Alumni Events

My Friend, Jimmy Brazell

Quinton Cools May 02, 2018
Back to Blog

Jimmy Brazell continues to inspire me.


I met Jimmy when we were volunteering with TeenPact for the first time. We were both attending the ministry’s inaugural Staff Training event and quickly became friends. Providence would have it that we would staff together not once, not twice, but three times that year. Jimmy lived life contagiously. He led by example. He lived with a passionate love of God and earnestly wanted people to be found by the Savior. We would often talk about matters of theology, leadership, and, of course, TeenPact.


Jimmy and I both applied for the TeenPact Internship. I remember eagerly opening my letter to find out I had been invited to serve on the team only to soon found out that Jimmy received a different letter. It’s a hard letter to receive. What someone does in response is telling. Jimmy could have sulked and plodded along when he wasn’t asked to serve as a TeenPact Intern, but he didn’t. He pursued the mission of God with even greater passion elsewhere in the world. He moved to China. He taught young kids and loved people. We kept up over the occasional Skype call throughout his time there before he returned to the U.S.


It had been a year since I’d seen him, and I remember right where I was when I received the devastating news. Jimmy had been involved in a tragic accident that left him with no pulse — no breath— no life left in His lungs. I stayed up late into the night trying to “figure things out”, and I cried. I cried so many tears. I finally fell asleep but would suddenly awake with Jimmy’s face on the forefront of my mind. I felt his loss in my spirit, but I knew that nothing I could do could bring Jimmy back.


Jimmy was one of those unique people you meet in life who truly inspires you to live differently. Jimmy had such a passion for living a life for God. He loved God’s people, and He loved the lost. Jimmy was a shining light for our Savior in a dark and dying world, and now he was gone. While on this earth, Jimmy breathed in the grace of God and breathed out that same grace to others. He is remembered for saying, “It takes a lot of love to live!”


Jimmy has had a huge impact on my life, and his legacy has impacted thousands since his death.


I miss his smile, his music, and his friendship, but his legacy inspires me to press on. I miss my friend, Jimmy Brazell. When people talk about their spiritual heroes, I think of Jimmy. Shortly after his death in 2011, I wrote, “When I grow up, I want to be like you. When I grow up, I want to be like Jimmy.” Jimmy’s life was short, but full. However long God gives us, what will our legacy be? Jimmy left this legacy — love. What’s yours?



TeenPact Leadership Schools and the Jimmy Brazell Foundation invite you to share your story. How have you impacted the world or your community through servant-minded, Christ-like love? Please write a 500-1000 word essay in order to compete for our 2018 Jimmy Brazell Community Impact Scholarship Award, which honors the top three contestants with a full tuition scholarship to be used towards a 2018 Alumni Event of their choice. Submissions must be received by Monday, May 7, 2018. Please visit for more information.


About the Author

Quinton Cools

Quinton Cools grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and like any true Oregonian, he can identify the perfect cup of coffee. Quinton’s love for… Read More