Dr. Henry Brandt, Pioneer in Modern-Day Biblical Counseling Dies
Singer Island, Florida, November 25, 2008–Dr. Henry Brandt, acknowledged by many as the “Father of Modern-Day Biblical Counseling” died yesterday from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He was 92.
For over five decades, Dr. Brandt–international consultant, educator, counselor, author, and conference speaker–impacted the lives of countless people. He possessed wisdom and skill as a communicator and authored numerous books including the classic, The Heart of the Problem, as well as his soon-to-be-released, Soul Prescription, which he co-authored with the late Bill Bright. His work, which has been translated into many languages, has circulated the globe and continues to influence many as people access his insightful principles and teachings by way of the internet.
Born in Canada in 1916, the youngest of 10 children, Henry grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Houghton College in 1947, his Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University in 1949, and his PhD in Marriage and Family Relations from Cornell University in 1952.
After completing his doctorate at Cornell, Henry served for two years as the Dean of Men at his alma mater, Houghton College. He was then invited to take a one-year sabbatical replacement position teaching Speech at North American Baptist Seminary. The experience taught him far more than he had anticipated: it set the course of his career in public speaking.
In 1955, following his pivotal year at North American Baptist Seminary, Henry moved back to Michigan. He worked for three years as a full-time staff member for the Clare Elizabeth Fund, not only to develop further some of the key teaching principles behind the Lamaze Program, but also to supervise twelve children’s nurseries.
Henry served for over a decade (1955-65) as a licensed psychologist in the area of individual, marriage and family counseling in private practice in Michigan. During this time his call to ministry and his gifts in public speaking led him to host a popular family radio program aired over the Moody Bible Institute’s station WMBI from 1961 to 1971.
In 1965, Henry combined his vocation with a business endeavor to support his growing worldwide outreach. After developing a group of restaurants into a profitable venture, he sold them to purchase the state franchise for a popular ice cream parlor chain. With the success of his businesses, Henry was able to continue his international speaking, teaching, and counseling ministry.
Throughout Henry’s career, he taught in a number of institutes, colleges and seminaries, including The General Motors Institute, Houghton College, North American Baptist Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Christian Heritage College, and Palm Beach Atlantic University. He was instrumental in founding departments of psychology for both Christian Heritage College and Palm Beach Atlantic University.
In 2003, the American Association of Christian Counselors presented Henry with their “Care Giver Award” for his lifetime achievements in counseling. With a focus on individual development as well as marriage and family living, the legacy of his ministry has been written in the hearts and lives of generations of men, women, and children around the world.
Known as a communicator of communicators, Henry had an uncanny ability to understand his audience and to deliver just the right message. His use of Scripture, combined with his unique sense of humor, has reached the “inner person” of many to help facilitate genuine change.
In 2006, the Henry Brandt Foundation was established to preserve and advance the insightful, life-changing biblical principles of Dr. Brandt. His teachings and more of his biography are available online at www.HenryBrandtFoundation.org.
Henry was married for forty-two years to Eva (d. 1979), with whom he had three children-Dick, Beth, and Suzanne. He was married to Marcy (d. 1982) for three years. Henry has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Henry and Jo married in 1987. Jo has three children-Chris, Juliette, and Will (d. 2001)-and four grandchildren.
A memorial service for Dr. Brandt is planned for January, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.