Britt Merrick was born and raised near Santa Barbara, California, in a little town on the beach named Carpinteria. He grew up entrenched in the surf industry and was the heir to the most famous surfboard company in the world, Channel Islands Surfboards. As a young adult, he oversaw the company’s marketing and advertising and managed its amateur surf team. Working alongside his father, Surfing Hall of Famer Al Merrick, he also made (shaped) surfboards for some of the best surfers on Earth.
Britt received Jesus as Savior when he was a young child, but he had never known what it was like to walk with God every day. He had both feet in the world, using and drugs, drinking alcohol, and getting into trouble. In his early twenties, Britt was introduced to the transforming power of the Gospel and the Word of God and He began a new life. Shortly after re-committing himself to the Lord he started to teach Bible studies for local surfer kids at his parents’ home. In 1998 Britt was invited to expand the studies and launched a Friday night college ministry at a church in Santa Barbara. In 2003, sensing a further call to ministry, he laid aside his work at Channel Islands and the Friday night college ministry and he, his wife and some close friends started a church called Reality in his hometown of Carpinteria.
Reality Carpinteria has grown to a multi-campus church of about 3,000 adults. The Reality family has expanded to include churches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Stockton and London (England). Reality is passionate about church planting, community transformation and equipping and mobilizing the next generation of leaders. Britt continues to serve as pastor full time and recently authored the book Big God: What Happens When We Trust Him, which was endorsed by Francis Chan, Wayne Grudem, John Perkins and others. He lives and surfs with his wife Kate, and their two children in Carpinteria.