Brian Wechsler was born and raised in the suburbs of Long Island, New York, not far from New York City. He developed his love of the country through spending summers visiting his grandparents in Vermont.
After a long, difficult search, he came to Christ in July 1972, mostly through the influence of Carole, who later became his wife. She was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They were married on May 26, 1973, and then moved near Fernwood, Idaho. Brian was self-employed as a farrier and also worked for the Highway Department. Soon after moving, they began attending Fernwood Community Bible Church, which was then served by Village Missionaries Ray and Martha Bell. Under their leadership, the Wechslers grew in the Lord and became active in the church.
In 1980, the Lord called them into the ministry, and both entered Moody Bible Institute. Brian received the award for the Outstanding Greek Student and was elected to the National Honor Society of Bible Colleges. Brian has taken several courses in the Moody Graduate School. Carole graduated with a degree in Christian Education.
They were accepted as Village Missionaries in July 1983, and were sent to serve the Finchford Community Bible Church in Finchford, Iowa. Under their leadership, the church grew and greatly expanded its facilities. While there, both their children were born.
In October 1989, the Wechslers were moved to the Morning Star Community Church at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, which is a mountain community at 8500 feet elevation located approximately 50 miles northwest of Ft. Collins., to which residents must travel for most of their shopping and medical needs. When they arrived, there was a congregation of about 30 people who had purchased the old school building and converted it to a church facility.
The congregation built a beautiful log-home parsonage in 1990; became self-supporting in 1994, and then completed a new 250-seat facility in 1997, which, unfortunately, burned to the ground in November 1998. It was rebuilt and then rededicated July 1999 at which time the mortgage was shredded. Brian began serving on the Board of Village Missions in 1997 as the Village Missionary representative.
While at Red Feather Lakes, Brian was a member of the volunteer Fire Department, served several years on the local school District Advisory Board, and, in 1994, was elected Citizen of the Year. He has spoken at several Christian Women’s Clubs and After Five Clubs, both in Iowa and Colorado, and represented the Mission at several Stonecroft Area Conferences. Carole, a full-time homemaker, has also been active in several church ministries, including VBS, Pioneer Club, and Director of Christian Education.
Rev. Wechsler began his tenure as Executive Director in November, 2000 and outlined a strategy for advancement in Village Missions termed “F.I.R.E”:
- (F) Finding New Fields
- (I) Investing in Individuals and Communities
- (R) Recruiting New Missionaries with a Passion to Preach the Word and Love the People
- (E) Equipping Missionaries and Churches to Reach Their Communities for Christ
Brian contended that Village Missions must advance in each area to continue its mission of revitalizing small churches and reaching communities for Christ. Village Missions must “find” new areas where a need exists to proclaim the Gospel and the local church is unable to secure pastoral leadership. Village Missions must “invest” in individuals and communities it is trying to reach with the Gospel through salary, logistical and administrative support for Village Missionaries. Actively “recruiting” dedicated couples and single missionaries who God has called to the ministry is critical. Finally, Village Missions must “equip” the Village Missionaries and the churches they serve with the tools to enable them to become effective, Biblically-based churches.
In the last few years, Brian has worked to help launch the Contenders Discipleship Initiative, which has been marked by the development of a two-year, tuition-paid Bible school that is available online at www.vmcontenders.org. This program is designed to disciple church members as well as raise up new Village Missionaries with a combination of the schooling and mentoring. The CDI also included the return of staff conferences in 2015 where missionaries were encouraged and challenged to implement the CDI.
Brian and Carole live in Dallas, OR where the International Service Center is located. Their daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Casey, live in New York City and their son Caleb lives in Salem, OR.