Wilderness Fellowship Board Member Brian Stephany with wife Kate

Board Member Brian Stephany with wife Kate

What an honor it is to serve the Lord through TWFM. His presence and peace rests over this ministry – something experienced every time I’m there, visiting with Randy, becoming spiritually recharged in a prayer cabin, reflecting in the woods, or enjoying the vista of a lake. I remember my first time . . . a time seeking the Lord’s guidance on a significant career change. No one at TWFM knew the purpose of my retreat – yet the ministry staff prayed for me and felt led to give a verse from Isaiah that matched the mission statement of my next faith-based employer. From thousands of verses . . . what confirmation!

As a new board member and treasurer, allow me to share a bit about my ministry and professional background. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) with a degree in Accountancy, and then passed the CPA exam shortly thereafter before working for over 30 years in financial management, accounting, analysis, consulting, and ministry. My career has two related halves – the first 15 years in business working as an auditor, accountant, analyst, and financial manager. The second 15 has been in the faith-based and non-profit sectors with financial leadership roles in a large church and for two Christian organizations before venturing out to form Ascend Financial Ministries. Ascend provides value-added consulting and accounting services to smaller, faith-based organizations. God blessed me with the spiritual gift of administration and natural strengths in organization and communication. These enable me to serve Him and my clients with services that provide more meaningful financial information from which to make key ministry and strategic decisions.

I’m a member of the Twin Cities’ chapter of the Non-Profit Financial Group (NFG), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and North Central chapter of the Church Network. I also serve (with my beautiful wife, Kate) on an advisory board for Russ Berg Ministries, a divorce intervention non-profit that seeks to equip the Church to change the culture of divorce in America. Previously, I served my home churches as treasurer, finance team leader, stewardship team leader, vice chair, and chair,

Kate and I met at UNI and came to faith together as young adults. She works as a marketing director for United Healthcare Corporation. Kate is my best friend and we love to hike, bike, beach, walk the dog, travel, and relax at our cottage on the shore of Lake Superior. We have two grown children – Erin who lives in greater Los Angeles and is our adventure-seeking and travel-loving daughter; and Ryan who is a student at U.W. Stout and using his creativity and attention to detail to earn a degree in graphic design.

I’m a special ministry licensed pastor through the International Ministerial Fellowship (IMF), a member at Harvest Bible Chapel – West Minneapolis, and a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ yet in continual need of His grace. I love coming to TWFM to connect with the Lord through the prayer cabin ministry and am honored to serve on their board.