Dr. Stan Lindquist Impact Award 2018 – Gerre Brenneman
Gerre Brenneman became the Executive Director of Evangel Home 30 years ago. It was a leap of faith on her part because she had no intention of going into ministry, was working at Reedley College for the president, and was more focused on writing speeches than guiding souls. But then God made it very clear where she was to go and she went. As much as she has helped to change the lives of homeless women and children, she believes that God put her at Evangel Home to work on her as well. Her faith has been shaped in the trenches and her direction has been changed forever.
Gerre has lived most of her life in Fresno, graduated from Fresno State (3 times), and before Evangel Home she worked as a teacher, probation officer and public relations director — all jobs that prepared her for the call to which she has dedicated most of her working life.
The Evangel Home has grown under her leadership and now covers half a city street in downtown Fresno. More than property values, she is concerned about people value and the women and children the staff invests in.
Gerre is a long-time member at First Presbyterian Church — a place and location that helped forge her commitment downtown Fresno.
She began her career at Evangel Home in 1988 and will pass the leadership mantel to the next person at the end of 2018. She has not settled on a post-Evangel Home direction but likes what her friend Randy White said, “As I get older I realize the temptation toward becoming egocentric, toward thinking what you say is more important than what you ask. . . . I have experienced my elder peers whose curiosity has died and all that is left is the sound of their own voice.”
It is my prayer now, as I seek new direction, that I remain curious about life and more interested in giving a voice to people who don’t have one rather than in hearing my own.