In celebration of my 300th post (yep, it's true.... 300 of these bad boys), I'm going to fulfill what appears to be a blogging tradition and tell you 100 things (plus) about myself. Here it goes...
1) My name is Bryan Bucher
2) I live in a suburb of Lima, Ohio called Shawnee.
3) I am the senior pastor of the Shawnee United Methodist Church
4) I have been married more than 17 years to the former Aimee Allen.
5) We are high school sweethearts, and a Miami Merger
6) We have three sons
7) Max is eight years old
8) Xavier is five years old
9) Eli is two years old
10) We have another baby on the way (also a boy, as per the suggestion of the ultrasound technician)
11) I was born in Columbus, Ohio.
12) We moved to Charleston, West Virginia when I was very little, and lived there about 8 years.
13) My childhood best friend, Jason Reeves, lives on land given to his family by George Washington
14) We moved to Lima, Ohio when I was ten years old (and my parents still live in the same house on Spring Street).
15) I am a Roosevelt Ram, West Titan, and Lima Senior Spartan
16) I haven't gotten any taller the past 20 years, but I have gotten wider.
17) My senior year of high school I was both the student director of the Junior/Senior Choir and student director of the Pep Band
18) I made the Pep Band play "Rubber Ducky" every game, which they hated.
19) The Varsity Basketball team my senior year was so bad, that by mid-season, instead of playing "Eye of the Tiger" when the team came out, I had the band play "Mission Impossible" (the coach was none too happy... he was fired next year though, which turned out to be a good move for the program).
20) I played sports (basketball, baseball) early in high school but stopped my junior year because I no longer enjoyed playing.
21) I took Aimee to see "Lady and the Tramp" on our first date.
22) I had her home two hours early because her father pointed a gun at me before we left, and told me he didn't know what he'd do if anything happened to his youngest daughter.
23) I have a healthy respect, and a little fear, for my father-in-law.
24) I attended Miami (Ohio) University, which was a university before Florida was a state.
25) While there, our football team had the longest non-winning streak in the country over a two year period.
25) In two Ed Psych classes I sat next Milt Stegall, who played for Miami's football team, and who now holds the record for scoring more touchdowns than anyone else in Canadian Football History.
26) The friends I made my freshman year in Stanton, were largely the same friends I hung around with my senior year.
27) I earned a degree in Secondary Education (Social Studies).
28) I student taught at Princeton (Cincinnati) Middle School and National Trail (Preble County) High School.
29) I am one Philosophy class and one year of Latin away from degrees in History, Political Geography, and Political Science (someday I will finish those degrees).
30) Once when I student taught at a high school in Preble County, Ohio, the students submitted a petition to the principle telling him I was too mean and that I should never be invited to return.
31) He called and asked me sub every day for the next three weeks.
32) Aimee and I were married when I was a senior, and she was a sophomore in college.
32) Our first home was a mobile home we purchased for $7000 in the Ray Day Mobile Home Park, Oxford, Ohio.
33) On the night I went to go talk to the owners about buying their mobile home, I was an hour late to the meeting because a 16 year old girl, who caught her 20-something boyfriend cheating on her, proceeded to run over him with her car. I found him laying in same street of my eventual home. While his friends and families were busy screaming for vengeance, I had to beg someone to bring the guy a blanket so he wouldn't go into shock, and for them to call the paramedics. Fortunately he ended up surviving the whole ordeal.
34) We bought the trailer anyway... cause love is blind and stupid.
35) My friend Steve Wheeler lived with us for a few months in order to work as a manager at a dining hall while saving money to become a missionary to Hungary.
36) I used to hustle guys on Miami's campus in games of HORSE for money, which I used exclusively to buy food.
37) Before I got married, my college roommate told me that by getting married and moving into a trailer before I completed my degree, I was ruining my life.
38) He met his future wife at our wedding, and one year later was married, and living in a trailer, while attending medical school (now how could I make that up?).
39) In college I wanted to be a teacher or lawyer. I thought I'd try teaching first, while my wife finished her degree at Miami.
40) During my student teaching, in order to make a little extra money, I took a job as a youth director at the Shawnee United Methodist Church.
41) I did it because I only had to be at church one day a week, and it paid $4k for the school year.
42) My brother, who is twelve years young than I am, ended up getting involved in the youth group, thus also making me his pastor.
43) My supervising pastor, Barry Burns, suggested I apply to seminary.
44) I applied to two in order to appease him: United Theological Seminary (Dayton) and Methodist Theological School In Ohio(Greater Columbus)
45) As I prayed about this, I told God I'd only go to seminary if I didn't have to borrow any money to cover expenses (because I am a jerk)
45) MTSO offered me a one-year non-renewable, full ride scholarship.
46) I turned it down, and told them to call me if they were willing to give me a full-ride for all three years.
47) One month later, they did because a school teacher named Helen Dornette gave them $60,000 dollars.
48) I started seminary in 1992, and sent Ms. Dornette three dozen white roses when I graduated in 1995.
49) The scholarship, however didn't include housing, so for part of my third year, I slept two or three nights a week in my car on the seminary's campus.
50) My friend Paul Rebelo, offered to let me stay at his house, a parsonage for the Ostrander United Methodist Church, for free the remainder of the year.
51) We have talked on the phone about once a week, every week, since 1995.
52) When my wife is pregnant, I tend to make a lot of omelets. Is that weird?
53) While I went to seminary, my wife earned a BS in Music Ed from Miami University, and a Masters degree in Music Ed from THE Ohio State University.
54) We had to live apart for two years while we both finished degrees... she in Oxford and I in Delaware, Ohio. We saw one another on weekends in Lima.
55) Before we had kids we ate out a lot and went to see a lot of movies.
56) Now we don't.
57) I once hiked more than 30 miles in the Chugiak National Forest, which is just outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
58) Aimee was hired as the band director at Toledo Central Catholic High School less than a week after we moved to Toledo from Lima in 1997.
59) The 18 months we spent in Toledo were 18 of the most miserable months of my life.
60) Aimee and I worked so much we never saw one another.
61) I did, though, learn how to play the bass guitar while I lived there.
62) One year into living in Toledo, we found out we were pregnant with our first son.
63) Shortly thereafter, I applied for a job with the conference ministry of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference.
64) I got the job, and a $15,000 raise. We moved to Bloomington, Illinois in December of 1998. Aimee was eight months pregnant, and we didn't know a soul in the entire conference (which was 2/3rds of the state of Illinois).
65) Our family has two pets, Lucy (dog), and Trixie (cat, who has been with us since we were married).
66) We attended a church in Bloomington who was led by a pastor named (no joke) Rob Roy, who liked to illustrate points in his sermon by playing snippets to various Christian rock songs on a CD player. We liked him immediately.
67) I started an intern program for college students thinking about going into ministry in 1999. It's my lasting contribution to the IGRAC.
68) I drove more than 50,000 miles in my year in conference ministry... mostly in a diesel Volkswagen Beetle.
69) I have owned more than 30 cars in my life (Buick Skylark, Ford Tempo, Plymouth Horizon, Pontiac 6000, Dodge Raider, Honda CRX, Volkswagen SuperBeetle Convertable, Mazda Protege, Chevy Nova, Chevy Surburban, Toyota Corolla Wagon, Nissan 280 Z, Honda Del Sol, Toyota 4-Runner, Jeep Wagoneer, Nissan Maxima, Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Eurovan, Subaru Legacy Wagon #1, Subaru Legacy Wagon #2, Toyota Pick-Up #1, Volvo 240, Honda Odyssey, Mazda MPV, Chevy Astro, Kia Sedona, and a Mercury Cougar are the ones I can remember off the top of my head)
70) The car I had the longest? The Ford Tempo... which was a total lemon.
71) We moved to Goshen in 1999, and lived there for five years.
72) We made a lot of good friends on Yorktown Drive, the greatest neighborhood in the world, whom we keep in touch with even until this day.
73) I am partial to Coca-Cola flavored Slurpees.
74) Serving at Goshen First was the greatest professional experience of my life, largely thanks to the mentoring I received from it's senior pastor, Dick Lyndon.
75) I served as the Ski Club adviser at Goshen Middle School for 2 years. Both years more than 100 kids signed up to go skiing at the Swiss Valley Ski Resort in Jones, Michigan, which is hard to believe for those of us who have actually skied there.
76) In November 2003, the senior pastor at Shawnee United Methodist Church, where I started my ministerial career, asked me to return in order to eventually succeed him as the senior pastor.
76) Dick Lyndon died unexpectedly in January 2004. I presided over his funeral.
77) It was both an honor, and personally very hard.
78) I accepted Shawnee's offer, and moved back to Lima in June 2004.
79) Upon the suggestion of my senior pastor, church lay-leaders, and district superintendent, I started a Doctorate of Ministry degree in 2006.
80) When they first suggested this, it kinda ticked me off.
81) In retrospect, though, it turned out to be a great gift.
82) The Beeson Program at Asbury enabled me to meets some of the leading scholars and pastoral leaders in the world.
83) They also serve snacks every day in the snack room outside of our carrels.
84) I am one of the last 15 or 16 fans of the NBA left in the country.
85) It took me more than two years to read "Renovation of the Heart" by Dallas Willard because it took my share group that long to work through the book.
86) I wrote a blog about speaking in tongues that was the all the rage in London for about three days.
87) I enjoy Brian McLaren's books, but wonder if he isn't just re-warmed over 60's mainline denominational liberalism.
88) I like eating very spicy, hot food, particularly Kung Pao Chicken.
90) I am happily addicted to coffee.
91) I attended the very last Cleveland Browns game in the old Cleveland Stadium before Art Modell slunk off to Baltimore.
92) 35 teenagers, who I had led on a weekend mission experience serving children at the Hough Salvation Army Center on Cleveland's gritty east side, were with me at the game.
93) There was a guy dressed as a big walking phallus with the sign that said, "I'm Art Modell" sitting two rows behind us.
94) Somebody else detached the bench we were sitting on, cut it up into pieces, and hauled it out in gym bags. We had no place to sit for the entire 4th quarter.
95) I guess I wasn't your ordinary youth pastor.
96) I made Mike Deranek, a young man from Goshen, Indiana, close our youth group in prayer approximately 105 times over a five year period.
97) I once wrote a sermon series called, "Real Good Sex" that tuned out not to be all that good.
98) I also once appeared on the Bill Belichick Show when he was the coach of the Browns (my friend Wayne Kintz is my witness).
99) I once won an award for raising more money than any other kid in Kanawha County, West Virginia in a read-a-thon benefiting multiple sclerosis.
100) My young brother, Brother Esq, is the two-time repeating champion of our Fantasy League
101) His reign ends this year.