Jeff Brummel Celebrates 15 Years on Staff.
Associate Minister of Music/Organist Jeff Brummel will be recognized during worship on Sunday, April 25, for his 15-year anniversary on Wilshire’s staff.
Senior Pastor George Mason says, “‘Full-bodied.’ That’s the description one member gave recently while watching Jeff operate on the organ. It’s a physical challenge to play four manuals with your hands and one with your feet simultaneously, all the while setting and adjusting stops that regulate the air passing through a myriad of variously-sized pipes. Jeff’s worship leadership is wholehearted as well as full-bodied. He puts his whole self into what he does, sensitively urging us to sing along or offering on our behalf what we would do if only we had his music mastery. Jeff is a gift to us all, and for that we offer an endless fugue of praise.”
Since coming to Wilshire in 2006, Jeff has grown from part-time organist to full-time minister. He became associate minister of music in 2018 and was ordained to the ministry around the same time.
Jeff began directing Shekinah, the select youth choral group, in 2014, and took over leadership of Youth Choir the next year. “That’s been my favorite thing,” he says. “The highlight of my week is working with the youth. They’re so smart, creative and funny, and just the nicest people — it makes it really easy to work with them. It’s like a dream.”
Associate Pastor Doug Haney says, “In his 15 years at Wilshire, Jeff has made us better — made our congregational singing more energetic, made Sanctuary Choir stronger and made Youth Choir and Shekinah more musical.”
Jeff moved to Texas in 2004 to begin studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He worked at two other area churches before becoming Wilshire’s organist.
Born and raised in the Eugene, Oregon, area, Jeff taught himself to play piano and read music. He was set to join the Army as a trumpet player out of high school, but was rejected due to asthma. Having no college plans, Jeff says he “floundered” for a few years until discovering College of the Ozarks in Missouri, where he would earn a bachelor’s degree in music education, intending to become a school choir director. After deciding to pursue graduate studies in church music and organ performance, Jeff chose Southwestern because of its comprehensive church music program.
He wound up earning two seminary degrees, a master’s in 2007 and a doctorate in 2015. He studied with legendary organ professor Al Travis, and, after Travis’ retirement, with Yoon-Mi Lim.
Jeff says it’s the people — staff and members — that make Wilshire special. “The staff is long-tenured, and there’s a reason for that. We want to stay because Wilshire is so supportive, and we work so hard as a staff because of who Wilshire is.”
Wilshire’s organ was refurbished shortly before Jeff arrived, and he appreciates the church’s commitment to organ-based worship. “What I love about the Wilshire organ is that it’s designed for singing — hymn-singing and choral accompaniment. It’s the best organ I’ve ever played for a choir.”
Jeff has been involved with all facets of music ministry at Wilshire. He accompanied the Young Musicians children’s choir for several years, taught in first grade choir, played trumpet and trombone in Wilshire Winds for a while and subs as director for various ensembles when needed. Jeff directs and teaches private lessons through Wilshire’s Academy of Fine Arts, which he helped start early in his time here.
Doug Haney says, “To quote Jeff’s mentor, Al Travis, ‘he has a million-dollar attitude.’ Jeff is always willing to do what is needed. I am grateful for Jeff’s partnership in ministry and for all the ways he helps us worship God.”
You can drop Jeff a note of gratitude or congratulations at email@example.com.