Brian entered Messiah College as an anthropology major, expecting to one day become a professor. While he possessed qualities that would be conducive to teaching, the longer he thought about his interests, the clearer it became that he should change majors. He realized that he enjoyed helping people "de-stress," and he enjoyed coordinating recreational activities. A recreation major eventually replaced anthropology.
While at Messiah, Brian was a member of the soccer team, although he confesses that he spent more time watching the game than playing. He also assisted with the intramural sports program, which was one experience that reassured him that he belonged in the recreation major. "It seemed to be a natural fit," he comments. Luetchford feels that Messiah College not only provided him with a liberal arts education but also, more importantly, provided him with a passion to integrate serving God into his profession.
Brian admits that when he graduated from Messiah, he had doubts about his undergraduate degree. As an alum, he came to the Career Center for guidance. After a series of personality tests, he was reassured that he should continue on his current vocational path. He went on to receive a certificate in business management from the American Management Association.
Brian worked at West Shore as the Recreational Director for a number of years. He then went on to Harrisburg, where he coordinated special events for the city. For the past fifteen years, he has served as the director of parks and recreation for Lower Paxton Township, where he supervises over 200 employees and coordinates hundreds of activities. He is responsible for 14 different parklands and coordinates the Friendship Community Center, which has 6,000 members. Currently, he is working on two projects for the township, a 62-acre park and a 93-acre park, and he ultimately hopes for continued growth within the department.
• "Talking to alumni in the right field will direct you to the right people."
Brian believes that God opened just the right doors that have led him to his present career. There are certain times that remind him just why God opened these doors. He recognizes, "It is during times of crisis that when people are looking for answers, and [when people] want to discuss issues of the heart beyond leisure activities . . . those times tell me I am where I am supposed to be."
One mindset that the Messiah community tries to foster is that one can serve God and people within any career, not in the mission field alone. Brian is confident he is doing just that. He explains that what he accomplishes within his career "helps people be together to develop quality of life." Additionally, he and his wife plan short-term mission projects to the Dominican Republic with Medical Ministry International.
Profile by Maria Karlya, 2005