Brooke Atchley is a missionary of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as a Church and Community Worker at the Tazewell District Cooperative Ministry, Tazewell, Virginia, in the Holston Annual Conference. She was commissioned in October 2013.
Church and Community Workers respond to God’s call to ministry among the poor and disenfranchised in rural and urban areas throughout the United States. They work to change the social inequities of poverty, racial injustice, and domestic violence.
The Tazewell district comprises five counties with 39 pastoral charges and 83 congregations. There is a high poverty rate; communities are often geographically isolated and lack opportunities for leadership development. The Cooperative Ministry attempts to address issues related to generational poverty, food sustainability, addiction and recovery, housing rehabilitation, and educational assistance.
Brooke was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, and is a provisional Deacon in the Holston Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of General Studies degree from East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, and a Master of Christian Ministry in Servant Theology from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.
After working for Neighborhood Reconciliation Service for two years, she spent four years, until the end of 2012, as a staff assistant with the Master of Social Work program at Asbury University.
Brooke sees her primary calling as that of a follower of Christ. Her secondary calling is “to serve those on the margins of society. Throughout my life, I have had a desire to be involved with social justice issues and in serving those who could be considered ‘the least of these.’”
While introduced to Jesus at an early age, Brooke says she did not develop a relationship with him until college years, after she had gone through a period of questioning and doubting.
She found her way back to active church involvement through a small United Methodist church near her parents’ home. “That little congregation welcomed me and my questions. I cannot remember a question that I asked that brought a condescending look my way. I soon discovered that being loved by God was not dependent upon my actions or lack of. It was unconditional.” She turned her life over to Christ during her sophomore year in college.
God led her into mission through the Wesley Foundation at East Tennessee State. “The more I stepped out in faith,” Brooke says, “the deeper I fell in love with Jesus and the more I desired to be a reflection of the grace and love that I have been given.”
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