Brad is a native of Kansas and was born and raised in Newton. He graduated from Newton High School in 1978. He went on to study for a few years at Wichita State University and Bethel College, and later finished his studies in Organizational Management and Leadership at Friends University.
During his high school years, Brad began working in the retail menswear business in Newton. He was always a real ‘people person’ and thrived on serving his customers to make their shopping experience fun and meaningful. Brad also knew he had a desire for public service and wanted to run for public office someday. He became active in local and statewide politics, and his dream was realized when he was nominated to run for the Kansas House of Representatives in 1982. The day after the election found Brad losing by the closest of margins, after being declared the projected winner by KAKE news around 11 o’clock election night.
In 1984, wanting to move up in his Menswear career, Brad moved to Wichita to work for Woolf Brothers, one of the oldest and most prestigious clothing stores in the country. His career in retail clothing included working for such great Wichita stores as Gentry Ltd., Henry’s, and Johnston’s Clothiers.
1984 was a big year for Brad. While working for Woolf Brothers, he met and fell in love with Rhonda, one of the stores female wardrobe consultants. Brad and Rhonda were married in 1986, have raised two children, and have shared over 34 years of marriage.
With an eye for detail, one of Brad’s gifts was in wardrobe design. In 1988 he graduated in the first class of Certified Wardrobe Consultants by the National Menswear Association, offering complete wardrobe analysis for his customers. He also furthered his love for public speaking by creating a corporate wardrobe seminar titled, “Dress for Success”, which he offered to many companies in Wichita and around the state.
Through the years, while Brad loved serving the people of Wichita in retail, he felt a deeper calling to serve humanity through Christian ministry. In 1996, he went to work as a salesman for Love Box Company while beginning his studies for ministry and ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. In 1998, Brad received his first Minister’s license, and in 2000 he began serving as an Associate Pastor of Wichita First Church of the Nazarene.
As an ordained minister, Brad’s calling to serve others has now included over 20 years of pastoral ministry with the First Church of the Nazarene here in Wichita, and First Church of the Nazarene in San Antonio, Texas. In 2019 he stepped away from his full-time pastoral responsibilities and began Brad Riley Ministries Inc, a 501c3 Nonprofit organization that ministers to people across all denominational boundaries as a speaker and pastoral counselor.
As a part of Brad’s ecumenical ministry, he founded the Living Waters Ministry Center, a compassionate ministry center for the inner city of Wichita. He also co-founded the Ecumenical Christian Prayer Group and The Merciful Servants of Christ. For many years now, Brad has also worked very closely with the Cozine Memorial Group ministering to hundreds of families by officiating funeral and memorial services. He also currently serves as Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Udall, Kansas.
Brad also has a passion for reading and writing. He is a published author of the blog, ‘bradriley.org’, numerous devotional articles, and two books. His most recent book, A PRESENCE IN THE DARK: Finding Hope in Death was written to help people realize the amazing gift that life is, how death is actually a part of the gift of living, and how to grieve more healthily when facing death.
Joining the Cozine Memorial Group as Care Coordinator for families is a real privilege for Brad and a natural extension of his ministry to the community of Wichita.