and Danny Harrod really helped him during his senior year.
John Whittaker, (BA’92) saw that Josh was a gifted communicator when he showed up on the College campus as a freshman. John says,
“Josh and I met weekly for one school year and we worked together at the Pursuit for several years. I have appreciated the focus and discipline Josh has applied to grow as a disciple of Jesus. He practices what he preaches and sincerely seeks to follow Jesus.”
Danny Harrod (BA’79), Intercultural Professor says,
“I spent most of my time with Josh listening, then praying. In our weekly meetings, he discussed his strategy for the youth group. It involved 1) a vibrant large gathering that especially emphasized, 2) small groups and 3) mentoring. He was able to find volunteers that would stick with students for several years to lead the small groups, plus find time outside the church walls to mentor them. That strategy worked! He seems to be applying the same process at Hill City for everyone to some extent, both youth and adults. Because Josh has lived in both Alaska and Australia, he has a unique perspective on culture and ministry. He is very adaptable and practical because of his childhood.”
Lifelong relationships were formed while having fun, too. Josh and his wife Shaina (BS’15) got to know each other while playing soccer and serving together at youth group. Other lifelong friends are Jake (BA’13) and Sarah Wright and Luke (BS’15) and Danika (BS’13) Emery. Josh remembers one evening when he and Jake dressed up like pantomimes and didn’t say a word the entire night at the Lionpalooza class carnival event. Josh also played a minor role in the police drama CSI Boise. In the midst of study and ministry, they had a good time.
Today, Josh serves as Lead Pastor for Hill City Church in Boise, where his brother Andrew and friend Jake also serve, after helping it move from being a church campus to a church plant. He likes his neighborhood in north Boise where he lives with Shaina and their two young girls and two dogs.
BBC’s value of scholarship is reflected in helping set his foundation for leadership and how he prepares sermons to this day. He often goes back to the BBC library for additional resources even still. He also felt well prepared to obtain his master’s degree in Christian Ministry from Grand Canyon Theological Seminary. The value of community is reflected in Josh’s life and words,
“The community I formed at BBC has been one of the greatest sources of blessing in my life.”