Senior Pastor @ Plymouth Church Seattle
Originally from Columbus, Georgia, The Reverend Dr. Kelle Brown brings a wealth of experience, from spiritual leadership and business acumen to inclusion education and community building. While attending Spelman College, she was asked to lead music for a church start, Amistad UCC in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 19, her life of ministry began. In addition to being a Minister of Music, youth minister and church administrator, Kelle consistently pursued her call to ministry.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, and after working in different capacities as a mental health provider, Kelle traveled to Seattle in 2003 to earn her Master of Divinity from Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. She received a post-Master’s degree and completed her Doctorate of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2018. Her dissertation is entitled: Moving from the Gate to the Porch: Solidarity as a Hallmark of Discipleship.
Kelle provided pastoral leadership at Madrona-Grace Presbyterian Church during a time of great change and transition, and as an intern, was Director of Child and Youth Ministries at Bethany UCC. She also interned at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, gathering experience and skill. After ordination in 2011, Kelle moved to Richmond, Virginia to provide pastoral leadership to the women and children of Daughters of Zelophehad, a Presbyterian supported ministry for families experiencing homelessness, as well as pastoring the Woodville Presbyterian Church.
She returned to Seattle as Pastor for Mary’s Place, where she facilitated weekly empowerment and spirituality groups, led powerful and dynamic worship and worked as community liaison to other faith organizations. Kelle also facilitates conversation on dismantling oppression. She offers ways to consider and reflect on privilege, bias, prejudice and bigotry, and provides individual spiritual and leadership coaching.
Kelle arrived at Plymouth in August of 2015, and found a church full of many faithful and welcoming people. She has since discovered that this church is poised to be a progressive voice of inclusion to all people, a place that will welcome church “refugees” looking for healing, and a chalice where all sacred music is seen for its beauty.
She brings a wellspring of vision and innovative ideas. As to vision, Kelle shares the following:
“I intend to lead Plymouth with humility and grace, and promote ways to have the courageous conversations needed to journey together as God’s people. I see Plymouth, in the spirit of the Sankofa, looking back to honor the traditions and heritage of a church that is a pillar of Seattle, while flying forward with the gifts of those we honor, knowing that we the living are charged to imagine how we will be agents of change and compassion in the future.”
“Let us consider how to use the resources to welcome the other, and to listen for the voices that have been muted. Let us consider new ways of gathering resources that will be more sustainable into the future. How we do church is changing globally, but God has more for us to do, to include engaging in hands-on ministry to the least and the last and the most vulnerable. There is no scarcity here! God is a God of abundance.”
Kelle enjoys writing, drawing, composing music and reading. In addition to her children’s book, Sun and Moon, she is working on a novel, Casseroles. She is most proud of her daughter Indigo, the love of her life, who is a student at the University of Washington.