PBA Intergenerational Ministers’ Support Groups

During the spring of 2000, Dr. McJunkin shared with me that because of the stresses of the pandemic on ministers, he wanted to provide group support for the ministers of the PBA community.

The purpose of the group (following the Aotearoa, Peer Support Guidelines) was to rely on authentic two-way/ trust-based encounter as mutually beneficial; recognize that empowerment, empathy, hope and choice comes from hearing someone who has walked your path, in the past and in the present; and grounded in the belief that people are their own greatest resource…sharing experiences that result in fortitude and resilience for all.

Dr. McJunkin wanted to gather ministers intergenerationally for the purpose of exposing younger ministers to the wisdom of their elders.  And for the seasoned ministers to hear about new ideas and current technologies for ministry.

After canvassing the minsters in the PBA community, the first three groups began in January 2021.  In September 2022, an additional group was added.  If you are interested in joining a group, please review the attached flyer.

Rev. Julia Bruton-Sheppard

Meet the group facilitators:

Rev. Julia Bruton-Sheppard:  Her first career was as a registered nurse. She found my most rewarding experience in the field of Hospice Home Care. During those 14 years God presented her with many life-lessons caring for those at the end of life.

In 1989, Rev. Bruton-Sheppard was licensed to preach at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Albert F. Campbell and ordained in 1993. Presently, she continues to hold the position of Associate Minister at Mount Carmel where Rev. Dr. Donald D. is the current pastor.

Rev. Bruton-Sheppard is the Program Facilitator for Communication and Leader Development for Philadelphia Baptist Association.  She has facilitated three Learning Community groups focusing on Diversity, Leadership and Domestic Violence. Currently, she is Co-Ordinator of PBA Intergenerational Ministerial Support Groups

Rev. Wakaki R. Thompson grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.  He moved to Philadelphia and received a Bachelor of Science from Drexel University.  He currently works for IBM as a systems architect. 

In December of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rev. Wakaki Thompson was called as Senior Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Newtown, PA. 

In 1991, Rev. Thompson joined Bethlehem Baptist Church.  At Bethlehem he served in many ministries.   In 1995, he was ordained a deacon and grew into various leadership positions.  Rev. Thompson has a heart for Mission Ministry and has a high view of Scripture.  He has led or participated in local, national, and international mission engagements.  As an outgrowth of the Mission Ministry, Rev. Thompson was trained in Got Style, a personality-based approach to evangelism.  Furthermore, he is a Seminar Director of Prepare/Enrich, a relationship assessment counseling tool. 

In 2011, Rev. Thompson was ordained by his home church Bethlehem Baptist Church.  Pastor Thompson was ordained by the Philadelphia Baptist Association, American Baptist Churches USA in 2020.

Rev. Greta A. Wagner, BSN, MA, M.Div., ACPE Certified Educator (retired)

Rev. Greta A. Wagner has been an ordained American Baptist minister since 1991. Rev. Wagner graduated first in class from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in June 1991 after being called in 1990 as the first woman in ministry to serve as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lima, OH. Greta next served in Ohio as Pastor of First Baptist Church in Spencerville. Rev. Wagner qualified to become an American Baptist endorsed chaplain, serving as the designated ICU and Open Heart Chaplain in a faith based medical center in Lima, OH from 1995 – 2004. 

Rev. Wagner became Director of Spirituality for the Geisinger Health System in Central PA in 2005., providing spirituality education to staff across this robust health care system. In 2014, a fully certified ACPE educator, Rev. Wagner inaugurated a non-traditional Clinical Pastoral Education program at Trinity Community, a residential life care community near Dayton OH.  In her position of Director of Spiritual Care and CPE, Rev. Wagner also served as the pastor of this 220-resident faith-based community.

Greta is an active member at Central Baptist Church in Wayne. PA.