Summer/Fall  2000
Volume 5 Number 1

Osmond Philip "Buck" Breland

by Doug Valentine, M.Div. Class of 2000 and pastor of Hamilton Square Baptist Church in Hamilton, New Jersey

Buck Breland, a PTS student and a friend to many on this campus and around the world, died on November 8, 1999. Buck lived among us quietly and urgently, gracefully and graciously, during the last three years of his intense seven-year battle with cancer. He was twenty-nine when he died too young and too soon of complications from Hodgkin’s disease. He is survived by his loving wife, Michele McLaughlin, his brother, Patrick Breland, his mother, Linda Breland Ward, and his father, Osmond Philip Breland Jr.

Buck was born on August 7, 1970, in Houston, Texas. In 1991 he studied in Guanajusto, Mexico. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. Following college, Buck studied at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin where he delivered the commencement address in 1997.

For much of his life, Buck advocated for universal healthcare—while working as a legislative aide to Texas state representative Glen Maxey, while a seminarian and cancer patient, and while among his friends.

In Princeton, Buck studied for his M.Div., served as a pastoral associate at Kingston United Methodist Church, and tirelessly fought the despair of his condition with words of hope and encouragement for everyone who knew him.

Among those who were fortunate enough to call him a colleague, Buck was first to break down humanly built walls…last to leave someone in need; first to openly share his struggles in life…last to blame another for them; first to encourage and affirm the broken… last to judge or accuse.

Buck Breland was a clear and living reflection of the grace and love of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. He was truly one of God’s great treasures at Princeton Theological Seminary, a rare and precious gift. We will miss him.


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