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.