Reverend George T. Brecht III
(Updated November, 2018)
I grew up in the Church. My parents were (and my father still is) members of the Carmel Presbyterian Church in Glenside, where I was a regular part of the Sunday School and Youth Fellowship. In my early teenage years, I began to consider the difficult questions of life, death, and eternal life. I began to wonder about the existence, and the presence, of God. As I did, the Holy Spirit, began to “nudge” me, and I began to consider that God was indeed real, and that he loved and cared for me. Much of this happened through the outreach and nurture of the Church, as well as through the ministry of my Youth Pastor, Jim Lacy. But there were many other experiences along the way!
In about my 11th grade year in Abington High School, I began to feel in my heart that I should consider the possibility of ministry for my life’s work. As I began to move in that direction, I started to see “affirmations” of this “call” through the comments and observations of others, and through the passion and love for God and his people that was growing within me. I felt more of that confirmation during my years at West Chester State College, where I studied Music Theory and History. I felt it through Christian fellowship, through friends, and through my time as a youth leader at a local Presbyterian Church. I felt a great excitement as I began to take steps to apply to seminary.
I was accepted early to Princeton Theological Seminary, where I studied for the Ministry from 1978-1981. During that time, I served as Student Pastor at a number of Churches in the New Jersey, Maryland, and Philadelphia areas. I was also a chaplain for the summer of 1979 at the Ockanickon Boy Scout Camp in Bucks County. Those were wonderful years, and through that time I was learning a lot of the “ins and outs” of everyday Church life and ministry. Being Student Pastor at Macalestor-Torresdale Presbyterian Church in Northeast Philadelphia was the closest I came to Eddington in those days. During my first semester, (Fall, 1978) I gave a ride to a classmate, David Perkins, who was Student Pastor at Eddington. So I actually drove to the Eddington Church every Sunday to drop him off and pick him up!
Following my graduation in 1981, I was ordained at my home church and called as Assistant Pastor at the Neshaminy-Warwick Presbyterian Church in Warminster, Bucks County. There I shared ministry on a staff of three, specializing in Youth Ministry and Christian Education. After 4 wonderful years there, I felt the call to move on, and I became the Pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church in Topeka Kansas, where I served until August, 2005. Throughout those years, I stayed closely connected to Youth, both in the local church, and at the presbytery (and synod) level, and I gained valuable insights into the needs of the Church in that area of ministry. I realized that there are too many Churches in our denomination with “solo pastorates,” in which the pastor is not connected with the youth of the Church. I believe there is a great need for that connection!
After some wonderful years in Kansas (and some difficult times, as well) I “came home” to Pennsylvania and to the Eddington Church. I am enjoying watching this new stage of my life unfold. I continue to seek to know God’s will for my life, and to live in his amazing Grace. As I do so, two major themes keep coming back to my mind again and again. They are, the abundance of life in Christ, and the importance of knowing God’s presence. The God of all creation desires to have a close relationship with us, and wants for us to have the great joy that is to be found in his kingdom.
I describe myself as a fun loving person. I believe there is great joy in the living of this life. I have also described myself as a “Renaissance Man” – meaning that I love learning new things and I am fascinated with everything I learn. (My favorite TV channels are “History,” “Discovery,” and “Science.”) From my earliest years, I have been taking things apart, figuring out how they work, and putting them back together. I love building things, and figuring out how to do things I’ve never done before!
I also enjoy many “active” things. I am an Eagle Scout. And I was an adult leader for the Explorers for many years. I’ve been a runner for more than 40 years, and I’ve run a number of marathons – including the Boston Marathon, which I ran five times. (So far!) I also love bicycling, skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and I’ve recently taken up riding motorcycles. I’ve also been a pilot for over 30 years now, and I love seeing God’s creation from several thousand feet up. (Note the aerial pictures of the Eddington Church on the home page of this website!)
I am also one for whom family is extremely important. Some of my most treasured times are those spent in the fellowship with those closest to me. In my ministry, I want to continue to support families in every way I can.
After being single for many years, on June 19, 2005, I became engaged to Patty Burgess. Patty is a girl from my High School class with whom I reconnnected at our 30th Reunion. We were married November 12 of that year in a small ceremony at my home Church, and then in December we had a bigger celebration with the people in our new Church family! Together we are very excited about the future!
Many of you have also met my two children from my previous marriage. They are among the greatest joys of my life! Jenny, now 33, lives and works in Kansas City, Kansas, having received her MBA from Kansas State University. In August of 2010, she was married to Ben Sebree, a boy from her Presbyterian Youth “circle of friends.” Every father should have that experience of walking his little girl down the aisle!! It was a wonderful moment! My son Paul, 31, Received his bachelor’s degree in Theology and Communications from Sterling College, a small Presbyterian College in central Kansas. Paul was also very big in debate, forensics, and theater. He was in many shows through High School and College, and I enjoyed seeing them whenever I was able! Paul currently works as a Paraprofessional in the school district of Lawrence Kansas, and helps out on a goat farm! I hope you continue to get to know them, as they will be here in Pennsylvania just as often as I can arrange it.
My Father, George, lives in Bluebell. My mother, Millie, passed away four years ago, after a long battle with dementia. My Father went back a couple of times to their beloved place in Phoenix, Arizona, where they both “wintered” for many years. But now resides permenently in Bluebell. My older sister, Lynne, lives with her family in Abington, and works as the Registrar at Abington High School, from which we all graduated. My younger brother, Bill, works and lives with his family in Tucson Arizona. We miss them very much!
That’s the latest update of my story. (Updated to November, 2018) But let me end this by saying, as always, that God is still working on me, and I am eager to grow! In some ways I am still on a “learning curve” here at Eddington! (Believe it or not!) And, I continue to feel God challenging you, through me, in a number of ways. (And vice-versa!) I believe that process is ongoing. As we travel this road together, let me remind you again, that I won’t always get things right. I will blow it sometimes! So I continue to ask for your patience with me and for your grace as we continue to grow together! …I promise you mine!
May the Grace and Peace of God be with all of us!
Reverend George “Skip” Brecht, Pastor, Eddington Presbyterian Church