Announcing the Call of The Reverend Dr. Allen F. Robinson as 15th Rector of Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
January 7, 2018
Dear Members and Friends of Grace Church,
We are delighted to announce the call of The Reverend Dr. Allen F. Robinson as 15th Rector of Grace Church Brooklyn Heights!
Allen will begin work on Monday, March 19, and celebrate his first services on Palm Sunday, March 25.
Allen comes to us from St. James’ Church (sometimes known as “St. James’ at Lafayette Square”) in Baltimore, Maryland. Organized in 1824, St. James’ was the first black Episcopal church south of the Mason/Dixon line and the third black Episcopal congregation established in the United States. Allen became Rector of St. James’ in July 2002. Previously, he served as Associate Rector of Calvary Church in Memphis, Tennessee, as Assistant Rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, and Assistant Rector of St. James’ Church, also in Houston.
Allen was ordained in 1995 after study at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2007, he received a Doctorate of Ministry, with a dissertation on congregational development, from the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Allen and his wife Allison have three children: Keenan, a college student; Leyla, a high school junior, and Philip, in the seventh grade.
As the Vestry considered the candidates presented by the Search Committee, we were immediately struck by the strength of Allen’s experience, preaching and pastoral presence. We were impressed by his commitment to community as well as his warmth and humor. We have confidence that he will lead us as a people dedicated to outreach and social justice as we continue our life as a faithful, worshipping community.
No announcement of Allen’s call would be complete without recognizing the extraordinary work of the Search Committee: Thomas Baldwin, Sarah Davies, Marilyn Grant, Chris Larson, Brianna McCarty, Michael Rycheck, Anne Silver and Craig Whitney, so ably led by Co-Chairs Barbara Becker and Vivian Harrison. It is almost impossible to do justice to their dedication and commitment. To them we owe a true debt of gratitude. We also thank the Vestry who performed their vital role in the process with day-long interviews on three consecutive Saturdays in December followed by a long evening of discussion, prayer and decision.
In the weeks ahead, we will share more information about how we will get to know Allen in his ministry at Grace. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming the Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson and his family to the community of Grace.
In gratitude for our life together,
Vivian Toan, Senior Warden Kate Rock, Junior Warden