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Pastor Rosalynn Brookins
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
In an action destined for the historical records of the A.M.E. Church, Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr. recently assigned Rev. Rosalynn Brookins to lead Walker Temple A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles.
The significance of the move lies in the fact that Rev. Brookins, the wife of the legendary retired Bishop H. Hartford Brookins, is the first Episcopal Supervisor in the A.M.E. Church to ever receive a pastoral appointment.
Rev. Brookins said, "I am most grateful to God for trusting me to serve as under-shepherd to His flock and to Bishop Kirkland for making such a divine appointment. For me, Walker Temple is an incredible assignment. It is the number church, in the number one district, because we serve a number one God!"
Rev. Brookins brings a well-rounded background to her new position. In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, she is an ordained A.M.E. deacon and has assisted on the ministerial staffs of two of Los Angeles' largest A.M.E. Churches.
"I accepted my call to preach in 2002 under Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip' Murray of First A.M.E. Church. After he retired, I continued to serve on the ministerial staff of Pastor John J. Hunter. During my internship for my studies, I went over to Grant A.M.E. Church under the leadership of previous pastor, Rev. Leslie R. White and later, Rev. Dr. Vernon S. Burroughs," she said.While at Grant, Rev. Brookins coordinated the church's Beloved Ministries Program, which provided a range of services to enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Jordan Downs Housing Project. Working closely with Grant members and neighborhood advocates, she led weekly worship services and Empowerment Classes as well as organized regular health fairs and food giveaways.The holder of a bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in human behavior, Rev. Brookins will graduate May 12, 2012 from San Francisco Theological Seminary with a Master's of Divinity degree. She credits her mentors, Episcopal Supervisor Cecelia Williams Bryant of the 4th Episcopal District and Lady Janet Gloyd, for their friendship and guidance in helping her balance her many roles, especially her life in the ministry. Enthusiastic about being a pastor, Rev. Brookins said she already feels the love from Walker Temple members who are excited about moving their church to the next level. "Our primary mission is to take seriously the great commission to love others as we love ourselves. True love is accomplished when we are able to meet the needs of those who are marginalized, oppressed, homeless, struggling with addictions, single parenting or other challenges. "Walker Temple is the church where all are welcome to come as they are until God changes them into who they are called to be! As the pastor, I have been given a charge to love as Jesus loves without being critical or judgmental of others," said Rev. Brookins.
She added that outreach is another focus of the church. "This holiday season, under the leadership of Mrs. Brenda Ludgood, Danisha Ludgood and Ms. Tonia Gatlin, our Women's Missionary Society (WMS) is a living example of such love. They have invited two women and children shelters to attend a Christmas party hosted by the women and children of Walker Temple on Saturday, Dec. 17. "This day will be filled with laughter, dancing, games and wholesome fun. Thanks to the WMS and the mothers of the church, each child will receive a toy and a snack bag of fruit and a candy cane. This is what the mothers of the church did when we were growing up. Little money, but a great deal of love," she said.
The future agenda also includes establishing a male academy modeled after the design of Rev. Dr. Helen Easterling Williams, developing a computer lab to enhance academic skills, and forming a creative arts class offering free drama, poetry, and dance for children in the community.
"It is my desire that Walker Temple becomes a safe haven for all children. We are located in an underserved community with limited resources. Many of the families are living at or below the poverty line. We want to be the voice for the voiceless," said Rev. Brookins.
"It's going to take a great deal of commitment, dedication and hard work from elected officials, the faith community, stakeholders and community partners. However, nothing is impossible for those who believe in God!"
Walker Temple is located at 2525 Trinity Street in Los Angeles and Rev. Brookins said, "If you are looking for a church home or would like to visit, worship service begins at 11:00 each Sunday. Remember, all are welcome at the Number One Church!"
For information, call (213) 747-7454.