George Crain “Brick” Bradford died in his home in Edmond, Oklahoma, and rose to glory on February 16, 2013 at the age of 89.
Brick was a great pioneer in the worldwide movement of the Holy Spirit.
At his passing both Carter Blasdell and I (Brad Long) want to reflect back and give thanks for this man of God through whom the Kingdom of God was advanced worldwide.
In May 1966, Brick Bradford joined five other Presbyterian ministers at a retreat to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Presbyterian churches.
They formed the Presbyterian Ministers Charismatic Communion. Brick said that because he was the only one who had a pencil to write with, he became the secretary of the PMCC and the first Board President and eventually was called full-time in 1972 as General Secretary.
This ministry was one tributary in a great river of the Holy Spirit moving throughout the world through the mainline denominations, bringing a renewal of dynamic faith in Jesus Christ, vitality to the Bible as the Word of God with authority for life and faith, and a release of praise and worship of the Triune God.
Supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit were rediscovered as God-given power tools for building the church, doing ministry and advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The vision of this ministry, to bring renewal in the Holy Spirit to mainline Presbyterian and Reformed churches, was mainly expressed through large conferences attended by thousands of people. Some of these events were shared with other streams of Charismatic renewal, and were truly ecumenical and multi-racial. Brick Bradford was gifted at planning these large events.
Carter Blaisdell joined him as an associate in ministry in 1979, working with him until his retirement in 1989 to publish materials, organize regional chapters, plan and conduct conferences, and launch Spirit Alive, a multi-year congregational renewal program for the whole family.
Brad Long first met Brick at a conference in Montreat, North Carolina in 1979. People packed out the auditorium; there was praise exalting Jesus, and the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit in signs and wonders. This conference was a life-transforming experience for Brad and his wife Laura, as it was for thousands of others who were hungry for an authentic experience of God.
Brick and his family traveled across the United States and Canada, going to many prayer meetings and igniting renewal. He took trips to South America, Taiwan, Japan and Korea – the fire of Pentecost took root.
Brick was greatly anointed to pray for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to receive power and gifts for witnessing to Jesus Christ.
Once, in 1985, I (Brad) attended a rather formal meeting of Presbyterians, where Brick, very matter-of-factly, prayed, “come Holy Spirit!”
The next moment, a wave of the Spirit swept over the crowd of over 500 and just about everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit and were speaking in tongues.
Through Brick Bradford’s long effective ministry Jesus truly blessed a whole generation around the world with the empowering work of the Holy Spirit.
In 1990 when I became Executive Director of PRMI, I found that Marge and Brick Bradford had left a strong foundation on which to build.
Each time I see the Holy Spirit move in even greater expansion of the Gospel through this ministry, I give thanks to God for Brick Bradford and also for Carter Blaisdell who were the pioneers in this movement.
When I (Carter) attended the memorial service in the church where Brick’s son, Rev. Mark Bradford, is the pastor, I was seated in a pew behind the family.
As we sang the first hymn, uncontrollable tears flowed. I thought, “This family is Brick and Marj’s Christian heritage. What a witness.”
Besides Mark, their son, Rev. Paul Bradford, and their son-in-law, Rev. John Fickett, are also pastors.
And beyond this family gathering there are all the others, who through Brick’s faithfully following Jesus, experienced the empowering work of the Holy Spirit and in that power effectively witness to Jesus Christ.