Brent Gambrell: All His World is a Stage
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
Brent Gambrell has always loved being on stage.
“Love and attention was my biggest need. I was the class clown in high school," Brent admitted. "I didn’t follow peer pressure. I was the peer pressure, you know? That was me.”
Brent Gambrell was born and raised in a loving family in Florida, but he walked away from God at an early age.
“My family was a great family," he said. "We always joked that we didn’t have vanilla extract in the house because Mom thought it was too close to liquor. I was saved at nine, and I always say, 'off the deep end by about nine and a half.'”
Brent discovered that his sense of humor was a great way to get attention and to impress the girls. While in high school, he was active in theater and musical groups. After graduation, he answered an ad for a singing telegram company. However, he soon found out that the company delivered more than just singing telegrams.
“I started working at the service and I found out it was more than a singer service. It was a singer and stripper service," Brent said. "And that’s how it began.”
Brent ran the office at the company and eventually was managing dozens of branches all over the state of Florida. The money was great, but he squandered it all on alcohol, drugs, and women.
“The money began to roll in. The party lifestyle just took over my life. I was drinking hundreds of dollars a month. I was doing tons of drugs, tons of sexuality. I woke up and found people I did not know all over my house," he said. "The lifestyle that you lead is just full of that kind of filth. That’s where I was. I started hating myself; I started hating what I saw in me.”
One of Brent’s employees at the time was a Christian.
“There was a guy that actually worked for me; and he was doing it because he desperately needed the money. He prayed for me. He read his Bible constantly. I think God used him in a huge way,” Brent said.
One evening, Brent left a party at his condo and wandered the streets of Tampa.
“I left a party at my own house, and I ended up on the front steps of the First Christian Church of Tampa, Florida," he said. "I didn’t know what denomination it was. I didn’t care. I was on the steps and I was just crying and talking to God and I was begging him to take me back. A homeless man walked by at one point. And my whole life was humor; everything was funny to me. I looked over at that guy - I’ll always think he was an angel. I always say, 'he was a drunk angel, but he was an angel.' And I think God said, ‘that’s you, but that’s not you in 50 years. That’s you in 10 years at the rate you’re going.’ And I started singing Amazing Grace, because it was the only song I knew. And he started singing it with me. So, here me and the homeless man were singing together. It was incredible."
That night, Brent invited Jesus to come into his life and change him. When he called his parents, he finally understood God’s love for the first time.
“When my dad and my family accepted me back, I knew at that point, that God loved me. They were showing me God," Brent said. "So I walked in and told my secretaries, ‘God is too strong. I don’t know anything about Him much. But you’re all fired.’ And a couple of the ladies were like, ‘Oh, he’s done religion,’ - that kind of thing. And I said, ‘No, I’m doing Jesus. And I think there’s a difference.’”
Brent moved to Nashville and it wasn’t long until doors opened for him to use his acting and singing talents for God.
“Everything that Satan meant for evil, God used for good," Brent said. "I started writing sketches and doing Bible studies with teenagers that were more exciting.”
Brent formed the comedy trio “Images” and toured the country for the next decade.
“It was different. It wasn’t like church drama, because I wasn’t raised in church. We wrote sketches and it looked more like Saturday Night Live,” he said.
When the group disbanded, Brent started a teaching ministry.
“As I read the Bible, I didn’t see sketches and skits anymore. I saw Bible studies. I saw teachings. And God began to draw my heart toward speaking,” Brent said.
Brent realizes he is not the stereotypical preacher.
“I know a lot of speakers out there and they are like these crystal goblets in God’s china cabinet," he said. "I’m a peanut butter jar. No matter how much you clean a peanut butter jar, it always smells like peanut butter. I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind, but I still smell like the world a little bit. I’m a little raw. I’m not exactly the polished guy. But the world likes that.”
Brent’s partners, however, say he always connects with his audiences.
“Every time I’ve every heard him speak, I hear people give a testimony that ‘he spoke God’s word.’ It wasn’t about him; it wasn’t about how funny he was or how horrible his life used to be. It’s about the fact that he gives glory to God, and nothing more,” said Brent’s ministry partner, Mike Wilson.
Each year, Brent and a ministry team travel three or four times a year to Haiti. He says he’s willing to go wherever God leads him and to carry the good news of God’s love.
“The Bible says it’s His grace that teaches us to say no to ungodliness and it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance," Brent said. "And it was His kindness that led me to repentance — His kindness did.”Can God change your life?
God has made it possible for you to know Him and experience an amazing change in your own life.
Discover how you can find peace with God.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.