Here’s What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • The defining moment when Brian knew he had to go into urban ministry
  • How Brian learned public speaking as an introvert
  • Council for de-escalating a situation and for opening up dialogue to strangers on the street
  • Why (and how) Brian prioritizes self-care above all else for his team and himself
  • The unique way Brian hiked the Appalachian trail

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with the founder of Porch Magazine, Gareth Higgins.


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Show Notes

About Brian Combs

Rev. Brian Combs is a graduate of NC State and Emory University. While no degree was awarded, his most formative education came from attending integrated public schools, washing dishes at Camp Tekoa, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, and immersing himself on the streets of poverty. On the gritty corners downtown, he felt a calling to urban ministry after encountering God among the most cast aside and dismissed. In 2009, he helped found Haywood St., a United Methodist mission congregation located in the homeless corridor of Asheville.

Haywood Street Congregation

Haywood Street is a United Methodist mission congregation and faith-based nonprofit founded in 2009 by Rev. Brian Combs.

Their core programs include weekly worship, a clothing closet, community garden, a free community lunch known as the Downtown Welcome Table, and Haywood Street Respite, which offers a safe place for adults experiencing homelessness to stay on a short term basis after being discharged from a hospital.

Visit to learn more.


  • Camp Tekoa
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Pritchard Park
  • Craggy Gardens

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