Leadership

Brookmeade is a congregational church. This means that we make decisions as a community rather than being told what actions and doctrines we must follow. We are guided by our lay leadership who are nominated and elected to their positions as well as our Pastoral Team and the UCC denomination and Southeast conference. Most especially, we are guided by the teachings of Jesus who taught us to put the needs of others above our own and welcomes us all to the table together. Every person in our congregation has an active voice in helping Brookmeade pursue justice, love, and mercy.

The life of our congregation is governed by our church Council, Deacons, Trustees, Fellowship Team, Worship and Gathering Team, Mission and Outreach Team, and our Pastoral Team.

Learn more about Who We Are, our Worship service, and how you can Get Involved.

You can find directions, contact us with more questions, or set up a meeting with one of our Pastoral Team by clicking here.

If you’d like to offer financial support for Brookmeade’s ministries, you can click here to give.

We also encourage you to look at our COVID-19 Guidelines.


CURRENT PASTORAL TEAM 

BJR Professional pic 2014

The Reverend Beverly J. Ross (Lead Pastor) (pronouns: she/her) is an ordained Minister in the United Church of Christ. She earned her M.Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School after earning a B.A. from Florida State University, and law degrees from New York University and Columbia University. While Beverly was at Vanderbilt, she attended and volunteered at Brookmeade UCC. After graduation, she became a hospice chaplain with Vitas Healthcare, the nation’s leading hospice provider. While at Vitas she was certified as an educator and supervisor of those seeking to become professional chaplains as well as other persons who wished to learn how to provide sensitive and effective spiritual care to any person in need – which is all of us. Through the years Beverly continued to visit Brookmeade whenever she visited Nashville, and rejoined the congregation when she purchased a home here in 2019. Beverly has provided interim service as a pastor to several congregations, and is grateful for the opportunity to serve Brookmeade at this time.


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Rev. Anne-Marie Zanzal (Associate Pastor) (pronouns: she/her) is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and graduate of Yale Divinity School. She holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Leadership from Hartford Seminary.  She was trained as an interfaith chaplain through Yale Healthcare System completing both an internship and residency.  She worked in both hospitals and hospices for fifteen years and is also a Compassionate Bereavement Provider certified by the MissFoundation.  She has served as an associate pastor for The First Congregational Church and Salem Covenant Church both in Washington, Connecticut.  She also served as the summer pastor for the Church of Christ in Mount Washington, Massachusetts.  Anne-Marie came out later in life and identifies as a lesbian.  She works with cisgendered and trans women coming out to the LGBTQIA+ community.  You can find more about the work she does at www.annemariezanzal.com.  You can find her on Instagram and Facebook at Anne-Marie Zanzal Coaching.  She lives in Madison, TN with her wife, Nashville architectural photographer Tonda McKay.  Anne-Marie is the proud mama of four kids, ages 18-30, who live all over the United States.  Anne-Marie and Tonda are avid kayakers and travellers.


Laura Brand Hodges (Assisting Pastor) (pronouns: they/she/he) grew up in Avon Lake, Ohio attending Avon Lake United Church of Christ. Their early faith formation was heavily influenced by their times spent at Templed Hills church camp as well as their passion for reading. Disillusioned with the church at thirteen, Laura spent time exploring other religions and spiritual traditions before having a conversion experience at a Southern Baptist Church at sixteen. Since then, Laura returned to the UCC tradition where they feel they can reconcile their deep love for Jesus Christ and their commitments to love and seek justice for people of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socioeconomic situations. Laura attained their undergraduate degree from Calvin University, in Grand Rapids, MI, in 2017 with a focus in religion and Ancient Greek language and their Master’s of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School with a focus in congregational leadership in the spring of 2021. In their free time, Laura loves to draw, write, read, play with their dog and cat, rock climb, and spend time with their husband James.


FORMER PASTORS

Pastoral Team

Pastor Becca Griffin is originally from Mobile, AL.  Her undergraduate degree was in worship leadership (church music and theology) and she obtained her MDiv at Vanderbilt Divinity School where she is focused on religion and art in contemporary culture.


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Rev. Diane Tugel is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. She is Certified as a Clinical Educator with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and she is a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree and has served in the parish, hospital, and hospice settings.


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Pastor Abbey Labrecque (she/they) attended Vanderbilt Divinity School, where they obtained their MDiv in the Spirituality and Social Activism concentration. In academia and ministry, Abbey is called to explore and nurture the ways in which they can live into their faith, whiteness, sexuality, and gender identities in integrating and justice seeking ways.


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Pastor Sarah Kientz obtained their MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. Sarah hopes to develop her passion for social justice and practice of pastoral care through worship, mission, and community life.


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Pastor Margaret Ernst, obtained her MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She hails originally from Connecticut and New Jersey, and was formed enormously in a spiritual and social sense by her years doing faith-rooted community organizing and interning at a UCC church in downtown Philadelphia, just blocks from the Liberty Bell.


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Rev. Sharon M. Temple came to Brookmeade Congregational United Church of Christ after serving congregations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. She earned a BS degree in Medical Technology from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. Sharon is passionate about helping individuals and groups bridge the gap from where they are to where they want to be.


Photo of Pastor Rick Diekmann

Rev. Richard Diekmann came to us from his position as senior pastor serving First Congregational Church for the last 20 years in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Rick received his Masters in Divinity from Yale University and his Doctorate from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.


Photo of Dr. Marvin Morgan

Rev. Dr. Marvin Morgan holds a B.A. from Elon University, an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, and a D.Min. from Drew University.  He has been trained in interim ministry through the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, NC. He served UCC congregations from 1970 to 1996 in the cities of Burlington, NC; Brooklyn, NY; and Atlanta, GA. For 15 years thereafter, Marvin worked at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, where he directed the Office of Continuing Education and taught courses in Church Administration, Missiology, and Ministerial Leadership.


Photo of Rev. Linda White

Rev. Linda White was raised in Pella, Iowa and attended Central College in Pella. She has taught high school history and English in both Iowa and Colorado. Linda moved from Denver to Nashville in 1985. After graduation from Vanderbilt Divinity School, Linda served as associate pastor at The Downtown Presbyterian Church. She has completed certification training as a chaplain, serving as an intern at St. Thomas Hospital.

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