This year has brought many things for Rev. Brenda J. Gregg. Her non-profit organization, Project Destiny, has grown. She was the recipient of the Pittsburgh branch NAACP Pastor of the Year award and was appointed to a new position. In October at the Third District Planning meeting, Rev. Gregg was appointed presiding elder of the Ohio Conferences’ Springfield/Xenia District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
|DOWN TO BUSINESS— Rev. Brenda J. Gregg in her office at Project Destiny, a non-profit organization that provides a safe place for youths in the North Side community.
“I am very excited about my new position and appointment. I think that with my administrative background I will be successful,” Rev. Gregg said. She also added that it is bittersweet because with her new position means that she has to leave Greater Allen AME Church, where she has been for more than 15 years. Reverend Peter Matthews, a minister from Cincinnati, will take her place at Greater Allen.
“My heart will always be with Greater Allen. My children and some of my family are still members of the church, so I will visit often and I hope to still stay connected with the North Side community.”
In the AME Church, when a pastor is appointed presiding elder, they no longer can pastor one church because there are several churches they must supervise. There are 18 churches that Rev. Gregg is now responsible for.
“I have had a fruitful ministry in Pittsburgh and will take the things that I learned as a pastor to my new position. I will share some of my successes and even some of my failures that I learned from with my new conference. I have had my first pastor’s meeting and we have big things planned,” she said. “For instance we will have a big celebration planned in February for the 250th birth of the founder of the AME Church, Richard Allen, for Founder’s Day. I have also challenged the pastors in my conference to winning souls, which is something that I learned from my presiding elder when I was a pastor, and also for the larger churches to reach out to the smaller ones.”
Reverend Gregg said her presiding elder always challenged them to look for ways to grow the district. Although, her time will be split between Pittsburgh and Ohio, Rev. Gregg said she let her pastors and conference know that she will always be available for them.
Along with this new position, she also is the executive director of Project Destiny, a nonprofit organization that mentors to at-risk youths, which she started in 2004. The program offers, tutoring, mentoring, a computer lab and counseling a safe place for youths.
Programs Project Destiny offers are NOOK: Nurturing Our Own Kids, which matches teen parents with older parents to help them grow and continue the goals they had before they became pregnant. And also a camp, through a 10-year agreement with the Pittsburgh Zoo, where kids can spend time and learn about animals through hands-on work and through the zoo staff. They also take the kids to Destin, Fla., by way of various stops on the Underground Railroad.
“We give kids Project Destiny experience. We help kids expand their horizons and get them to think beyond the small street they’re from and are familiar with,” Rev. Gregg said. “Our program gives family support, is a safe haven for youth and provides cultural experiences.”
Project Destiny was recently chosen as the lead program in the North Side area.
Along with her new position and her work with the organization, she will also continue to work as the chairperson for the Women in Ministry organization of the Third District of the AME Church.
While it may seem like Rev. Gregg will be a very busy person, she said that anyone who knows her, knows she has always had many jobs at one time, whether it was as a pastor and at Children’s Hospital where she retired last year after more than 37 years, or now.
She said, “What will I do with my spare time?”