ELKINS - Davis & Elkins College will celebrate with the Presbytery of West Virginia the installation of the College’s new Benfield-Vick Chaplain the Rev. Laura Brekke in a public service at 5 p.m. September 10 at Robbins Memorial Chapel. The ceremony comes after the 1992 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) declared that “the call to a pastor is complete, final, and in effect immediately upon the pastor’s installation by the presbytery.”
A minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Brekke was ordained in August 2014 and has a background in working with young adults of multi-faiths. As Benfield-Vick Chaplain, Brekke will guide the student-led Chapel Leadership Team, facilitate religious services, organize community engagement projects, and oversee the 1001 New Worshipping Community, a movement in the PC(USA) to take on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture. She also will serve as a member of the President’s Management Team.
The Benfield-Vick Chaplaincy was established in the early 1980s to honor the memory of Drs. William Benfield and George Vick, two former pastors of First Presbyterian Church of Charleston and longtime trustees of Davis & Elkins College. It was funded by gifts from the congregation and others who shared a commitment to providing Christian ministry for students and the campus community. Brekke will be the first full-time Benfield-Vick Chaplain since 2008.
Several members of the Presbytery of West Virginia, along with Presbyterian clergy from throughout the area, will participate in the ceremony. Presbyterians from the region are expected to attend the service as well.
Ruling Elder Susan Perry, moderator of the Presbytery of West Virginia, will preside over the installation and propound the constitutional questions to Brekke. The Rev. Bill McCoy, pastor and head of staff at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, W.Va., will preach the sermon. The Installation Commission will also include the Rev. Shelly Barrick-Parsons, campus pastor at West Virginia University, who will deliver the charge to Brekke; the Rev. Ed Thompson, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of West Virginia; and Tina Vial, assistant director of development support and church relations coordinator at D&E and ruling elder in the PC(USA), who will propound the constitutional questions to the congregation.
Also sitting with the Commission will be members of the Chaplain Search Committee Dr. Bryan Wagoner, religion and philosophy program coordinator and assistant professor of religious studies and philosophy at D&E; Dick McGraw, WCDE radio station manager; Lee Wittekind, D&E junior and Student Assembly president; and Shirley Fox, D&E senior.
Celebrants of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with Brekke will be D&E President Chris A. Wood and the Rev. Dr. Peter Vial, Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church, representing the long-standing partnership in ministry and mission between the College and DMPC. President Wood will also deliver the charge to the congregation. The ceremony will include music selections performed by the Davis & Elkins College Concert Choir, led by Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean.
In joy and thanksgiving for the Rev. Brekke and the expanding ministry at Davis & Elkins College, gifts can be made to the Chaplain’s Office to support growing opportunities for students in faith, fellowship, mission and service projects, spanning local to international. Those wishing to contribute may do so online at https://secure.dewv.edu/giveonline, select “Other” designation and type in “Chaplain’s Office” for their gift. Gifts also may be mailed to: Tina Vial, assistant director of development support and coordinator of church relations, Davis & Elkins College, 100 Campus Drive, Elkins, WV 26241. For additional information, call Vial at 304-637-1354 or 304-997-4284; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.
Photo Caption: The Presbytery of West Virginia will install the Rev. Laura Brekke as Benfield-Vick Chaplain at Davis & Elkins College. The ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 5 p.m. September 10 at Robbins Memorial Chapel on the College campus.