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Telling the Truth Backgrounder

The story of Telling the Truth starts with the story of an amazing couple—Stuart and Jill Briscoe.
The Briscoes’ journey began in England. Both Stuart and Jill were born there, he in Cumbria, in 1930, and Jill in Liverpool in 1935. Stuart was born into a Christian home. Upon graduating from high school at age 17, he immediately moved into the working world of banking. Around this time, he also formed a band with his brother and a friend and began traveling, performing, and preaching. Jill didn’t encounter her faith until an illness sent her to a hospital at age 18. She tells the story of meeting another patient at the hospital who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her, and she became a Christian. Upon graduating Cambridge with a teaching degree, Jill returned to Liverpool where she taught and initiated an outreach ministry to the youth of the city.
Stuart and Jill met at a youth conference at Capernwray Hall in England. They married in 1958, and in 1959, both Stuart and Jill left their careers—his in banking and hers in teaching—to work full time for Torchbearers, an international Christian ministry organization involved in evangelism and Bible teaching. Stuart traveled around the world evangelizing, and Jill remained at Capernwray Hall, raising their three children, Dave, Judy and Pete, and continuing outreach ministries. While traveling throughout the U.S. as part of Torchbearers, he met members of Elmbrook Church. They were seeking a pastor; Stuart was feeling led to find a home church that would value outreach but also allow him to reduce the traveling that kept him away from his family for up to nine months at a time.

In 1970, Stuart, with Jill’s blessing, accepted the invitation to come to Elmbrook Church, a nondenominational Christian church, and serve as its pastor. A year later, Telling the Truth began at the suggestion of a friend who believed that Stuart’s teaching needed to be heard beyond the walls of the church. Although not officially on staff at Elmbrook, Jill’s teaching was soon added to the radio program. She was also involved in children’s and women’s ministry at the church, and in 1990 began a quarterly magazine for pastors’ wives called Just Between Us, with subscribers in 75 countries and all 50 states.

During Stuart’s time at Elmbrook, the church grew exponentially and became the largest church in Wisconsin.
After 30 years, Stuart stepped down as senior pastor, and some expected the Briscoes to retire from ministry. What many didn’t realize is that Stuart’s “retirement” from Elmbrook Church simply allowed the Briscoes to return to their starting point and their passion: worldwide ministry and outreach.
Stuart and Jill have continued to travel throughout the world as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook Church into large cities, small towns, and rural back-country areas where they provide leadership training and support to local church pastors and lay leaders. They have traveled to 100 countries on every continent including Romania, China, India, Congo, New Zealand, Australia, England, Austria, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Thailand, Canada and many others. Stuart and Jill have been asked why they don’t slow down but instead keep going so much and so far. Stuart’s reply? “Because we’re invited.”
From 2003 to 2021, their youngest son, Pete, joined Telling the Truth’s teaching team. Pete was only seven years old when his family moved from the UK to Milwaukee, WI. He spent much of his young life in the bustling and growing church, but it wasn’t until 1982, after a mission trip to the Philippines, that Pete realized God was calling him to be a pastor. After completing his seminary training at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1991, he served for nearly 30 years as the senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, a multi-site church based in suburban Dallas, Texas.
Telling the Truth’s half-hour Bible teaching broadcast is listened to on nearly 500 radio outlets throughout the United States including Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Milwaukee, across North America on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, as well as the United Kingdom, Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. The program can also be heard online through various media sites, apps, and iTunes via free streaming audio, MP3 download, and podcasting.

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