Brian moved to Fort Worth in 1977 as a second-grader when his parents purchased a chocolate factory here known as The Sweet Shop. Over almost two decades they grew it to one of the larger chocolate factories in America. Bill and Judie Byrd, Brian’s parents, started and developed multiple businesses in Fort Worth and Weatherford including restaurants, a dairy farm, and the Culinary School of Fort Worth. In the 1980’s, Bill was elected the Republican Party Chairman of Parker County.
Theirs was a household where business and government were discussed around the dinner table, and the Byrd children learned a variety of skills from milking cows to creating budgets. From an early age, Brian developed a love and knowledge of service, hard work, and organizational leadership.
As his family moved to Weatherford then back to Fort Worth, Brian enjoyed attending a variety of schools including St. Paul Lutheran Day School, All Saints, and Fort Worth Country Day.
For high school Brian settled in at Arlington Heights. It was a busy time and he loved all of it.
As a sophomore, Brian ran for student body Vice-President. He unabashedly employed audacious campaign techniques such as having a friend dress in a “Byrd” costume. The students loved it and he won. Later that year he was elected by student leaders from other high schools to be the Fort Worth United High School Council President.
Throughout high school Brian enjoyed leading in his church youth group. He also completed his Eagle Scout.
During the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, Brian used his ham radio license to connect families in Fort Worth with their relatives in Mexico City. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an article on his efforts.
Brian majored in International Business and minored in Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. In college Brian served as a worship leader for Cru and as a campus leader for Young Life. He ran for student body president and placed 3rd out of nine candidates.
During his junior year Brian injured his knee playing basketball and following surgery spent the next summer shadowing physicians in Fort Worth. This experience changed the course of his career from business to medicine.
After college he met the love of his life, Stephanie McWilliams. Stephanie also grew up in Fort Worth and, at the time she and Brian met, was finishing an English degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. They married in 1994 and moved to San Antonio where Brian completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center and Stephanie graduated from law school at St. Mary’s.
Brian and Stephanie moved to Waco in 1998 where Brian completed his residency in Family Medicine and Stephanie earned a master’s degree at Baylor in Church-State Studies. They had their first of three children in Waco before moving back to Fort Worth in 2001.
After returning to Fort Worth, Brian opened his medical practice, Texas Family Medicine, which has since grown to include three physicians and a nurse practitioner. In 2008 Brian started Texas Hospice which grew to include branches in Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio. Brian sold Texas Hospice in 2013 to Encompass Home Health and Hospice and has stayed on as an Associate Medical Director.
For several years Brian and Stephanie enjoyed serving as area coordinators for Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Ministry, which serves children of prisoners. They worked with roughly 40 churches to provide Christmas gifts for over 3,000 local children on behalf of their incarcerated parents. Brian joined the national board of Prison Fellowship Ministries in 2012.
In 2010 Brian was part of a first-response medical team in Port-au-Prince Haiti following the historic January earthquake. The Star-Telegram wrote about that effort:
Brian has served on the board of directors for Tarrant Net, a Fort Worth ministry that unites area churches for the purpose of better serving our community. Tarrant Net leads Read2Win, which sends over 400 volunteers into Fort Worth elementary schools to help first graders learn to read.
In 2016, Brian and his daughter Allison joined thousands of other relief workers assisting with the refugee crisis. They served in a refugee camp in Greece and were deeply moved by the stories of Afghan, Syrian, and Iranian families.
Brian served as the Executive Pastor at Antioch Fort Worth from 2014 to 2016.