Melanie Wylie installed as Pastor of Liberty Brethren Church, September 13, 2020, Quicksburg, Virginia
From Liberty Brethren Church: "God answers prayers! This has always been the cornerstone of belief at Liberty Brethren Church. The church had been searching for a pastor since June 2020. Previous attempts to find a permanent pastor in the past had been daunting. Pastor Lee Reams, Regional Resource Coordinator for the Southeast Region, noted that Melanie was interested in leading her own church. In meeting with her, the trustees felt that she was a perfect fit for our little church. On August 2, 2020, she was invited to be a guest speaker so the congregation could meet her and hear her speak. She was offered the position of Interim Pastor at that time. On September 13, 2020, the congregation voted unanimously to offer her the position of Pastor which she accepted. God has given us a very capable individual to lead our flock. Her religious conviction is undeniable. Her love for the Lord is contagious. She talks the talk and walks the walk. She is an excellent role model for what a good Christian should be. She is enthusiastic about sharing the gospel and how it applies to everyday lives. We are blessed to have Pastor Melanie and her family join our congregation. They have been a blessing. Again, our prayers were answered!"
Melanie's story, in her own words…
“For 21 years I was a member of Mt Olive Brethren Church. It’s where I grew up and learned about Jesus. As a teen I never thought I would grow up and be a Pastor but God had plans for me that I could not even imagine. As far as I remember, I would preach to my friends and tell them all about Jesus, often the topic was the message Pastor Fred had shared the week before. His teachings were imprinted on my heart and still are today. I love sharing the love of Jesus with all who will listen to me.
When I was in my early 20’s, I heard God calling me into the ministry. God opened the door for me to take Pastor Fred’s Ordination class, “The next Step.” Through Pastor Fred’s guidance and teaching, I finished the Ordination process for the Brethren Church. I was also enrolled at Liberty University and received my Bachelor’s degree in Theological Studies and my board certification in Chaplaincy. Throughout this time, I volunteered for 15 years in the children’s ministry, worked as the visitation pastor and the young adult pastor for Mt Olive. I was working in the hospital as a Chaplain as well. God was shaping me and preparing me to become the head Pastor for Liberty Brethren Church.
In the summer of 2020 when the world looked a little dim, I received a call from Pastor Gail Heiston from Mt Olive. She told me that Liberty Brethren was looking for a pastor. My heart was filled with joy. As the weeks passed, I was offered the head pastor position with a unanimous vote from Liberty’s congregation. My family and I accepted this offer with great appreciation. As we move forward with our new church family we will always hold a special place in our hearts for the ones who helped make this possible. We are so thankful to God and his faithfulness through this journey.”
The preparation for ordination came through her call, studies and experience came through Pastor Fred Miller at Mt. Olive Brethren Church and through the reading program, he offered at MOBC. Here is how that all began: “Melanie Wylie started attending the Mount Olive Brethren Church in 1998. She always displayed a vibrant love for Jesus in her life and actions. As she began to sense the Lord calling her into ministry as a hospital chaplain, she began to take classes at Liberty University. A hunger for further education and the pursuit of ordination in the Brethren Church led her to attend the Brethren Reading Program classes I was offering for members at Mount Olive. She sailed through the classes and appeared before the National Ordination Council (now NBO) in 2017. As the representative of the Southeast District (now Region), it was a delight to listen to Melanie talk about her call and mission in life. I am not sure I had ever heard so much laughter at an ordination examination. Melanie served for several years at Mount Olive as part-time pastor of visitation. She kept busy with her work as a part-time chaplain at the hospital and working with the Weekday Religious Education Program at a local school. It was my honor to be a part of her baptism and that of her family. Now it is my honor to see her serving as pastor at another Brethren Church in the Southeast Region”.
Making the connection between Liberty Brethren Church and Pastor Melanie Wylie was through Lee Reams, the Southeast Regional Coordinator. As he learned that Liberty had lost their pastor through retirement, the suggestion of Melanie Wylie seemed to be the perfect fit!
The following part of this article is from Pastor Lee Reams. “I met Melanie a few years ago as a fellow candidate for ordination in the Brethren Church. We were taking our online Brethren Cohort classes offered through the National Office. It didn't take long for me to realize that Melanie was filled to the top of her being with a passion for others. It was never enough for her to merely discuss the issues of evangelism and discipleship. Melanie wanted to take action to see that people experience the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ. She inspired me and I know she inspired others in the classes to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.
The first step was to see if she would be interested in filling in as an interim pastor. Then we could go from there. That's when good plans began to become great realizations. Melanie agreed to serve as the interim pastor. It didn't take long for Melanie and the Liberty Brethren Church to connect and see that God was up to something very special. When I heard the news the Liberty Church wanted to make her their permanent pastor it gave me hope that 2020, in all its challenges, was going to be the year that Liberty Brethren Church would find their Shepherd and begin to grow into what God had ordained for them to be. So, as we head into the holiday season we can take confidence in that God is actively pursuing and fulfilling His promises and plans for His Church. We look forward to the future and the amazing reports of God's blessings that will accompany Melanie and her leadership at the Liberty Brethren Church. Thank you Melanie for answering the call to pastoral ministry and thank you to the Liberty Brethren Church for receiving the blessing of a person who loves others as God loves them”.