A ‘Diamond and Pearl’ celebration for Rev. Brenda Gregg


Congregation throws elegant 75th birthday event for longtime pastor, community jewel


by Renee P. Aldrich

For New Pittsburgh Courier

Reverend Dr. Brenda J. Gregg, pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, on the North Side, was celebrated on Sunday, June 9, in grand style; a banquet with the theme, “White Diamonds and Pearls,” by her congregation and the leaders of her church.

It was for a grand occasion. Reverend Gregg was turning 75 years old.

Upwards of 150 participants were in attendance for the celebration, which began at morning service with the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Wingfield, of Unity Baptist Church in Braddock, as the preacher of the morning, standing in for Rev. Gregg. The morning service closed and transitioned to the lower level of the church where gatherers continued to enjoy their pastor being celebrated.


Pastor Gregg has and continues to leave an indelible footprint in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, in Pittsburgh, and in the North Side community specifically. Michelle Tedder, who attended the celebration with her husband, Robert, a longtime acquaintance of Rev. Gregg, said he was “honored to be here…I’ve known Pastor Gregg most of my life, and her giving has always been the standout for me. How she was always open to give of herself. So glad this day is for her to receive.”

Reverend Gregg’s service in ministry includes many notable accomplishments. Along with pastoring three churches (Quinn West AME Zion Elizabeth, Bethel AME Monroeville, Greater Allen AME North Side), she was also employed as a senior administrator at UPMC Children’s Hospital.

In 2010, Rev. Gregg was appointed to Presiding Elder of the Ohio Conference’s Springfield/Xenia District of the AME Church. But she was called to return to Pittsburgh, and became pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, where she’s been ever since.

During her almost four decades in the ministry of the Gospel, Rev. Gregg had a holistic philosophy towards service, and as such, her approach was manifested in all of her churches, as well as in the heart she had for serving the community. Under her tutelage, the Greater Allen After School Program began, along with the Greater Allen Christian Academy, which served children Pre-K to third grade. Reverend Gregg also founded Project Destiny, an agency that serves families and children through many programs such as after-school, early learning centers, family and youth engagement, and Thrive 18, which connects residents to needed resources.

The bigger question these days could be, what hasn’t Rev. Gregg done? Within the AME ministry, she traveled to South Africa and East Africa, serving health clinics on the continent and so much more. Her awards that she’s garnered are plenty, including NAACP Pittsburgh Branch Pastor of The Year. And in 2023, she received the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department’s first Violence Prevention Partner Award. The award fell under the department’s STOP the Violence program.

“We’re here to honor someone who really exemplifies violence prevention and has done, not just what a person should do, but far more than any person should have to in their community,” said Jay Gilmer, the STOP the Violence coordinator, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Along with God’s word, Rev. Gregg’s commitment to the health of her people, in the face of all the disparities that Black people face, has remained constant. She’s determined to be part of the change necessary to bridge the gap and break down barriers in the health care for Black families. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Faith Based Health Collaborative, connecting some 60 churches with mini-grants for health and wellness education.

“My mission in this area,” Rev. Gregg told the Courier, “has always been to empower people when it comes to matters of their health; urge them to ask questions, get screened early and learn as much as they can. The church will always be the place for shared information, because it is the place where our people can be found, and can be reached, not only with soul-saving words, but also the important conversations that will ensure their health and well-being needs will be met. It is a ministry that is all-inclusive.”

Turning 75 this past June and having a celebration was more than just a look at her birthday, but also an inclusive recognition of the measure of her accomplishments.

“I owe it all to God,” Rev. Gregg said, “who put me on this path and has kept me so far.”


Do you like writing and reporting? Do you know someone who does? The New Pittsburgh Courier is taking applications and inquiries for freelance writers, with a specific focus on Pittsburgh area church news and other related topics. Freelance writers are compensated. Please send all inquiries to managing editor, Rob Taylor Jr., via email to: rtaylor@newpittsburghcourier.com.
Deadline: July 19, 2024.




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