Pastor Dr. Clive E. Neil is the first Caribbean national, the first African-American and the youngest clergy to ever hold tenure in the 160th year history of Bedford Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn.
The house of worship, which stands majestically at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Dean Street, will celebrate its anniversary, with a Banquet and Awards Ceremony to honor 25 members for their outstanding contribution to the history and lasting legacy of the church.
The presentation will take place at the Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn on Friday, Oct. 19 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Under the theme “Celebrating the Past, Impacting the Future,” church goers will then attend a commemoration worship on Sunday, Oct. 21, set to begin at 9:00 a.m.
The congregation of mostly Caribbean nationals, have inspired 54-year Pastor Neil, who found his spiritual calling while working as a camp counselor during his final year of studies, to become a research scientist.
“Working with the youth left a lasting impression on my life,” noted Pastor Neil, who after obtaining his science degree directed his skills learned at the camp to become an ordained pastor in 1985, before completing his pastorship at Tremont Presbyterian Church, Bronx. His major emphasis over the years has been to create programs to engage the community spiritually and socially, which he has done successfully, by creating 27 youth ministries.
The pastor included after-school tutoring, SAT Prep, Backpack drives, advocacy programs, childcare, and “end the violence” initiative. These are just a few of the hallmark programs that mesh the community. The neighborhood also benefit from a food pantry and year-round activities that include a block party.
A Princeton University Fellow with a Doctorate in Counseling from Drew University - Pastor Neil has motivated homeownership, and forged a relationship with the Police Precint to rid the neighborhood of drug houses.
Gentrification has allowed Bedford Stuyvesant, to thrive with an influx of professionals, and a stable neighborhood that is being patrolled by law enforcement, said Pastor Neil whose ‘gun giveback’ program has netted more than 74 firearms.
An accomplished author of three books, Pastor Neil, a native of Mandeville, Jamaica, reflected on the tremendous learning experience he said it has been for him to lead his congregation for the last 24 years.
“I will continue to reinvent myself by growing and improving the church in family issues, education, and modern technology to engage our youth. We are on the precipice of development for the new population,” added the pastor.
“We are eclectic to the needs of the community, and chances are when you come to worship at Bedford Central, you will meet someone from your country,” said Neil who also hosts an annual international day in the church.
“Our church is unique - we see the gospel in a whole new light. We will continue to grow,” he said
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not CaribbeanLifeNews.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to CaribbeanLifeNews.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.