Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. greets the Holman UMC  congregation on July 1. (Holman UMC photo)

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. is the new interim pastor at Holman United Methodist Church in L.A.’s West Adams District. Brown will serve a one-year term according to Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific Conference.

A retired bishop of the United Methodist Church, Brown has held various pastoral and executive roles in the denomination. Recruited while in seminary by the Western Pennsylvania Conference, he directed a ministry in two public housing projects and pastored two congregations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1973 to 1979.

He served next on the program staff of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, followed by a promotion to conference council director. In 1983, Brown was appointed the district superintendent of the Golden Gate District where he supervised 55 churches in San Francisco and several rural and suburban counties.

Brown was named senior pastor of Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, California in 1987. During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm, he organized the Oakland Interreligious Network, a collaboration of faith-based organizations, to respond to the disasters.

He subsequently served as pastor of the predominantly white, First United Methodist Church of Bakersfield, California before being elected to the episcopacy in 2000. As bishop, he oversaw 400 churches spanning states of Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming and later, 360 parishes in California and Northern Nevada.

Throughout his ministry, Brown has been active with the social justice ministries and programs for social change. His participation includes trustee of the Glide Foundation, vice-chair of the Alameda County Medical Center Community Advisory Commission, Oakland volunteer police chaplain, Kern County United Way board member and Bakersfield Homeless Shelter board president.

Within the United Methodist Church, he has served as a member of the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Global Ministries. In addition, he was the president of the United Methodist Development Fund and the Council of Bishops.

In retirement, Bishop Brown has continued his ministry through a coaching practice that works with leaders to discover their strengths for influence, innovation and collaboration. He also served as interim pastor for Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco from 2016 to 2017. He currently serves on the board of trustees for the Pacific School of Religion.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Brown earned a B.A. degree at University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in 1969 and received a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. in 1974. He accepted the call to the ministry while serving as Wesley student intern in a Washington, D.C. church.

The United Methodist Church, with over 13 million members around the world and more than 46,000 congregations throughout the United States, Africa, Europe and the Philippines, is the largest member church of the World Methodist Council. Also, it is the third largest religious denomination in the United States with over 7.3 million members in the United States alone.

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