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KENTUCKY: St. Andrew's pastor feels called to new Versailles parish

St. Andrew's pastor feels called to Ky.

By Frank E. Lockwood
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

VERSAILLES - As an associate minister at one of the nation's largest Episcopal churches, the Rev. David Brannen had a secure job in a conservative western Pennsylvania diocese. But he gave it all up to lead a congregation with no building, no budget, no history and no guarantees.

It's a decision he and his wife have struggled with. "Claire has asked me a million times, 'Are you sure you're getting this right?'" he told his new congregation yesterday. "I have told her time and time again, 'Yes, this is the Lord.'"

Brannen, the new rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Versailles, said he has felt called by God before, in 1990.

At the time, Brannen had a job as communications director for the Muscogee County School District in Georgia, but he gave it up and enrolled at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa.

That is where he believed God wanted him to be, so that is where he went.

He got a job as communications director at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley, Pa., and, after four years, became its evangelism minister.

In 1996, he became associate rector, earned a master's of divinity degree and was ordained Dec. 29 that year.

This is the first time Brannen, 48, has led a congregation, but leaders at his new church said he has the temperament, theology and passion for evangelism that they were hoping for.

"Upon meeting David, the sense that this was the Lord's choice for our church was overwhelming," said search committee member Judge Wilson. "It was immediate, it was clear, and it was unanimous."

Another committee member, John Edwards, said he was struck by Brannen's warmth and his emphasis on the Bible.

"David preached the word," he said, "and there was no compromise, no wiggle room."

As pastor of a new church, Brannen said, "things feel risky. There are a lot of uncertainties."

But his resolve has not weakened. "I am certain of this," he said. "I am called to the community of Versailles."

St. Andrew's pastor feels called to Ky.
By Frank E. Lockwood
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

VERSAILLES - As an associate minister at one of the nation's largest Episcopal churches, the Rev. David Brannen had a secure job in a conservative western Pennsylvania diocese. But he gave it all up to lead a congregation with no building, no budget, no history and no guarantees.

It's a decision he and his wife have struggled with. "Claire has asked me a million times, 'Are you sure you're getting this right?'" he told his new congregation yesterday. "I have told her time and time again, 'Yes, this is the Lord.'"

Brannen, the new rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Versailles, said he has felt called by God before, in 1990.

At the time, Brannen had a job as communications director for the Muscogee County School District in Georgia, but he gave it up and enrolled at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa.

That is where he believed God wanted him to be, so that is where he went.

He got a job as communications director at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley, Pa., and, after four years, became its evangelism minister.

In 1996, he became associate rector, earned a master's of divinity degree and was ordained Dec. 29 that year.

This is the first time Brannen, 48, has led a congregation, but leaders at his new church said he has the temperament, theology and passion for evangelism that they were hoping for.

"Upon meeting David, the sense that this was the Lord's choice for our church was overwhelming," said search committee member Judge Wilson. "It was immediate, it was clear, and it was unanimous."

Another committee member, John Edwards, said he was struck by Brannen's warmth and his emphasis on the Bible.

"David preached the word," he said, "and there was no compromise, no wiggle room."

As pastor of a new church, Brannen said, "things feel risky. There are a lot of uncertainties."

But his resolve has not weakened. "I am certain of this," he said. "I am called to the community of Versailles."

END

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