Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Learn more about the staff of Metropolitan Church of the Palm Beaches.

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Rev Lea

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown

Senior Pastor & Board Moderator

pastor@mccpb.org

A native of Arizona by way of Oklahoma, Pastor Lea …

Learn more about Rev. Lea

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown is Pastor and Board Moderator of MCC of the Palm Beaches.   A native of Arizona by way of Oklahoma, Lea is proud to be serving MCCPB as Senior Pastor since March 2011.  She also served as the Senior Minister of MCC San Francisco and as the Senior Pastor of Wichita Falls MCC in Texas. Before that, she was the Acting Executive Director of the Metropolitan Community Foundation in San Francisco.

Following her ordination in 1996, Rev. Brown served as volunteer clergy at MCCSF.  She preached, led retreats and served as the pastor of spiritual development.  In her ministry, she taught many classes and programs on spiritual growth, and the intersections of gender, sexuality and spirituality, and social justice.

In seminary, Lea served as a Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lieutenant) in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1989. She received her education from Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California; Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California; and the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

Lea is the youngest of five children in her family by 20 years!  She has the quirky distinction of being an aunt from the moment she was born, and she became a great-aunt in her 20s.  She and her partner Sarah-Helen Land are grateful to be enjoying life in the MCCPB parsonage with their beloved fur-child, Simche.  While never professing to have a green thumb, Lea loves to grow vegetables.  And most of all, she loves to read.  Lea receives inspiration from authors Barbara Brown Taylor, Obery Hendricks, Harvey Cox, Audre Lorde, and Barbara Kingsolver.  Her biggest hero is her wife, Sarah-Helen.  “She is the strongest, most courageous person I know.”

Rev Lea

Jeremiah Cummings

Director of Music and Worship

jeremiah@mccpb.org

Jeremiah has been happy to call MCCPB his church home…

Learn more about Jeremiah

Jeremiah is happy to call MCCPB his church home. As the Director of Music and Worship, he is able to combine his two passions: diversity in music and Spirit-filled worship.

Originally from Camden, OH, Jeremiah was raised in the Pentecostal tradition. He served in both the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and Assembly of God.

His whole world changed in 2004 when he heard about Rev. Troy Perry and the ministry of MCC. This spiritual awakening took him first to The Rock MCC in Chattanooga, TN, where he served as Minister of Celebration.

In 2009, Jeremiah was called to serve at MCCPB. Lucky us! He continued his studies at Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance in the studio of Dr. Patricia P. Fleitas.

In his music ministry, Jeremiah has created and led worship at MCC’s General Conference and Young Adult Network Gatherings. He also served as faculty for the Moderator’s Leadership Mentoring Retreat. In 2015, MCC honored Jeremiah with the “Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry.”

He enjoys performing and he has been blessed share his talent on the world stage. Jeremiah has performed in Ireland and London, and sung backup vocals for country queen Dolly Parton and gospel artists Geron Davis, Karen Wheaton and Alvin Slaughter!

Jeremiah’s hero is his Pentecostal pastor-grandmother. She was the first one to encourage his musical talent when he started singing in church at the age of three. He is the oldest brother of two, uncle to two nephews, and father of two dogs. Jeremiah shares his passion for music and crock-pot cooking with his partner, Ricardo. Jeremiah loves the movies and amusement parks and musical theatre. You may also hear him singing with the Delray Beach Chorale.

 

Rev Lea

Justin Callahan

Program Director & Ministry Intern

justin@mccpb.org

Originally from Virginia, Justin lived in New York City…

Learn more about Justin

Justin Callahan serves as MCCPB’s Program Director & Ministry Intern.  Originally from southwest Virginia, Justin lived in NYC for nearly a decade.  More recently, Justin lived three years in North Carolina before relocating to Palm Beach County in September 2016 for his role at MCCPB.

Justin’s professional background is in media and ministry.  He has worked in local and national television news, both in front of and behind the camera.  He is particularly proud of his role conducting national media advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

He has also worked as a minister in both churches and hospitals.  Most recently, Justin completed his fourth unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through a post-graduate chaplain residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC.  Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Virginia Tech and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (NYC). He is a candidate for ordination in the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

Justin enjoys spending time with friends and family, long walks on Florida’s beaches and the art of card making.  He is the doting father of Charlie Kelley, a 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  His biggest hero is his remarkable mother – a single parent and for 35 years a teacher of students with moderate and severe disabilities.  Oprah Winfrey is a close second and Justin loves to tell the story of how he finally got to meet the undisputed “Queen of All Things” in February 2011.

Rev Lea

Gary Heil

Assistant to the Pastor (Volunteer)

gary@mccpb.org

Gary was born in Riverton, Wyoming, the fictional setting of …

Learn more about Gary

Gary was born In Riverton, Wyoming (fictional setting of Brokeback Mountain) in 1949. After graduation, he became a Catholic monk in The Society of Mary, aka, The Marianists. He attended Chaminade College in Hawaii for two years and completed his B.A. in Philosophy at the University of San Francisco in 1972.

The Church charged Gary with creating alternative parish communities. And nine years later, he left the Catholic Church church as he could no longer support its teachings on women’s roles, LGBT rights, acceptance of divorced Individuals and its rigid focus on Church teaching.

During the next several decades, Gary nurtured his spirituality through involvement in social justice activities and encountering the divine in nature. He participated in and organized “anti-war” (not “anti-soldier”) marches and public protests. As president and board member of the LGBT Employee Organization at Pacific Bell (now AT&T) and in partnership with other minority employee groups, he secured full Domestic Partner rights for all LGBT employees. They raised millions of dollars in donations towards The San Francisco LGBT Community Center, the LGBT Center in the new San Francisco Main Library and the building of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Gary moved on to work in other telecom and hospitality companies for the next several years and retired in 2013 to spend more quality time with his husband, volunteer and focus on his spiritual growth. He had been living with Parkinson’s for six years.

He and his husband found MCCPB on the internet. “The minute we walked through the doors at MCCPB we were hooked because we felt so welcomed! The ability to worship as a couple, hold hands with our community members during prayer and receiving communion together with each other and with our friends was new but very appealing.” They decided to attend MCCPB regularly and soon after, became members.  Just before their wedding, Gary inquired about volunteer opportunities at MCCPB with Rev. Lea. She needed an assistant and Gary was a perfect match.

His journey has come full circle, as once again Gary is able to contribute to the growth of a community – this time MCCPB – who shares his values of diversity, social justice and spiritual growth.

Rev Lea

Kerry-Ann McLaren

Office Assistant & Bookkeeper

kerry-ann@mccpb.org

It was a happy day for Kerry-Ann when she found MCCPB…

Learn more about Kerry-Ann

It was a happy day for Kerry-Ann when she found MCCPB. It was Christmas Day 2011 and the church down the street was closed. Kerry-Ann and her mother decided that they would attend the next church they saw. It was MCCPB.

Upon entering, Kerry-Ann realized that MCCPB looked like a LGBTQ church (Pastor Lea and the flag were her first clues). Then the couple behind her asked quite cheerfully, “How long have you two been together?” That confirmed it! LOL! Her mom was clueless.
The service was a Moravian Love Feast — very different from the traditions of her Pentecostal background. And she loved it. At the end of the service, she was greeted with warm hugs and encouraged to visit again. Kerry-Ann returned late January 2012 and jumped right in.

She began volunteering in the food pantry, the HIV ministry and doing office admin work.
In August 2013, Rev. Lea offered Kerry-Ann the opportunity to join the staff as Office Administrator and Data Entry Clerk. She holds a BS in Accounting from the University of the West Indies. Skills she puts to good use at MCCPB!

Kerry-Ann is a native of Jamaica, a country and culture where a person cannot be openly gay without persecution. She rejects this prejudice and considers herself a straight ally of the LGBTQ community and an avid supporter of MCCPB. Kerry-Ann is happily married to Norman McLaren and has one amazing child, Romario. Romario is also a friend of the LGBT Q community and volunteers at the food pantry.

Kerry-Ann has a passion for cooking and loves to entertain. She hosts an annual pool party at her home for all MCCPB members. Her favorite hobby is teaching a craft class bi-monthly in our social hall on Saturdays.

Rev. Marion Harrison

Rev. Marion Clark Harrison

Pastor Emeritus

Rev. Marion Harrison served as Senior Pastor of MCCPB from 1993 until his retirement in 1998.

Learn more about Rev. Marion

Rev. Marion Clark Harrison served as Senior Pastor of MCCPB from 1993 until his retirement in 1998. He is honored to have received the title “Pastor Emeritus.”

Pastor Marion was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1958. He served congregations in Indiana and Illinois for 25 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and his Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

After an absence in ministry of several years, he re-entered the ministry while serving as Administrative Assistant to the Pastor of MCC of Greater St. Louis. He received his licensure in MCC in 1987 when he was called to serve Pike’s Peak MCC in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to serving as Senior Pastor there, he was elected to serve as the Mid-Central District, Assistant District Coordinator.

The oldest of four “PK’s” (preacher’s kids), Pastor Marion is the father of four – one son and three daughters; he has six granddaughters, two grandsons, and two great-grandsons! Completing the family unit is Pastor Marion’s life-partner of 34 years, Charles “Wayne” Johnson, who became his husband on January 6, 2014, when Florida issued same-gender licenses for the first time. Rev. Dr. Lea Brown officiated at the ceremony on the steps of the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach.

Retirement has blessed Pastor Marion with the opportunity to sing with the Voices of Pride, volunteer usher at the Kravis Center and serve as Election Clerk for one of Lake Park’s precincts.

Pastor Marion and Wayne express appreciation to the pastors and church members who have made them a part of the dedicated and growing MCCPB faith family.

Meet the staff of Metropolitan Church of the Palm Beaches.

Rev Lea

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown

Senior Pastor & Board Moderator

pastor@mccpb.org

A native of Arizona by way of Oklahoma, Pastor Lea …

Learn more about Rev. Lea

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown is Pastor and Board Moderator of MCC of the Palm Beaches.   A native of Arizona by way of Oklahoma, Lea is proud to be serving MCCPB as Senior Pastor since March 2011.  She also served as the Senior Minister of MCC San Francisco and as the Senior Pastor of Wichita Falls MCC in Texas. Before that, she was the Acting Executive Director of the Metropolitan Community Foundation in San Francisco.

Following her ordination in 1996, Rev. Brown served as volunteer clergy at MCCSF.  She preached, led retreats and served as the pastor of spiritual development.  In her ministry, she taught many classes and programs on spiritual growth, and the intersections of gender, sexuality and spirituality, and social justice.

In seminary, Lea served as a Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lieutenant) in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1989. She received her education from Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California; Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California; and the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

Lea is the youngest of five children in her family by 20 years!  She has the quirky distinction of being an aunt from the moment she was born, and she became a great-aunt in her 20s.  She and her partner Sarah-Helen Land are grateful to be enjoying life in the MCCPB parsonage with their beloved fur-child, Simche.  While never professing to have a green thumb, Lea loves to grow vegetables.  And most of all, she loves to read.  Lea receives inspiration from authors Barbara Brown Taylor, Obery Hendricks, Harvey Cox, Audre Lorde, and Barbara Kingsolver.  Her biggest hero is her wife, Sarah-Helen.  “She is the strongest, most courageous person I know.”

Rev Lea

Jeremiah Cummings

Director of Music and Worship

jeremiah@mccpb.org

Jeremiah has been happy to call MCCPB his church home…

Learn more about Jeremiah

Jeremiah is happy to call MCCPB his church home. As the Director of Music and Worship, he is able to combine his two passions: diversity in music and Spirit-filled worship.

Originally from Camden, OH, Jeremiah was raised in the Pentecostal tradition. He served in both the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and Assembly of God.

His whole world changed in 2004 when he heard about Rev. Troy Perry and the ministry of MCC. This spiritual awakening took him first to The Rock MCC in Chattanooga, TN, where he served as Minister of Celebration.

In 2009, Jeremiah was called to serve at MCCPB. Lucky us! He continued his studies at Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance in the studio of Dr. Patricia P. Fleitas.

In his music ministry, Jeremiah has created and led worship at MCC’s General Conference and Young Adult Network Gatherings. He also served as faculty for the Moderator’s Leadership Mentoring Retreat. In 2015, MCC honored Jeremiah with the “Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry.”

He enjoys performing and he has been blessed share his talent on the world stage. Jeremiah has performed in Ireland and London, and sung backup vocals for country queen Dolly Parton and gospel artists Geron Davis, Karen Wheaton and Alvin Slaughter!

Jeremiah’s hero is his Pentecostal pastor-grandmother. She was the first one to encourage his musical talent when he started singing in church at the age of three. He is the oldest brother of two, uncle to two nephews, and father of two dogs. Jeremiah shares his passion for music and crock-pot cooking with his partner, Ricardo. Jeremiah loves the movies and amusement parks and musical theatre. You may also hear him singing with the Delray Beach Chorale.

 

Rev Lea

Justin Callahan

Program Director & Ministry Intern

justin@mccpb.org

Originally from Virginia, Justin lived in New York City…

Learn more about Justin

Justin Callahan serves as MCCPB’s Program Director & Ministry Intern.  Originally from southwest Virginia, Justin lived in NYC for nearly a decade.  More recently, Justin lived three years in North Carolina before relocating to Palm Beach County in September 2016 for his role at MCCPB.

Justin’s professional background is in media and ministry.  He has worked in local and national television news, both in front of and behind the camera.  He is particularly proud of his role conducting national media advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

He has also worked as a minister in both churches and hospitals.  Most recently, Justin completed his fourth unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through a post-graduate chaplain residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC.  Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Virginia Tech and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (NYC). He is a candidate for ordination in the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

Justin enjoys spending time with friends and family, long walks on Florida’s beaches and the art of card making.  He is the doting father of Charlie Kelley, a 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  His biggest hero is his remarkable mother – a single parent and for 35 years a teacher of students with moderate and severe disabilities.  Oprah Winfrey is a close second and Justin loves to tell the story of how he finally got to meet the undisputed “Queen of All Things” in February 2011.

Rev Lea

Gary Heil

Assistant to the Pastor (Volunteer)

gary@mccpb.org

Gary was born in Riverton, WY, the fictional setting of …

Learn more about Gary

Gary was born In Riverton, Wyoming (fictional setting of Brokeback Mountain) in 1949. After graduation, he became a Catholic monk in The Society of Mary, aka, The Marianists. He attended Chaminade College in Hawaii for two years and completed his B.A. in Philosophy at the University of San Francisco in 1972.

The Church charged Gary with creating alternative parish communities. And nine years later, he left the Catholic Church church as he could no longer support its teachings on women’s roles, LGBT rights, acceptance of divorced Individuals and its rigid focus on Church teaching.

During the next several decades, Gary nurtured his spirituality through involvement in social justice activities and encountering the divine in nature. He participated in and organized “anti-war” (not “anti-soldier”) marches and public protests. As president and board member of the LGBT Employee Organization at Pacific Bell (now AT&T) and in partnership with other minority employee groups, he secured full Domestic Partner rights for all LGBT employees. They raised millions of dollars in donations towards The San Francisco LGBT Community Center, the LGBT Center in the new San Francisco Main Library and the building of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Gary moved on to work in other telecom and hospitality companies for the next several years and retired in 2013 to spend more quality time with his husband, volunteer and focus on his spiritual growth. He had been living with Parkinson’s for six years.

He and his husband found MCCPB on the internet. “The minute we walked through the doors at MCCPB we were hooked because we felt so welcomed! The ability to worship as a couple, hold hands with our community members during prayer and receiving communion together with each other and with our friends was new but very appealing.” They decided to attend MCCPB regularly and soon after, became members.  Just before their wedding, Gary inquired about volunteer opportunities at MCCPB with Rev. Lea. She needed an assistant and Gary was a perfect match.

His journey has come full circle, as once again Gary is able to contribute to the growth of a community – this time MCCPB – who shares his values of diversity, social justice and spiritual growth.

Rev Lea

Kerry-Ann McLaren

Office Assistant & Bookkeeper

kerry-ann@mccpb.org

It was a happy day for Kerry-Ann when she found MCCPB…

Learn more about Kerry-Ann

It was a happy day for Kerry-Ann when she found MCCPB. It was Christmas Day 2011 and the church down the street was closed. Kerry-Ann and her mother decided that they would attend the next church they saw. It was MCCPB.

Upon entering, Kerry-Ann realized that MCCPB looked like a LGBTQ church (Pastor Lea and the flag were her first clues). Then the couple behind her asked quite cheerfully, “How long have you two been together?” That confirmed it! LOL! Her mom was clueless.
The service was a Moravian Love Feast — very different from the traditions of her Pentecostal background. And she loved it. At the end of the service, she was greeted with warm hugs and encouraged to visit again. Kerry-Ann returned late January 2012 and jumped right in.

She began volunteering in the food pantry, the HIV ministry and doing office admin work.
In August 2013, Rev. Lea offered Kerry-Ann the opportunity to join the staff as Office Administrator and Data Entry Clerk. She holds a BS in Accounting from the University of the West Indies. Skills she puts to good use at MCCPB!

Kerry-Ann is a native of Jamaica, a country and culture where a person cannot be openly gay without persecution. She rejects this prejudice and considers herself a straight ally of the LGBTQ community and an avid supporter of MCCPB. Kerry-Ann is happily married to Norman McLaren and has one amazing child, Romario. Romario is also a friend of the LGBT Q community and volunteers at the food pantry.

Kerry-Ann has a passion for cooking and loves to entertain. She hosts an annual pool party at her home for all MCCPB members. Her favorite hobby is teaching a craft class bi-monthly in our social hall on Saturdays.

Rev. Marion Harrison

Rev. Marion Clark Harrison

Pastor Emeritus

Rev. Marion Harrison served as Senior Pastor of MCCPB ,,,

Learn more about Rev. Marion

Rev. Marion Clark Harrison served as Senior Pastor of MCCPB from 1993 until his retirement in 1998. He is honored to have received the title “Pastor Emeritus.”

Pastor Marion was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1958. He served congregations in Indiana and Illinois for 25 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and his Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

After an absence in ministry of several years, he re-entered the ministry while serving as Administrative Assistant to the Pastor of MCC of Greater St. Louis. He received his licensure in MCC in 1987 when he was called to serve Pike’s Peak MCC in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to serving as Senior Pastor there, he was elected to serve as the Mid-Central District, Assistant District Coordinator.

The oldest of four “PK’s” (preacher’s kids), Pastor Marion is the father of four – one son and three daughters; he has six granddaughters, two grandsons, and two great-grandsons! Completing the family unit is Pastor Marion’s life-partner of 34 years, Charles “Wayne” Johnson, who became his husband on January 6, 2014, when Florida issued same-gender licenses for the first time. Rev. Dr. Lea Brown officiated at the ceremony on the steps of the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach.

Retirement has blessed Pastor Marion with the opportunity to sing with the Voices of Pride, volunteer usher at the Kravis Center and serve as Election Clerk for one of Lake Park’s precincts.

Pastor Marion and Wayne express appreciation to the pastors and church members who have made them a part of the dedicated and growing MCCPB faith family.

Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Lea Brown
Moderator

pastor@mccpb.org

Rich Avato
Vice-Moderator

vicemoderator@mccpb.org

Sylvia Delgado
Clerk

clerk@mccpb.org

Renna McGinnis
Treasurer

treasurer@mccpb.org

Carmen Lacharite
Member

carmen@mccpb.org

Tracie O’Connor
Member

tracie@mccpb.org

Karen Wheelhouse
Member

karen@mccpb.org