Emboldened with courage, vision and a rich heritage, the Rev. Francine Brookins aims to reach the episcopal level by launching a campaign to become a bishop in the A.M.E. Church.
The campaign kick-off worship service is set for Sunday, June 29, at 3:30 p.m., at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 16262 Baseline Ave in Fontana. The Rev. Dr. Cecil L. ‘Chip’ Murray will be the guest preacher.
The Rev. Brookins offers a range of expertise as a pastor, licensed attorney and community services advocate. Also, as the daughter of the late Bishop H. Hartford Brookins, she’s well versed in the history, doctrine and tenets of the denomination.
In addition, she’s no stranger to campaigns. In 2008, she organized a successful election to serve as one of nine members of the Judicial Council of Supreme Court of the A.M.E. Church.
But, the most important qualities she brings are her relationship with Christ and love for His people.
“As a child of God and a child of the A.M.E. Church, I’m passionate about making a difference in the lives of the people who have been, are, and will be the African Methodist Episcopal Church,” shared the Rev. Brookins, who serves as pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Fontana, an edifice she built from the ground up.
Should she be successful, Pastor Brookins will seek to introduce programs and activities to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.
“As a bishop, I will focus on constructing senior housing with membership privileges in every place there is an A.M.E. Church and establishing a Commission on Criminal Justice Reform to address the prison industrial complex as well as the recidivism rate in our community,” she said.
“Other areas I would emphasize are youth reach and retention to positively impact the lives of young people and maintain the life and viability of the A.M.E. Church well into the future, implementing accessible, affordable, practical and relevant training programs for clergy and laity, and expanding funding streams to equip conferences and congregations to do specialized ministries.
“I recognize gifts wherever I see them. And that’s one of the gifts I’ll bring to the episcopacy: the ability to see people’s gifts and talents and place them in positions where they can best benefit the church.”
Her commitment to serving others stems from watching her parents, Bishop Brookins and the Rev. Carole Nelson-Ingram, in action.
“My mother was an A.M.E. pastor for over 23 years and as the person who raised me, her leadership and model of service are of tremendous influence, noted Pastor Brookins.
“Before his passing, my father and I had opportunities to discuss the church through the lens of his retirement. His memory, his lived reality, and his hope for the future are all driving forces in my campaign.”
As she moves into campaign mode for the election in 2016, Pastor Brookins plans to rely on the counsel of several mentors including Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Dr. Cecil L. ‘Chip’ Murray, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd of First A.M.E. – L.A., Pastor Mark Whitlock of Christ Our Redeemer – Irvine, Pastor Harold Mayberry of First A.M.E. and Pastor Vernon Burroughs of Brookins A.M.E., both in Oakland.
“My main advisors are the people, who I serve on a daily basis – the members of my congregation and the clergy with whom I serve whose lives and witness inspire me to work to offer them a healthier church,” she said.
“I understand that we, the people, are the church and it is our responsibility and honor to work within it and together to develop practical strategies for strengthening human relationships and ministries across the Connectional church.”
For more information about the candidate and her campaign, visit francine2016.org