New Covenant Community Church's new pastor has lived all over the world, but he most values the local community.
Pastor Brendon Wilson is filling a two-year vacancy at the Somers Point church.
Originally from South Africa, Wilson came to the United States around 2000 and worked in New York and Arizona before coming to Somers Point.
He said that he came for reputation of New Covenant.
"I loved what New Covenant was about, and the area," he said. "The future is, there is a need on every street corner in every community. The spectrum is: relationally, in helping marriages be stronger. Socioeconomically, in teaching people how to continue to develop whether it's business skills, or entrepreneurial, and creative design agency. Because, I'm not just the pastor. I own a creative agency where we do websites and graphic design, and business consulting, and Google adwords, and Facebook. I love to teach people skills like that."
Wilson also enjoys the community of the church.
"I love working with teenagers," he said. "One thing I love about New Covenant is that every Saturday night they have a fully functional cafe called Safe Haven Cafe. That's just the place for people to gather. There's live music, there's freshly roasted coffee. Cappuccinos, lattes, it's musical. It's a place for community to develop what needs to be heard."
Wilson lived through apartheid. He has a South African accent. He said that his obvious cultural differences actually aid in his ability to fit in with Somers Point.
"In a way, my story, where I'm from, helps a lot. Coming from South Africa, growing up in the environment I grew up in, simply just having the accent, legitimizes me to the extent that I can start a conversation very quickly," he said.
"Maybe I'm just from Pennsylvania or Ohio. I wouldn't be that different, but at least I'm from South Africa, so it gives me a lot of conversation to have with someone. You can literally start a conversation with someone in a grocery line just because I talk to my son and they turn around and they say, 'Where is that accent from?' And they say, 'London? Australia?' And then finally we get to South Africa. Then it's a whole different conversation as to how I got here."
Debbie Feliciano said Wilson is a blessing to the church.
"He's an idea person," she said. "He's got great ideas. I feel like he's taking the church in a great direction."
Wilson looks to develop leadership in the community.
"For me, it's going in and taking something to the next level," he said. "I'm passionate about leadership development. As we see more leaders develop, within in our community, often the standard within our community tends to go up. Unity within the community tends to go up. I've spoken with some pastors here in Somers Point and the Ocean City area. They've been here their whole lives. I celebrate that as much as much as me being the newbie in town."
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