As she marks the one-year anniversary of her appointment as pastor of Westbury United Methodist Church, Reverend Adrienne Brewington is filled with enthusiasm for her congregation. And, growth seems to be promise of her tenure at the church.
Reverend Adrienne Brewington is celebrating one year as pastor of Westbury United Methodist Church. Photo by Al Posillico
"There is just a spirit of excitement here, that I think is very positive. Our worship attendance is up. Our membership is increasing, and I'm just happy to be here," the new pastor said, describing her first year's experience, during an interview last week.
Al Campbell, an active member of the congregation, is among those who describe Pastor Brewington as a promising church leader. The 43-year-old minister is known for captivating worshippers with her dramatic style and intellectual ability, Campbell noted. "There's been a substantial increase in membership because of her," he commented, "because people spread the word that she's a good messenger."
Further describing the successes at the church over the past year, Reverend Brewington said, "We've been doing a lot of things that I find very exciting. Our worship experience is what I like to call enthusiastically traditional," she added, "We've added bible study sessions that weren't in place before. We've opened a prayer house for meditation once a week, which is something that we did not have before. That provides people a chance to read Christian literature and spiritual literature. It has a chapel area for prayer. It has a room for meditation on Christian icons."
The congregation currently has 538 members, and continues to grow. As the Methodist religion places priority on social activism, worshipers are involved in various outreach projects, including the community-wide, clergy-led effort to revitalize New Cassel.
Brewington was appointed pastor of the Westbury United Methodist Church last July by the Bishop of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Ernest Lyght. Prior to coming to Westbury, she pastored the First United Methodist Church of Hollis, in Hollis, Queens, during her last two years of seminary. This is her first full-time charge since graduating from seminary in June of 2000.
The pastor's call to become a church leader came after she had already earned a bachelors degree in theater and a law degree, and was a practicing attorney. But her desire to serve God had roots in childhood. "I was raised as a Catholic, and I recall as a child, that I had a sense of yearning to be a priest, which of course was out of the question," Brewington described.
"It's something that I pretty much put out of my mind until, as an adult, I felt called to the ministry in the United Methodist Church about seven years ago," she said. " I needed to be somewhere in which women had the ability to assume leadership."
"I was an attorney when I was called to the ministry. And I was a good attorney, but it never gave me the same sense of satisfaction that pastoring does," she continued.
"I always felt that there was something missing," she said of her experience as an attorney prior to becoming a minister. "A person has to earn a living, but it never satisfied what I was longing for."
Pastor Brewington is a graduate of Fordham University, Manhattan, with a bachelor of arts degree in theater, Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the seminary. She is married to Frederick K. Brewington, Esq., a civil rights attorney.
The Westbury United Methodist Church is located at 265 Asbury Avenue, and can be reached at 333-0874.
It was one year ago that Reverend Adrienne was installed as pastor of Westbury United Methodist Church. She was appointed to this leadership position by the Bishop of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Ernest Lyght, and was welcomed by community members.