God has abundantly blessed the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Rosalynn Kyle Brookins since she answered His call to preach 14 years ago.
The wife of the late Bishop H.H. Brookins, she became the first retired AME episcopal supervisor to be appointed as a pastor in 2011 and in May 2018, she was the first female to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree from Payne Theological Seminary.
The members of Walker Temple AME Church in Los Angeles responded to dedicated spiritual leadership by hosting the seventh pastoral appreciation for Brookins on Oct. 21, where scores of people expressed gratitude for her ministry.
Recently, the L.A. Sentinel asked Brookins about her service to God and His church. The following is an edited version of the interview.
What are a few memorable moments since you accepted the call to preach?
There are several memorable moments for me, but the first that comes to mind was watching a man with fourth stage cancer being healed within three months after coming to the church for prayer. Now, he serves as a trustee and has become a true worshipper.
The second most memorable moment was one Sunday morning during worship service, we witnessed a lady having a heart attack after fervent prayer, God supernaturally stopped the devil in his tracks. Her life was spared and today she serves as my pastor’s steward and is also on the steward board.
Our motto at Walker Temple is “We are the number one church in the number one district because we serve the number God.” We really believe that we are number one. This belief is not because of the number of people in attendance. We have learned to stand on the promises, the power of God and we believe in His ability to save, heal, restore and redeem all those who seek Him. Miracles, signs, and wonders are an inherited right of all who trust in God.
During your time in the ministry, have you seen a difference in the treatment of men and women pastors/preachers?
While there are some men have fought against various forms of oppression, history reveals that they, however, have not always provided the same equality opportunities for women. Equality of both male and female is grounded in the biblical text of Genesis 1:26-27.
God created all people in His image and He patterned all of us after Himself. Equality represents a state of inclusion and then it’s provided to all people. It means that the same opportunities that are afforded to one group will also be afforded to another.
Despite various acts of dehumanization, the internal strength of the African American woman, whether enslaved or free, has helped to stabilize the church and the community in which we live. While there are still a lot of mainstream denominations that refuse to see women as equals; Rev. Dr. Theresa Fry Brown, historiographer of the AME Church states, “Preaching is our acknowledgement of our need to change. It is consciousness-raising. It is a process of seeking justice, reconciliation and then transformation occurs.” In essence, what Dr. Fry-Brown is saying is preaching or proclaiming the word of God must be about liberation and not gender.
While we may not have always been given equal opportunities, one of the things we must hold on to is that we are preachers who happen to be women and we are kingdom-carriers. So, with that, while others may seek to silence our voices, women have decided that they will no longer be looked upon as fragile or helpless.
What advice would you give to a new pastor?
Perhaps the most important advice I would offer to any new pastor would be to genuinely love the people. Loving the people means meeting them where they are and gently guiding them to where God is calling them to be. [This] requires one becoming comfortable enough to embrace his/her own human frailties as well as those for whom they are chosen to serve.
There is often a false expectation of perfection placed upon the shoulders of a new pastor from both the sacred pulpit as well from the sacred pew. Thus, new pastors spend time trying to prove to themselves and to their congregants that he or she is the one in charge.
I have come to learn that love does not require proving who the shepherd is, it simply means over time, becoming the shepherd.
In a perfect world, where would like to see your ministry in the next 5-10 years?
This journey called ministry does not belong to me. I am merely a conduit or an ambassador chosen to do God’s bidding here on earth. Therefore, my only desire for the ministry remains the same as it was 14 years ago when I said, “Yes, here am I Lord, send me.”
I would like to see heaven kiss earth and in doing so, witness the manifestation of authentic worship, healing, deliverance, and miracles take place in the lives of all of God’s children.
People are in search of true transformation and liberation within their lives and within the lives of their loved ones. Such change takes place when we, the believers of Jesus Christ, become encounter-driven rather than event-driven.