The Rev. Dr. Agnes Brady started her ministry with the First Presbyterian Church of Nitro in May 2020. Rev. Brady was raised on a family farm in western Pennsylvania; this gave her an affinity for farming and rural life, which has served her well in ministry. She has served in a number of rural setting across this country, as well as a missionary in Zambia and as an agricultural and Theological Education by Extension instructor there.
Rev. Brady attended Pennsylvania State University and majored in Agronomy. Her original plan was to serve in the Soil Conservation Service, but God had a different plan. She relates that she made lots of excuses to God about why she could not answer the call to ministry. She smiles when she says that she also lost every one of her arguments with God about her call to ministry.
Rev. Brady earned an M. Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a D. Min from Dubuque Theological Seminary.
Since her ordination, she has served for more than 30 years as a rural pastor, serving from bush Zambia to bush Alaska, from the mountains of Appalachia (actually as a seminary intern) to the Great Plains of North Dakota. Her most recent position was in the rural Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she served two churches.
When asked about what had attracted her to First Nitro, Rev. Brady talked about their active involvement in the community. She was also drawn to this congregation because they are less rural than the churches she has served in the past, and she was ready for the challenge of translating her ministry skills to a small city setting with a congregation that has a higher percentage of professionals.
Rev. Brady says First Nitro is a congregation that is very supportive and caring for each other and the community. They have a strong leadership core and a history of doing cooperative ministry. They also have great potential for breaking out of traditional models of ministry and moving into new ways of doing ministry in our changing world.
When asked about what adjustments she needed to make in her new call, she mentioned the difficulty of getting to know a new congregation in the midst of a pandemic. She has found herself writing a lot of care notes to the congregation and relying more on Zoom and electronic communication than she ever did before.
Rev. Brady’s dreams for the congregation include greater outreach beyond the walls of the church and a growing ability to use electronic means to reach new and unchurched people. This will entail a core leadership group developing skills and self-sufficiency in technology.
Rev. Brady’s hobbies are woodcarving (something she began about 8 years ago) and quilting (something she learned from the widows in Kentucky when she was a seminary intern there). She also enjoys snuggling with her dog and reading.
She has two older brothers, one of whom continues to live on and farm the family farm. Much of her extended family continues to live in Western Pennsylvania.