When Patrick Trawick ’06 was searching for a worship pastor to join a new church plant he was leading in North Carolina, he called fellow University of Mobile graduate Zach Adamson ’09for a recommendation.
The two had traveled during their school years with the ensemble Vision, and Zach was now serving as worship pastor at 3Circle Church, where another Vision alumnus, Chris Bell ’00, serves as lead pastor.
“I may have a guy who would work well up there,” Adamson said, and he recommended UM graduate Britton Johnston ’14.
Now, the two UM alumni serve together at the Franklin Campus of Biltmore Church, one of the top 100 fastest growing and largest churches in America.
That’s how the University of Mobile alumni connection works.
“I believe that the caliber of students UM is producing rivals any other Christian institution in the world. I want more of them to come serve with us in North Carolina,” Patrick said.
Patrick and Britton attended UM at different times, but their UM experiences made it easy to establish bonds and work together.
“It’s been a good partnership between Britton and I, because we had a lot of the same experiences going to the same school and had mutual friends – that’s how we got connected,” Patrick said. “We were able to get work done a lot faster; it felt like we knew each other. We learned the same things at UM, even though we were there at separate times.”
Britton said being Alabama natives living in North Carolina added to the shared experiences.
Patrick was born and raised in Malvern, AL. During his high school and college years, Patrick traveled the southeast leading worship with various evangelistic organizations and his college. Before graduating college in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in religion and church music, he served as a ministry intern at Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile, where later he was hired to be the high school pastor.
In 2009, he and wife Aimee Jordan moved to east Tennessee to serve with Manley Baptist Church in a variety of roles, including student pastor, pastor of education and teaching pastor.
In 2012, the family joined the staff of Biltmore Church to launch a new campus in Franklin, NC. Patrick serves as pastor at the Franklin Campus, where attendance averages 500 on any given week. Biltmore Church averages over 7,000 worshipers every week, meeting at five different campuses in western North Carolina.
From 2007 to 2009, Patrick attended New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary in pursuit of a Master of Divinity. Because of his move to North Carolina, he transferred to Rockbridge Seminary where he completed his Master of Divinity in 2014. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry in Transformational Leadership from Rockbridge Seminary and hopes to be completed this year. The Trawicks have two sons: Haddon, 6, and Hudson, 2.
Britton, a native of Montgomery, AL, traveled and led worship with several UM ensembles, including Impact and Exit 13. He graduated in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in worship leadership. When Patrick called, the pastor was looking for a worship leader who had high character, competency for the job, and the chemistry to work with the existing team.
Britton had all three.
He joined the Biltmore Church staff in January 2015 to serve as worship pastor at the Franklin Campus. He met his wife, Brooke Reed, and they were married March 26, 2016. Their first child, Hensley Jae Johnson, was born January 26, 2017.
Responding to the Call
Patrick and Britton each felt a call to ministry. Patrick initially thought his calling was to worship ministry, but God made it clear during his college years that his calling was to pastoral ministry. Britton knew he was called to ministry, but didn’t know what capacity. He grew up in the Church of Christ, and decided he wanted to go into instrumental worship ministry. He gained experience in travelling ensembles at UM.
The academic preparation and experience each had, although more than a decade apart, enabled them to be effective together
“UM provided hands-on, real-world experiences that were easily transferable to the hands-on local church ministry I am doing here in Franklin,” Britton said. “The music department specifically prepared me not only with musical theory and professionalism, but spiritually as well.” Patrick said UM gave him a solid educational foundation from which to launch his ministry.
“Their commitment to conservative theological training was paramount in launching me into full-time ministry. What I learned at UM really laid the groundwork for what I learned in my master’s and doctoral studies,” Patrick said. “The education I received was extremely practical. It was always about changing the world.”
In ministry together, they are focused on reaching the unchurched in Macon County and Western North Carolina, and helping disciple people to grow in spiritual maturity.
“As a pastor, I have seen Britton help lead our people at the Franklin Campus to a better understanding of what worship is,” Patrick said.
Patrick decided in the 8th grade, when the ensemble Vision sang at his church, that he was going to UM and that the Lord was leading him to ministry. Britton heard the ensemble Impact during his senior year of high school, and made his college decision then.
Both said it was a life-changing decision, with memories and experiences they carry with them today.
Patrick said choosing one favorite college memory is impossible.
“From my first Ram Rush to graduation, to everything in between,” Patrick said. “I don’t know if I could nail it down to one thing. I loved everything and every minute at University of Mobile.”