Sean Forrest has lived most of his life in the public eye. He began his singing and songwriting career in 1986, as he made a lucrative career performing at major night clubs and ski and beach resorts that lasted for over a decade. He learned to become an effective communicator from having an interactive show with the audience. He was married to his wife Julie in 1993. While having everything one could want, Sean felt something was lacking. His money, condo on the beach, boats, and cars did not seem to satisfy his heart, so he began asking some tough questions about life and the meaning of it.
By using “reason and faith” Sean took a risk and went on a faith search, encountered Christ, and began a new journey leaving the old life behind to begin a new walk. He became a youth minister at St. James Church in Stratford CT and also began giving little talks about his career change at other churches. Just as he was getting comfortable with his new job he felt called to take the message given to him to more people, so once again he and Julie took a leap of faith. They felt God was calling Sean to speak to more people, so he quit his job as an act of faith and he and Julie spent a week gathering all the names of pastors, priests, directors of religious education, and youth ministers and sent them handwritten letters stating, “I would love to come tell your youth and parish about my faith journey and how I encountered the Living God. If you are interested, please respond.” The first year they received 20 replies. The second year, they had 60, and then the following year, Sean was booked two years in advance.
During this 20-year span of speaking internationally to hundreds of thousands of people and countless churches and businesses, Sean continued his music career as well, producing, writing, and recording 9 CD’s and selling over 40,000 copies. He has written three books and one children’s book.
In 2001 Sean felt called again to take a leap of faith. While traveling internationally speaking to people about faith, he could not look past God’s call to help the poor. He went to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Sean was so moved by the poverty he saw there that he asked God if it be His will to help him build an orphanage where he could help create future leaders of faith for the country of Haiti. God blessed that vision and Sean surrounded himself with an amazing team and an orphanage was built and the organization “Haiti180” was established where Sean serves as co-founder, president and mission leader.
Soon after the orphanage was constructed, they built a beautiful chapel reminding everyone to keep Christ at the heart of the mission. Inspired by God’s grace to not stop there Haiti180 constructed a beautiful school that has 350 amazing students who will speak three languages when they graduate.
Broken-hearted by the loneliness and despair of the forgotten elderly who often die alone in their huts, Haiti180 constructed two elderly homes and watched in awe at God’s plan as the children of the orphanage began interacting with the elderly, creating a beautiful grandparent program. Haiti180 just completed a state-of-the-art medical facility that will serve thousands with urgent care, maternity care, dental and eye care, cardiology and radiology departments, and lab work. Since inception, thousands of missionaries have come to help the poorest of the poor, and in doing so have been blessed greatly. Haiti180 has over 45 Haitian employees and has become something greater then Sean ever imagined, but that is how our God works.
During that period of speaking, teaching and mission work Sean went back to college and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He also took a job teaching religion at St Joseph School in Baltic, CT.
Sean continues to say that it is not the greatness of him or the organization that has allowed all of these things to happen but rather the grace of God. Sean defines his role as “someone who creates space for others to enter into and let God be amazing through them.” You will often hear Sean say, “be ready to enter in. Don’t be afraid to go on the adventure. You have one life! Enter in!” Sean also does not proclaim to have it all together and therefore can speak to people professionally. In fact, his approach is more of learning from his failures and helping others to avoid the snares he has found himself in. He believes the greatest gift God has given him is his wife and children who have also been graced with a spirit of adventure as well and are always ready to “enter in!”
Today, when not speaking at a conference or in Haiti, Sean and Julie live in Nashville TN. with their three children.