The Emerging Prairie team is thrilled to have Brent McNeal as a guest writer who will be helping us tell the stories of our 1 Million Cups Fargo speakers each week. As a non-native Fargo-Moorheadian, a pastor and an all around lovable person, Prairie Den members and community members alike can’t help but share their stories with him. Keep reading to learn more about Brent (which isn’t actually his first name!) and thank him for contributing to Emerging Prairie and the 1 Million Cups Fargo community.
What is your nickname? Christopher Brent McNeal is
What is your organization name? Sojourn Church, I am one of the pastors of the church.
What topics will you be focusing on in your writing?
I will be interviewing and writing about the 1 Million Cups Fargo presenters each week. I want to tell their story about why they chose to start their business.
Where is home for you?
I call home wherever my family is and not a city on a map. Currently, my wife Krystle and son Zachariah and I call Moorhead, Minnesota home. However, I was born in Alabama and lived most of my life in Texas.
What brought you to Fargo, ND?
I usually joke that it was the weather that had drawn us here. When you live in the Texas heat for most of your life, the beautiful summers of Fargo are sublime.
My wife and I moved to Fargo-Moorhead 4 ½ years ago from Arlington, Texas. We fell in love with the city of Fargo and I came to start Sojourn Church with a few friends we had met years before our arrival.
What is your personal or professional BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)?
I am living that dream right now, starting a church here in Fargo. It is not an easy task, but it brings life, energy, and excitement to my life. I am dreaming of creating an app that would help pastors teach and connect with people in their church. If you want to help, then let me know!
On a scale of non-techie to tech guru, where do you fall?
I would be somewhere in the middle. I can talk about most things tech, however, I would not be the first person to go for tech help.
What is your role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?
My strength is as a connector of people and ideas to offer the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I have experience of starting something from nothing and have raised support and momentum for the church through telling my story with others. Most of all, I would say that I can get to know someone and their story quickly which then leads me to connect them to others that complement or build upon their story.
When you’re taking time for you, what’s your go-to?
I am a people person. First, I love spending time with my family. Then, I spend time with my friends in and out of the church. On most Saturdays, in the Fall you will find me watching the University of Alabama football games.
What’s your favorite hidden gem that you’ve discovered so far in Fargo?
It’s the same thing that had me excited when we first moved and it is only getting better. I love to drink coffee and knowing that there are more options than just Starbucks was and still is refreshing. In the Dallas area, Starbucks dominates the coffee landscape. Here in Fargo, there are options upon options and that makes my heart and my mouth happy.
How did you first connect with Emerging Prairie?
I learned about Emerging Prairie through 1 Million Cups Fargo a few years ago. After hearing an announcement about the Prairie Den Co-working space I followed up on the opportunity and have been a member since the Prairie Den opened.
What is the best way to connect with or get into contact with you?
Catch me at 1 Million Cups Fargo each week or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to check out Brent’s first article on Tyler Ebert of AdrenaCard.