(July 24, 2009 – DNS) – A pastor with a passion for justice, human rights and grassroots issues is the new Associate Director of Week of Compassion (WoC).
Brandon Gilvin, 33, will join the Week of Compassion staff on August 24. Gilvin is a life-long Disciple from Mount Sterling, Ky. who has been nurtured in his faith by opportunities to serve in Africa, Canada, and parts of this country. For the past two years, he has served as Associate Pastor at St. Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, Kansas.
"I could not be more thrilled for Brandon to join the Week of Compassion staff," said Amy Gopp, Executive Director of WoC. "Not only will Week of Compassion benefit from his wisdom and communication skills, the whole Church will benefit from his creativity and commitment to who we are as Disciples."
Gilvin will join Gopp in carrying out the work of Week of Compassion, the relief and development fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Week of Compassion responds to human needs around the world on behalf of Disciples, including natural disaster, war and famine.
"There is something very exciting about Week of Compassion’s ability to connect Disciples to what’s going on in neighborhood and communities where there are significant needs," said Gilvin. "Week of Compassion is a great place for me to continue to live into my call."
Gilvin’s call has included studying Religious Studies and Creative Writing at Hiram College, and earning a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University. While a student at Vanderbilt, he interned at the Quaker Peace Centre in Cape Town, Africa as a Peace Educator. He later served as a Pastoral Resident at Central Christian Church in Lexington, Ky., where he was involved in teaching, leading worship, pastoral care and developing programs.
In 2004, he returned to Africa through Global Ministries, to serve the All Africa Conference of Churches in Nairobi Kenya as the Programme Executive for Communication. In this position, he led communication efforts for a network of more than 190 churches, denominations and ecumenical councils. He then served a year as the North American Regional Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation in Toronto, Ontario, where he worked with students interested in faith-based social activism.
He recently returned from a two-week stay in El Salvador as part of a St. Andrew partnership. While there, he worked with local residents from a small village to paint their church and fund several school scholarships.
"I am most excited about Brandon’s life experiences that have prepared him to approach our ministry of compassion to the suffering and the poor – this is what Week of Compassion stands for and what Brandon Gilvin has already devoted his life to," said Gopp.
Gilvin believes his skills as a communicator and coordinator will be important in his new position.
"I see myself working as a supporter and teammate for Amy Gopp," said Gilvin. "I hope to tell the Week of Compassion story to those church members that may have heard it 1,000 times as well as to those for whom the story will be new."
By: Wanda Bryant Wills[email protected]