Borrego Ministers Association Beginnings: Interview with Rev. Laura Brecht

A farewell interview with Rev Laura Brecht+ as she retires

Reflecting on a Legacy: An Interview with Rev. Laura Brecht as She Bids Farewell to St. Barnabas

After twelve years of dedicated service, Rev. Laura Brecht is preparing to leave St. Barnabas, a community she has profoundly influenced through her innovative and compassionate leadership. As she packs up her home, which remains remarkably orderly amidst the chaos of moving, Rev. Laura reflects on her time at St. Barnabas and the unique ways she has engaged with the community of Borrego Springs.

Rev. Laura’s approach to ministry has been anything but conventional. From participating in local parades to helping those in immediate need, like offering a ride to a hitchhiker or aiding the sick, she has woven the spirit of service into everyday interactions. These acts of kindness often led community members back to St. Barnabas, enriching the church with new faces and stories.

Perhaps her most significant contribution is the founding of the Borrego Ministers Association (BMA), which she established shortly after her arrival with fellow minister Jim Brooking. The BMA has become a cornerstone of community support in Borrego Springs, coordinating efforts among local churches to provide not just spiritual but practical aid to residents. Under Rev. Laura’s leadership, the association has seen remarkable growth in both scope and impact, particularly evident in the surge of community donations during the COVID pandemic, totaling over $300,000.

The BMA’s success is a testament to Rev. Laura’s philosophy that the church should serve as a hub of community life. St. Barnabas, under her guidance, has initiated numerous programs that extend beyond traditional worship services. These include a youth golf program, which not only introduced local children to the sport but also integrated other community services like swimming and nutritional support during the summer.

In her interview, Rev. Laura shared her belief in “servant leadership,” a model she has embodied by empowering congregation members to take active roles in community service. This approach has allowed the church to flourish as a dynamic and inclusive community center, not confined by the walls of the building but extended into the homes and lives of Borrego Springs’ residents.

As St. Barnabas prepares for a transition to new leadership, Rev. Laura leaves behind a legacy of growth, community engagement, and spiritual enrichment. Her final message to the congregation and future leaders is one of encouragement: to continue the work with joy, embrace the flow of the community’s spirit, and support each other’s passions as expressions of divine love.

Rev. Laura’s influence will undoubtedly continue to resonate within St. Barnabas and the broader Borrego Springs community. Her departure marks the end of a fruitful chapter but also the beginning of a new era, ripe with opportunities for growth and continued service under new stewardship.