He grew up in Batavia, Illinois, where he had a Tribune paper route, played for the Battl'n Bulldogs, and did Houdini-like, underwater escapes at the Batavia Quarry. While attending Northern Illinois University, he became a follower of Jesus Christ in the spring of 1982 through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. He graduated from Northern with a BA in Marketing and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a Master of Divinity degree. He pastored Community Church in Appleton, WI for ten years before moving back to his home area to plant Valleybrook Community Church.
Pastor Brian is married to Elizabeth, who is a professor at Moody Bible Institute, where Pastor Brian is also an adjunct professor. They have three children, Caleb, Caitlin, and Josh. Caleb married Katy in 2017, a lovely addition to the Smith family.