October 22, 2006|By [Rona Marech]

The Rev. Brenda Mack

In the news

Almost 189 years ago, John Wesley United Methodist Church, as it's now known, split. African-Americans, unhappy with their second-class status at the church, moved down the road and started their own place of worship, since renamed Asbury United Methodist Church. Asbury has always been predominantly black; its counterpart has been predominantly white.

But recently, the two churches entered into an unusual arrangement: They share a minister, the Rev. Brenda Mack.


Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church and associate pastor, John Wesley United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.


Mack, 59, a New Jersey native, lived in Westminster with her family for more than two decades before relocating to Hagerstown this summer. The longtime spouse of a fellow United Methodist minister, she is the mother of six grown children, the grandmother of 11 and the great-grandmother of one. Mack, who only recently became a minister, graduated from University of Maryland, College Park and Howard University.


"If I love the people on both sides of this equation, they'll trust me on both sides and will come together in ways that grow us," she said. "As people get to know one another, we get over our apprehensions, fears, prejudices, inhibitions."

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