A Praise to God for His work through the Life of
Brueschwyler was greatly used of God during a lifetime devoted to caring
for the people of God through Christian Pastoral Ministry.
Don was born on January 26, 1939 and grew up in Irvington, NJ, attending Evangel Baptist Church in Newark. He was active as a young person in the programs of church and under the faithful teaching of his Pastor, Rev. G. Harold Hill, Don grew in his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He dedicated his life to the Lord at the Billy Graham Crusade in New York City in 1956, telling his mom that he was willing to serve the Lord, but he hoped it would not be in New York City.
In 1956 he graduated from Irvington High where he received the top Music award for the Marching band (he played the baritone horn). Don then went on to Houghton College in upstate New York and graduated in 1960 with a BA in History. While at Houghton he worked at a small church called Transit Bridge Church. He also worked in the Post Office and pasteurized all of the milk for the college. (Of course this came to him naturally since his dad was a milkman and Don had been delivering with him for years.). In the summer of 1961 he preached his first sermon of record at Evangel Baptist Church-"An Exemplary Service" from Acts 20:17-34. He was now on his way to pastoral ministry.
After college, Don went to Gordon Seminary in Beverly, Massachusetts. While studying at Gordon he was Youth Director at Glendale Baptist Church in Everett, Massachusetts. When he received his M.Div in 1963, Don accepted the position of Christian Education & Youth Director at First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, New Jersey. He was now in full-time ministry for his Lord. He taught Sunday School, (also Chinese classes after morning service), directed youth programs (Eager Beavers, Jet Cadets, Junior High, Senior High, College & Career) all with the help of sponsors from the church, directed VBS, coached the "great" FBC basketball team and much more. In August of 1963 while Pastor Mackay was vacationing, Don preached his first sermon at FBC-"Uncommitted Helpers" from II Samuel 6:1-11. He was always trying to get people working for the Lord. There are some who are "working for the Lord" today at First Baptist of Bloomfield and in other churches who were challenged by Don. He ministered at FBC until November, 1967, when the Lord called him to another ministry.
In 1967 Don was called to be Pastor at Wadsworth Baptist Church in New York City (remember what he had told his mom back in 1956?) just across the George Washington Bridge. Many times the young people from FBC were invited over to Wadsworth to help as an outreach in VBS or to referee one of the basketball games in the gym. There were the times when the young people (who were getting a little older by now) went to Wadsworth and helped paint the hallways in the building. Since he was just across the GW Bridge it was easy to maintain friendships with the FBC people. After seven fruitful years of service at Wadsworth, Don accepted the call to the Central Baptist Church on Amsterdam & 92nd Street in Manhattan.
Acting on his heartfelt burden for the needs of the inner-city, Don took up this new challenge. He spent 19 rich years of ministry at Central where he initiated many new outreaches to the people in the neighborhood, including Basketball Leagues and Summer Camp programs through the West Side Kings Association. Having a burden to get inner-city "kids" out of the city & away from the influence of friends and into an educational setting, the West Side Kings Association sponsored several teens to attend high schools (i.e. Laurenburg in NC or Houghton Academy in NY) or colleges (i.e. Houghton in New York) where they were challenged in an educational setting more conducive to learning. Several of these kids graduated and now have good positions in the business world. Don provided loving Biblical leadership at Central and guided the church's transition into a harmonious multi-ethnic congregation that reflects the family of God. During this time he also served on the Board of the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society and helped shape a concern for Urban ministries that continues to this day. He also was the Protestant chaplain at the Isabella Home on Audubon Ave. where every Sunday he held services in the afternoon. His mom played the piano and his sister sang. Many of those older people looked forward to the Brueschwyler family coming to give them a spiritual uplift each week.
In 1997 Don returned to First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, serving as Pastor of Outreach and developing programs that helped the community and others that served the needs of Church families. His ministry was also deeply appreciated by the seniors at the church. Don and his sister Bunny presented many programs and served the needs of our older members.
When Don left FBC in 1998, he continued his effective ministry, serving several churches in the New York/New Jersey metro area as Interim Pastor. He enjoyed the challenges that the Lord allowed him to have in ministering to each church during their time without a Pastor.
Don remained single through his life, devoting untold thousands of hours to the work of ministry to people who needed to be reminded of God's care for them. His desire was to be all that God wanted him to be and he wanted to be used continually for God. On February 11, 2000, the Lord called Don into His presence after a battle with cancer. He fought it all the way, praying that God would heal him so that he could continue his ministry in some way. But the Lord had different plans. At his funeral, many bore witness to the way Don had ministered to them and now it is their turn to carry on the work of the Lord. "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
In Philippians 1:21 it says, "For to me to live is Christ, but to die is gain." Don has now gained his life and is in the presence of the Lord where he is rejoicing and praising the One who called him to be faithful.
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