Brian Hill has packed a lot of life experience in his 41 years. He has learned something from every experience and shared what he’s learned as a youth pastor, a speaker, an author and business counselor.
Hill has been on top of the world, the owner of 14 businesses at one time. And he’s been at rock bottom, when a recession hit and only two of those businesses thrived.
Hill is a husband, father, self-made businessman, ordained minister, inspirational speaker and author of the book, “Just a Thought, Lessons for Civil Living.”
He is quick to admit he wouldn’t be any of those things without his wife, Melissa, by his side. The Hills met at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany in 1998 and married in 2001. Eleanor, 11, and Josiah, 8, round out the Hill clan.
The impressionable years
Brian Hill came from humble, blue-collar beginnings. His father was a laborer in a lumber yard and his mother had a home day care. Brian was an only child and he looks back now with awe at the sacrifices Sam and Myra Hill made for him.
Brian also looked up to his late grandfather, Leroy Thornton, a Pentecostal preacher.
“Dad taught me how to work and granddad taught me how to represent myself, how to stand with the best of them,” Brian said. “He told me, ‘No matter how poor you are, you can dress, you can keep yourself clean, you can hold a presence’.”
Brian learned his work ethic from his father and his entrepreneurial spirit from his mother. He went to work beside Dad in the lumber yard when he was just 11 years old. He made $30 a week carrying concrete and loading 2x4s during the summers. When his father went to work at a plumbing and electrical supplier, Brian, then 15, joined him.
Brian didn’t play football or tennis, he worked. It was important that he pay his own way, buy his own clothing, his cars and his first pair of name-brand tennis shoes as a 15-year-old.
Brian’s mother opened a day care in the living room when he was 13, eventually decided to build on to the back of the house and filled it with children. From there she bought a second location and filled it with children. In recent years, she has suffered some health setbacks.
“She is a walking, breathing miracle. She’s had 21 or 22 major surgeries. She is a warrior like none other,” Brian said.
Running toward the House
Melissa said she knew immediately Brian was the man she would marry. He was confident, not afraid to speak his mind or make mistakes. Melissa, Eleanor and Josiah, along with Brian’s parents, plan to be right by his side as he makes his first run for public office.
Brian can’t pinpoint a particular time, but he knows he has been preparing his entire life to serve the good people of District 47 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“Speaking of the American dream — anyone can do it. It takes a fire in your gut and grit in your soul, but it’s obtainable,” he said.
Brian first began thinking of how he could make a difference when he and Melissa were foster parents. They were in the adoption process when an obscure government regulation put a stop to it. Now that girl is in prison, instead of being a part of the Hill family.
“Foster parents should be protected and in turn, that would protect our kids. They deserve it, and for the future of the state, they need it,” Brian said.
As business owners, the Hills have felt the pain of government regulations. Brian wants to help bring more business to the state to help fix state budget issues. He feels the most important issue facing the state today is education.
“I think every child in Oklahoma should get the best education we can provide. That means taking care of our teachers, so they can take care of our kids.”