Read letters from Brenda Harcourt
Rev. Brenda Harcourt
Brenda will next be in the U.S. and available for speaking engagements August - October 2015. Email her or the Mission Connections office (Rachel.Anderson@pcusa.org) to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Brenda Harcourt's ministry
Brenda Harcourt was appointed in January 2009 to serve as a leadership trainer with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya. She works in the eastern and Mt. Kenya regions, where she works with both professional and volunteer church workers to improve their leadership skills. She trains Sunday school teachers and evangelists as well as pastors ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
Kenya, a country with a population of 38 million, spans an area about 85 percent of the size of Texas, and borders Somalia, Tanzania, and the Indian Ocean. It is a country of great ethnic diversity, which is often a source of the country’s political and social tensions. Crime, high unemployment, extreme poverty, crippling droughts and floods, and the outbreak of HIV/AIDS present dally challenges.
Tea and coffee are Kenya’s major exports. Tourism is also a large industry as visitors explore the beautiful Kenyan landscapes and view the diverse wildlife. Most Kenyans speak both English and Swahili, and many also speak the language of their ethnic group. Almost 22 percent of the population live in cities. Nairobi, the capital city and the country’s largest urban center, is home to about 3 million people. The Kenyan people are mostly Christian, with about 45 percent identifying themselves as Protestant and 33 percent as Catholic. About 10 percent are Muslim; another 10 percent adhere to traditional religions.
About Brenda Harcourt
Brenda’s service in Kenya is not her first appointment as a PC(USA) mission worker. From May 1989 to November 1991 Brenda was a seminary instructor in Peki, Ghana, serving with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana.
Since she ended her first term service as a PC(USA) mission worker in 1991, Brenda continued to be active in mission. She has led many groups traveling to Ghana, Scotland and Kenya, and she has conducted orientations for Africans coming to the United States as well as for Americans travelling to Kenya.
Download a prayer card that lifts up the work of Brenda Harcourt in Kenya.
Brenda has served the church as a pastor and worked in several camp and conference ministries. She also taught classes in world religions and philosophy at Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois, for five years.
Prior to her appointment to Kenya, Brenda was solo pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Oregon, Illinois. While in this position, she served on the Mission Committee of Blackhawk Presbytery developing a rotating system for training pastors, evangelists, elders and deacons.
Brenda’s commitment to the ministry of camp and conference centers is long and varied. Between 1997 and 2001 she was program director at the Stronghold Conference Center, a conference, retreat and camping center of Blackhawk Presbytery. She was director of the Wildwood Christian Education Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and chaplain and interim program director of the Calvin Center in Hampton, Georgia. While serving as solo pastor of the Calvary Presbyterian Church in York, Pennsylvania (1991 to 1995) she was also director of Donegal Camp and Conference Center, the outdoor Christian education ministry of the Presbytery of Donegal.
Brenda holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Brenda was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on September 27, 1992. She is a minister member of Blackhawk Presbytery.
Birthday: August 18