New pastor starts at Millfield Baptist ChurchPublished 9:58am Friday, July 5, 2013
By Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
WAKEFIELD—Rev. Brooks Gale, the new pastor at Millfield Baptist Church, said when he preached his first sermon, he was so nervous that when he finished, he said to his fiancé, Dawn, “I can’t do this.”
“But, bless her heart, she was so supportive,” he recalled. “She had been sitting in the congregation during the service and she said to me, ‘Yes you can. You did a fine job.’”
Today as Gale’s wife and mother of their three daughters, Kara, 6, Kayla, 4, and Kylie, 13 months, she is still his staunchest supporter.
“She knew what was in my heart,” he said. “She knew that preaching the word of God was what I had been called to do and she has been right by my side.”
Gale, 34, has been in the ministry for eight years. He said when he preached his second sermon some time later, he felt “right at home” in the pulpit. “Then I knew this was where I was supposed to be.”
Raised in Kinston, N.C., his only sibling, a brother, is now deceased. He also lost his father recently, but his mother still lives in Kinston.
He first knew when he was 9 or 10 that God wanted him in some kind of pastoral ministry, he said. “I didn’t know what, exactly, but I felt the calling.”
So after earning a bachelor’s degree at Mt. Olive College, he went on to Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., for his divinity degree.
During this time he worked as an emergency medical tech.
“My first church was a small one near my hometown of Kinston, where I served for a year and a half,” Gale said.
“Then I was called to Immanuel Baptist Church, where I stayed for three years.
“I was chaplain at a hospice in Rockingham, N.C., when I received the call to come to Millfield, this wonderful rural Baptist church in Virginia.”
Gale preached his first sermon at Millfield in December 2012 and says he has a feeling of security here.
“The members are supportive and so friendly,” he said. “I don’t think Dawn and I could have found a better home.”
The young preacher now has the distinction of guiding the congregation of one of the oldest churches in the Berlin-Ivor area. Organized in a log cabin in 1836, it has flourished for nearly 177 years. Many of its members are descendants of its founders.
Gale says in the six months he has been here, he has gotten to know most of his church families, but he is anxious to include those in the community. “I want to get to know more people in the area, those we can minister to and help, like with the food bank, which is a wonderful endeavor, I think.
He also plans to work closely with the church deacons and other departments in the church.
Asked if he would join the music department, he said, “Well, I do play a little bass guitar, in fact I was in a band in college, but that’s been a long time ago. I don’t know.”
He is familiar with other church activities, however, like its softball team and follows its progress in the summer league games.
But his main hobby, he says, is spending as much of his free time with his wife and children as is possible. He looks at a picture of his family on a bookcase in his office and smiles. “They’re precious to me.”