Frank Brasel passed away Friday evening, September 13, 2019 from a traumatic brain injury due to an accident.
Frank was born to Paul and Sylvia Brasel as Francis Leon in Alma, IL in his family home on September 21, 1944 just a few weeks before his brother Allen was killed in Europe in WWII. He had another brother, Paul, Jr., who died before Frank was born, twin sisters, Mary and Marion, 12 years older, and Frank's "little mamas", who preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were his mother and father; a nephew, Floyd; and brother-in-law, Steven Eagan. He is survived by his wife, Faith Adkins Brasel; his oldest sister, Alta Eagan, residing at McCormick's Creek Nursing Home; nephews, Richard Eagan and wife, Julie; Randy Eagan and wife Becky; 2 nieces, Nancie Eagan and Beverly Gordon, and several greats and great-greats in the nephew/niece department.
Frank's Mom took him to church at Alma Christian Church the second Sunday he was in the world, and he rarely missed a service until he went to college because in the Brasel household that's what you did on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night and whenever else the church doors were open. Frank was involved in many church activities. He attended, and, when older was on faculty of the Oil Belt Christian Service Camp. He preached his first sermon at age 15 in his home church. He loved music and sang not only in his own church but also in other local churches.
Frank graduated from Salem Community High School, Salem, Illinois, and while there was active in Madrigal Singers, as well as the Marion County Youth Fellowship which met every week at the skating rink.
After graduating, he was off to college -- Bible college -- fulfilling a "prophesy" of sorts from a neighbor lady who told him when he was still a child, that one day he would be preaching the gospel. He attended Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln, Illinois for two years, then transferred to St. Louis Christian College in St. Louis, Missouri because of their stronger emphasis on Greek. During these years in college he was also a student preacher at several Christian Churches in Illinois and Missouri. He later took more courses and Liberty Bible College in Pensacola.
After college in Illinois, he pastored a congregation in Flat River, MO, then was asked to go to Pensacola, Florida to help a small, floundering congregation, but then it was decided that the church would close. "Stuck" in Florida now, he got a job at a dry cleaners to get his bearings and decide what to do next. He was attending a Baptist church that was convenient to him, but didn't have much of a music program. He mentioned that to a man who came into the dry cleaners on a regular basis and the man invited him to Church of the Open Bible which was known locally as "the singing church" and was currently preparing a cantata for Christmas. The man told Frank that his dad, the biggest gospel singing promoter in the Southeast, brought in quartets on a regular basis. Because of Frank’s love of Southern Gospel music, he was hooked. He came and found his new church home. The church was pastored by Gene Adkins, and Frank was immediately drawn to this man who later became a friend, mentor, and his father-in-law! Yes, that preacher had a daughter, and her name was Faith Naomi Adkins. Frank and Faith became friends at first through their mutual love of music and did some singing together at Open Bible and other churches around the area. From November of 1968 through May of 1969, this friendship was growing, almost unbeknownst to the two. In June, Faith took a 3 week trip with her parents to Washington, D.C. and on up through several states into Michigan back down through Iowa, Illinois and home. At every stop Faith had 2 to 4 letters awaiting her arrival. Frank missed her! Being before cell phones arrived on the scene, Frank racked up quite the phone bill calling her almost every day. He never did say how he got some of those phone numbers! Faith's Dad had once told her that a man in love, would PURSUE you, not ignore you. Frank was definitely in pursuit! Through all those letters and phone calls, Faith began to realize this man had the qualities that she always envisioned in a husband. Only a couple of weeks after Faith arrived home from her trip, Frank proposed and August 23, 1969, they married at Church of the Open Bible in Pensacola, Florida. And, by doing the “little things” Frank’s “pursuit” never ended, bringing her “surprises” frequently and keeping her “on the hook” by making her coffee and serving it to her every morning!
The next few years Frank taught Sunday School and filled the pulpit when Faith's Dad, known as "Brother Gene" was gone, while working secular jobs, then out of his hobby of photography, got a job as a photographer at a studio that did senior portraits. This led into other photography jobs on the side and eventually to his wedding photography business. Frank's other hobby besides music and photography was electronics, and as home and personal computers became more common, the deeper he got into that interest, until at one point in time his side job was taking computers apart and selling the parts on Ebay.
All those side jobs and interests came in handy over the years. In 1976, God called Frank and Faith into a full time missions ministry, as they jointly headed a team that went to El Salvador and built a church and dwelling place for a pastor there. When they came home from that trip, they knew their lives would never be the same. In 1977, they were asked to join a ministry in Southern California as support personnel, Faith doing secretarial duties and Frank running a printing press. A year later they were asked by a missionary to come work with him in the Philippines, and the job of deputation began. In November 1979 they boarded a plane and about 28 hours later landed in Manila. In 1980 they joined Omega World Missions, Inc., which was more closely aligned to their gifts and calling. An indigenous missions ministry was born out of the work of those early years and Frank traveled tirelessly, in the Philippines –– helping establish the work, arrange training and overseeing projects –– and in the U.S., raising funds for projects and the people on the front lines. Those front-line coworkers, he has counted among his dearest friends. In 1984 Frank was asked to be Vice President of Omega, and in 1990, he stepped into the role of President but still traveled on behalf of the ministry. The Brasels were joined in 1990 by Kleon and Kathy Cronk who also traveled on behalf of the Philippine ministry, and still act as liaisons between Omega and the Philippine organization. In the last few years, as kidney disease took its toll, travel became difficult so he and Faith have become the administrators, doing the newsletters, accounting, and other support services, coming full circle to how they started in 1977.
Although the Philippines was the biggest emphasis in his years of ministry, he has ministered in over 20 other countries, several being in Africa and South America. Through all those years of missions ministry, Frank also served on various boards and committees of ministerial associations and missions organizations, including chairman of the missions committee of the International Ministerial Association.
From April 2014 to January 2018, Frank had a 2 church charge and pastored Otterbein United Methodist Church of Rockville, IN and Beech Grove United Methodist Church of Greencastle, IN, which he has been privileged to continue pastoring until his last Sunday of this earthly life, September 8, 2019. Frank was always excited at whatever work the Lord had him do. He never met a stranger, would talk to anyone, but was also a good listener and loved to get as much information as he could from anyone he met to learn as much as possible about any subject he could, and for many years could tell them 5 years later what they had discussed.
Frank took God's calling on his life seriously, but had a quirky, sometimes even silly, sense of humor. When not in his office working on a message, or doing the layout or printing the bulletin, or working on Omega's newsletters, etc., he was WORKING on getting a car fixed, or printing press, or other office machine running, mowing his lawn, or weeding –– seemed to always be working. Most of their married life, even their travel was work, too, but they made the most of every opportunity to see something new, taking the country roads, getting off the beaten path of the Interstates and using airline "stop-overs" to spend a day in Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Honolulu. They called them their micro-mini vacations, and Frank told people those were times that helped keep our marriage together because traveling together 24/7 could test any marriage. People would sometimes ask Frank when he was going to retire, and he would say, "I don't want to retire, I'm just going to re-FIRE! There is an old gospel song called, "We'll work 'til Jesus Comes". I think maybe Frank worked 'til Jesus said, "Just come on home."
There will not be a traditional funeral, but there will be a memorial service on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Beech Grove United Methodist Church. The time of the memorial service will be determined shortly.
The church has a Greencastle, Indiana address but it’s country setting is a tricky address. If you plan to attend, please call or text Faith at 715-416-2384 to coordinate travel and directions.