Two years ago, Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., made history by appointing the Rev. Rosalynn Kyle Brookins as the pastor of Walker Temple A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles.
The Rev. Brookins, who was married 21 years to the late Bishop H. Hartford Brookins, was the first Bishop’s wife and first retired Episcopal Supervisor to receive such an assignment in the A.M.E. Church and she has embraced the appointment with love and enthusiasm.
“Pastoring is not an easy task by any means because as ministers of the gospel, we must be mindful that people have different personalities, needs, and life issues,” said Pastor Brookins.
“However, remembering the words of my late husband ("You must meet the people where they are, and guide them to where they need to be,") helps me to stay focused on the mission for which I have been called. This allows God to do only what He can do.”
As a woman in ministry, Pastor Brookins is part of a small, but growing, group. More and more, women are answering the call to preach, graduating from seminaries, and holding significant positions in religious organizations.
“My advice to women coming into the ministry is that it is imperative to know your own strength and your gifts. This helps to eliminate the need to compete with others. For the Bible declares that we are all a part of one body.
“The purpose of this body is to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth. In doing so, it forces us to place God as the center and the core of all things. With this understanding of who we are, we then can celebrate and lift up each other.”
In addition to being a pastor, the Rev. Brookins is the mother of 14-year-old Sir Wellington H. Brookins. Thanks to her supportive network and congregation, she’s able to devote quality time to both roles.
“As a pastor and a mother, I must be intentional about spending time with my son as well as the church. It is necessary for me, as well as others, to learn to balance their life. When I take days off, it is to spend time with my son.
“I cannot stress enough the need to take vacations. Let me say that a vacation is not spending a week in a hotel at a church function. Vacation is just that.
“As pastors, we must plan quality time with our family. This prevents burnout and allows the church an opportunity to witness the value of family.”
Also, the Rev. Brookins recommends that pastors recruit others to assist with congregational duties.
“When pastors begin to relinquish some of their responsibilities and delegate to others that you know have the heart of God, then your work is not so overwhelming,” she said.
Fortunately, Pastor Brookins is blessed with a loving congregation that readily helps out when needed and keeps focus on the ultimate mission of the church.
“I genuinely love my members and I am concerned about them individually. I believe that when we foster a community of love, we will be able to work through the most adverse situations.”
Armed with that philosophy, Pastor Brookins is going forth with energy and confidence. Empowering her is the knowledge that Christ is praying for her.
“Jesus said, ‘I give unto you what’s been given unto me, a kingdom. I’m praying for you that your faith will not fail you.’
“With Jesus praying for me, I can go through the fire, the rain, the waters won’t overtake me, and I can leap over mountains. He’s given me the power, sitting at the right hand of God mediating for me. I’m on a winning team!”