On July 26 the Presbytery of New York City affirmed Teaching Elder Beverly Glasure Dempsey’s call to be the 12th pastor of historic Jan Hus Presbyterian Church & Neighborhood House. She will begin Sept. 1.
Dempsey joins Jan Hus following 18 months as interim pastor at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, where a key part of her experience was serving the guests and staff of Miriam’s Kitchen, a ministry akin to Jan Hus’ Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Program.
“I feel called to serve an open and welcoming congregation with a passion for glorifying God through corporate worship and service to one another, the less advantaged and the oppressed,” Dempsey said.
Before her time at Western, Dempsey served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Ramsey, New Jersey. She has served the PC(USA) at all levels, including a two-year term as vice-moderator of the denomination’s Multicultural Churches Network in 2008-2009.
The presbytery’s action came 140 years and one week to the day that the Rev. Gustav Albert Alexy, a young clergyman visiting from the precursor to today’s Czech Republic, borrowed the sanctuary of a German congregation to conduct New York City’s first worship service in the Czech language. From that initial gathering of 18 adults and 22 children grew The First Evangelical Bohemian Presbyterian Church, joining the presbytery in 1877 with Alexy as the inaugural installed pastor.
In other actions, the presbytery approved the call of Teaching Elder Thia Reggio as pastor of Astoria First Presbyterian Church, Queens. Reggio, who has served Astoria First as temporary supply pastor, is also the presbytery’s disaster response coordinator for Superstorm Sandy with a focus on volunteer hosting.
Two interim pastorates were also approved: the Rev. Susan Friedl at Calvary Presbyterian Church on Staten Island and the Rev. Lindsay Borden at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn.
Ruling Elder Jim Nedelka has written extensively for the Presbyterian News Service. A member of Jan Hus Presbyterian Church & Neighborhood House, he chaired the congregation’s Pastor Nominating Committee.