BRIDGE MD, Inc. – Community Organizer (Contractual Staff)
The Reverend M. Gayle Briscoe is a native of Suffolk, Virginia. She received a B.A. degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning. She is a graduate of the Baltimore School of the Bible and has completed other ministerial training classes as certified by the Evangelical Training Association.
Reverend Briscoe has been a licensed Realtor for 46 years and is a well-known advocate for fair housing. She has developed and taught Fair Housing courses for Licensure of Realtors in the State of Maryland.
Reverend Briscoe was the first African American woman to head a major real estate board in the nation, Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors: a 5,000-member board and one of the oldest trade associations in the county. She was also recognized by this board as its "Realtor of the Year."
Reverend Briscoe has been Organizer for BRIDGE since 2012 and Organizer for BRIDGE MARYLAND since 2015. She has served on the following Boards as director:
Associated Black Charities, WBC-Community Development Corporation, Saint Ambrose Housing Aid Center and Leaders of Tomorrow, which trains some of the area's poorest youth to become leaders.
She has been named to the coveted group, "Maryland's Top 100 Women," a publication of Warfield's Magazine.
She was selected by the Maryland Association of Realtors and Congressman Elijah Cummings to personally present an award to President Bill Clinton for his efforts to extend home ownership opportunities to all Americans.
Rev. Briscoe has also assisted Congressman Cummings in executing foreclosure prevention workshops which were attended by over 3,000 homeowners seeking counseling in order to keep their homes. Her role there was of conflict resolution and trouble-shooting, as well as acting as a liaison for the lenders and the Congressman's office.
Reverend Briscoe was the Organizer for funds for the Toys for the Needy Campaign, Northwest Baltimore, sponsored by the Wayland Knights Organization (which raised funds for over 300 poor children to have a sit-down dinner and Christmas toys presented to them each year.)
In addition, Rev. Briscoe was in charge of an executive function of the Fullwood
Foundation, which raised funds to provide full funding (4 years of paid college tuition) in order that twenty per year (20) were able to attend Virginia Union University. This allowed students who may not have had a chance to attend college to be able to get a degree in their area of their acumen and choice.
Rev. Briscoe is the founder and coordinator of "God's Prophets—A Puppet Ministry which performs in churches, hospitals, youth settings and other venues as requested. They bring a positive message to the audience about issues that are uplifting and inspiring for youth and as well.
Rev. Briscoe was recognized by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Brokerage and Habitat for Humanity for raising over eight thousand five hundred dollars, which she presented to officials of Habitat. The funds went toward the building of a home in Annapolis, Maryland. The house was award to a low income single mother with children (who is also a Breast Cancer Survivor). Rev. Briscoe participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony along with officials from Habitat for Humanity.
Rev. Briscoe is a former telethon volunteer for Baltimore Action for the Homeless. She received the "Service above Self" award from the Robry Foundation of Baltimore County, Woodlawn Chapter for her continuous commitment to improving the quality of life for citizens in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.
She also is the recipient of the "Preserving the Trust" award for exceptional service to clients and for being an inspiration to her peers. She was appointed to the Mayor’s Council on City Living by Mayor Martin O'Malley, has received a Mayoral citation from Mayor Sheila Dixon, and received the "Equal Opportunity Career Outreach Award" for helping minorities to achieve a career in real estate and a citation from the Governor's office.
Rev. Briscoe received the "Hometown Hero Award" from WJZ- TV (Channel 13,) presented by Bob Turk, having been nominated by several of her neighbors in the West Park Improvement and Civic Association. She was named to the Advisory Board of HUD's first Housing Partnership Office under Director David Elam and was guest speaker at a HUD office held in Baltimore under Director Cuomo.
Rev. Briscoe is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Institute and received the coveted class award for her ability in public speaking. She was mentored by the late Zig Ziglar, the author of the book, See You at the Top. She was instrumental in bringing him to Baltimore to speak to a group of leaders. The picture taken of the two of them at their first meeting will always be one of her prized memoirs.
Rev. Briscoe has had extensive leadership training. In addition to the Dale Carnegie
Leadership Training, Rev. Briscoe has taken management classes at Loyola University.
She is a graduate of the National Leadership Training of the Gamaliel Institute. She is a graduate of the Pacific Institute in Seattle, Washington: a global consultancy with over four decades of experience in delivering customized solutions to empower organizations and individuals to achieve their full potential and thus enrich humanity. She is also a graduate of Manager's Leadership Training through Century 21 held in Industry, California.
Rev. Briscoe is part of the ministerial staff at Wayland Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland under the direction of the Reverend Dr. Hoffman F. Brown, 3rd and is in charge of the Evangelism Team there, called Marketplace Ministry. This is a street ministry which goes out into the community three times a month to access the needs of the poor and to present them with alternatives, both practical and spiritual.
Rev. Briscoe has dedicated her life to advocating for others.
BRIDGE MD. OFFICERS (EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE): (serving 2016-mid-2019)
Rev. Brian Edward Murray is a native of Queens, New York. He is a graduate of Stuyvesant H.S.; a Newsweek magazine "top 100 public high schools" science and mathematics magnet in located in New York City. He is also a second-generation graduate of Morgan State University with a bachelor's degree in biology, spent over two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, and received his master's degree in theology from St. Mary's Seminary and University. Licensed and ordained at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Baltimore, much of his more than two decades of clergy experience was devoted to The United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland for the causes of social justice, community activism, and Christian education. Rev. Murray also served as adjunct professor at the United Baptist College and Seminary, focusing on both New Testament Studies and Urban Ministry.
In 2008, Rev. Murray became the organizing pastor of New Covenant Community Church, a contemporary, non-denominational new church planted in Woodlawn, Maryland. The ministry achieved mixed success but also attracted the attention of the United Church of Christ, the 5000-church denomination known for diversity and social justice. In April 2011, a revamped New Covenant received "new church in formation" status; and as a result, in January 2012 it was launched as New Covenant Community United Church of Christ, a "new church plant" in the Owings Mills/Pikesville area of Baltimore County. In 2018, New Covenant (the first African American led UCC church launched in the Baltimore Metropolitan area since the 1960's) relocated to its own building in Morrell Park, Baltimore City.
In his ministry outside the sanctuary, Rev. Murray serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center; Executive Committee Member, Professional Advisory Board for Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital System; the Steering Committee of the Family Informed Trauma Treatment Center, sponsored by University of Maryland's School of Social Work and Kennedy Krieger Family Center; Alumni Member of the Victims Service Provider Network of Maryland; is a graduate of the 2012-2013 class of Leadership Baltimore County; and currently, faculty member for the Breakthrough Series Collaborative, a University of Maryland project that trains nonprofit and private agencies about the trauma of institutional racism as they serve the African American community in Baltimore.
Rev. Murray’s ministry is focused on the empowerment of God's people in three specific areas: self-awareness, self-improvement, and social conscience. He believes, "once we know who we are, what we can become, and why we're here, God's will for our lives becomes just a little bit clearer. He is married to his college sweetheart, Janese, the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the Exelon Corporation. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Rachel and Alexis; and they live in Inner Harbor area of Baltimore.
The Rev. Marlon B. Tilghman is the current pastor of Ames United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD. Previously, he served as pastor of Milford Mill UMC, a multicultural, and multi-ethnic congregation with a membership of over 435 members.
Rev. Tilghman is an Elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference the United Methodist Church; he is the chair the Baltimore Suburban District of the Building and Locations Committee; the secretary for the Committee on Finance and Administration for the Annual Conference and on he serves on the Baltimore District Committee of Ordained Ministry for the BWCUMC. He is a member of the Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality (BRIDGE) of Maryland—a Faith Based ecumenical community organizing group for social justice; and he has been a member of the Black Professional Men, Inc. since 1991, currently serving as their chaplain. He is also the chair of the membership and advocacy committees for Baltimore Caucus of the Black Methodist for Urban Renewal.
Rev. Tilghman is a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and he received his Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Rev. Tilghman retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an architect and project manager in 2009. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps Reserves as a staff sergeant and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He met his best friend and wife Barbette when they both served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Together they have three adult sons and two granddaughters.
Rev. Tilghman gave his life to Christ at the age of twelve in a small Holiness church on the eastern shores of Maryland, pastored by his Uncle and Exhorter Freddie Bryant. He accepted his call to ministry on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2003 at his home church Northwood-Appold UMC during his trial sermon. While at Northwood he served as a trustee, a lay servant and the president of the ushers’ board for over 3 years.
The cornerstone of his service for God is grounded in Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. But in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall make thy path straight." Rev. Tilghman has a heart for people, a call to draw others to Christ through servant leadership and social action. "For I have come to bear witness to the light that is Christ Jesus"—John the Baptizer.
Rev. Tilghman believes that his role in pastoral leadership is to name the reality that exists within the people he is called to serve. By naming that reality, God's vision will flourish in their hearts and actions. 'Therefore, search your heart and listen to your soul; and let your light shine so that other may be lead to Christ and lead from the darkness of their sins. To God be the Glory"' -- Amen!
Betsy is a member of Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church in Towson, MD. Ascension was a charter member of BRIDGE and has supplied BRIDGE leaders throughout the years. As a member of Ascension's core team, Betsy completed weeklong Gamaliel training in Illinois in 2009.
Betsy participated in several actions over the past 7 years. She was most involved in the "First Suburbs Initiative," educating congregations and politicians about the need to shift resources from sprawl development to re-development of the older suburbs. During this action, we met with candidates for County Council and County Executive and held a candidates' forum to press them on their commitment to this issue. She served on the Transition Team and the Sustaining Committee from 2015-2016.
Outside of BRIDGE, Betsy has held leadership positions such as President of the Ascension Congregation Council and President of the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. She has been active in legislative advocacy in Annapolis on mental health and substance use disorder treatment, insurance equity and parity, and other issues of concern to clinical social workers and their clients. More recently, she has been active with the advocacy efforts of the national Clinical Social Work Association to improve access to mental health care for Medicare beneficiaries.
"l am appalled and dismayed at the lack of progress we have made in promoting a more just and humane society, despite the efforts made since my college days long ago. Yet, I believe that a coalition of faith organizations has the credibility to further social justice goals. I am optimistic that I can use my knowledge of interpersonal relationships, social policy, and communication skills to further the BRIDGE Maryland mission. “
Educations: Bachelor of Arts in History, Stanford University, 1970; Master of Arts in Teaching, The Johns Hopkins University, 1971; Master of Social Work, Clinical, University of Maryland, 1989.
BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED AT LARGE:
As an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Valerie has spent the past 20 years serving churches in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, and currently serves two churches. She is a life member (at the Conference and National levels) of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. and has served as the Northeastern Jurisdictional Secretary and Treasurer; currently, she is Constitution and Bylaws Chair.
Volunteer Services: Rev. Valerie has served on the Executive Committee of the Capital View Library (Washington, DC); the School Improvement Team of Chase Elementary School in Chase, MD; and much more.
Rev. Barnes became a member of BRIDGE Maryland Inc. in 2014. She has served as a Clergy Caucus Delegate for 3 years; participated on the planning teams for fundraising and celebration events of the organization; organized the souvenir program book for the 2017 “An Evening on the Bay”; and assisted in organizing logistics for the 2018 Legislative Day in Annapolis, MD. Rev. Barnes has also participated in social justice actions of BRIDGE Maryland Inc. advocating for increasing the minimum wage, housing for homeless youth and improved transportation/Red Line in the City of Baltimore.
Rev. Barnes has completed the Gamaliel week-long training and N’tosake training for developing women leaders. She co-led the 2018 BRIDGE MD N’tosake “pride” in their successful pitch to host the 2019 N’tosake training in Baltimore, MD.
Jason Jackson has been a full member of Wayland Baptist church since 2016. He serves as an usher at Wayland and is a member of the BRIDGE Maryland Core Team. He has attended many meetings of the BRIDGE MD General Assembly.
Volunteer services and activities: At Woodlawn, Jason ran track in 10th grade and ran in the county championships. He was a NJROTC and graduated as a Cadet Chief Petty Officer.
Vision, accomplishments/milestones: Jason graduated from Woodlawn High School in 2017 and is currently a student at CCBC – Catonsville, majoring in General Studies. He strives to be a positive force in the state of Maryland and help bring change. He believes he can help convey the mission of BRIDGE MD to the youth.
Favorite Scripture or quotation: Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Louvina Renee McClain was a Baltimore City resident for more than 20 years before moving to Baltimore County, Md. She is a member of St. Paul Praise and Worship Center where she willingly participates in the life of the church’s ministries. She has been involved in the Children’s and Youth ministries where she was instrumental in the Annual Youth Rock Retreat. She has taught Vacation Bible School. She was the co-chair of the church’s 150th Anniversary. She has been a participant in worship services.
Vision, accomplishments/milestones: Renee is a highly motivated individual. She graduated from Baltimore City Community College in 2013 with an A.A degree in Human Services. She is currently employed at Sinai Hospital where she has been working for 16 years. Working many positions/roles within the Radiology department, she now currently works offsite as a Patient Financial Representative. She was nominated and awarded a superstar for excellence in 2009 for Customer Service Skills and works very hard to complete all tasks given using all resources for completion. She is always willing and looking for ways to create better services for families within the healthcare community.
Louvina Renee is a member of the BRIDGE MD Education Taskforce and has participated in several BRIDGE MD actions.
Favorite Scripture or Quotation: Psalm 30: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning . . . You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.”
Reverend Angelique Mason has been the pastor of Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Caroline County since 2011. Previously, Rev. Mason served as the pastor of Holy Trinity AMEC, Rock Hall from 2007 until 2011.
Prior to serving in pastoral ministry, she was the church administrator for Payne Memorial AMEC (1994-2004) and St. John AMEC (2004-2007).
Reverend Mason earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1995 from Morgan University and her Master of Divinity in 1999 from Howard University School of Divinity.
Volunteer Services: Her academic and community involvement includes service as an instructor for the Baltimore Conference Examiners’ Board of the AMEC. She serves as a chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and serves as the treasurer for the Connectional Women in Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Vision, accomplishments/milestones: Reverend Angelique Mason takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development. She intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, and helps others extend their thinking. She was instrumental in the development of Neighbors Investing Money & Resources for Development (NIMROD) Office Building, which rents office space to black owned businesses.
Favorite Scripture or Quotation: II Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Nancy Newman was raised on the campus of Virginia Theological Seminary where her father was a professor of Old Testament. She attended Smith College where she majored in sociology and also focused on early childhood education. After working in Head Start, she earned an MSW degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and moved to Baltimore to join her husband, David Casey, as he began his ministry at St. Matthews United Methodist Church. Her social work career focused on serving families with young children, those in foster care and those experiencing homelessness. Since her husband’s death, she went back to school and earned a Certificate on Aging through Johns Hopkins University’s Odyssey Program so she can support others through life transitions and plan for her own future. With like-minded friends, she has helped to establish an aging in community group in SE Baltimore called What’s Next https://whatsnextbaltimore.org/ and is currently the President of the Board of Directors. She has retired and is currently volunteering with What’s Next, the Baltimore Housing Roundtable, CASA de Maryland and the BRIDGE Maryland Housing Task Force.
Reverend Denise Norfleet-Walker is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She has been a United Methodist pastor for twenty-two years. She has pastored in Harford County, Baltimore City, and is now the pastor of St. Paul Praise and Worship Center, People of the United Methodist Church, located in Pikesville, Maryland.
Reverend Norfleet-Walker has led several faith development classes and trainings for local church leaders. She has worked with and organized Christian youth and young adult groups. She has provided opportunities for Seminary students to develop and utilize their skills and gifts for ministry. Rev. Not-fleet-Walker is a retired educator of the Baltimore City Public School System. While there she participated in various actions and campaigns on issues that involved students and their families who have been impacted by changes in school policies and the lack of funding in the Baltimore City School System. The outcomes of these continued fights led to successfully gaining funds for afterschool initiatives, youth programs, new housing, neighborhood improvements, and the development of playgrounds.
Reverend Norfleet-Walker has been a mentor for new teachers coming into the Baltimore City Public School System for several years. She has been a Professional Staff Developer and presenter for school staff. She implemented an intervention initiative at her school that reduced expulsion and suspensions significantly. She has been one of the school's liaisons for students and parents.
Reverend Norfleet-Walker came to BRIDGE in 2013 and was challenged by Reverend David Casey to use her skills, voice, and passion more effectively, becoming a powerful faith leader fighting for issues of justice and community concerns. That led to her working with Reverend David Casey, other BRIDGE leaders and members in planning for the Gubernatorial Candidates Forum in 2014. Since that time, she has been a member of the Transition Team and the Sponsoring Team for the development of BRIDGE Maryland. She and Rev. David Carl Olson have been working with Working Families on the WESA (Women's Economic Security Agenda). She completed the Gamaliel Foundation's National Leadership Training in March 2016.
As a result of this training, Rev. Norfleet-Walker has testified before the State Senate on one of four WESA bills and for the passing of the one of the bills working with Rev. Marlon Tilghman and other members of BRIDGE Maryland with the HOME Act.
Education: Graduate of Morgan State University with a BS and a MS Degree in Elementary-Middle School Education. Graduate of Howard School of Divinity with a M.Div. degree.
Valerie Scott-Dishroom joined Wayland Baptist Church on April 6, 2014 with a background of over twenty years of Christian experience. She has been an active member of several ministries at WBC to include Women’s, Marketplace, Matrons, and BRIDGE. As an event coordinator, she has graciously shared her creative talent decorating the church fellowship hall for various events. Sister Dishroom is a retired Army veteran who served 20 years as a food service supervisor. After returning to Baltimore, she continued her civilian service as a food service officer for a transitional housing program for veterans called MCVET. She then taught home economics in Baltimore County Public Schools.
Volunteer Services: She developed a Sister’s Circle network. Recently retired from teaching, Sister Dishroom enjoys mentoring youth in after-school programs. She has been a leader in the BRIDGE MD Education Task Force. Her passion for service is fulfilled as she continues to assist with service projects in the community.
Vision, accomplishments/milestones: Sister Valerie led the inception of a chapter of NAACP while on duty in Germany, developed a schoolwide cooking competition and set up a food pantry at Woodlawn High School; She is the proud mother of one son, Corey Scott-Gilbert, who is a Julliard graduate and an accomplished dancer in Europe. For her, bible study is essential to continue her spiritual growth as she strives to live in the will of the Lord and she continuously gives the Lord Jesus Christ all praise.
Favorite Scripture: The 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my Shepherd – I shall not want. . . “.
Rev. Macie Tillman has been a community activist for over 55 years. He attended Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and Restoration Church. His passion is for criminal justice. He has volunteered as a correctional chaplain in the Maryland State Penitentiary for 35 years. He is an active member of the United Baptist Missionary Convention and is sought after for his experience and comprehension in criminal justice matters. He is currently a police chaplain volunteer for the Baltimore City Police Department. He is Dean of Christian Education for the National Baptist Convention. Present at every BRIDGE MARYLAND INC. meeting of both clergy and lay, Rev. Tillman is committed to doing what it takes to bring justice to all. Dr. Tillman is First Vice President of the Pastors’ Conference of the Baltimore and Vicinity and is a member of the Ministers’ Conference.
Barbara Waters is a civic-minded and socially-conscious individual who is a long-term member of Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church. She is an advocate for the least, the left-out and the marginalized. When Ascension Youth had their "Lock Out" she spoke with them on the issues of homelessness and housing insecurity. Always seen at meetings that focus on bringing awareness to others about social justice issues, she is known to freely share her opinions and the lessons of her experience. Amidst her own challenges, she does not let anything get in the way of her desire to help others.
Evangelist Ruth Wilson has been a member of the Perkins Square Baptist Church since 1998. She is an activist for those who need special help. She is proud of the fact that she is 81 years old and still championing for justice. Her education in pastoral counseling is matched by her passion for equity for all. She believes that it is better to “be” a sermon than to “preach a sermon.” She is active in the Lord’s Kitchen (a mission group) and other service groups too numerous to mention here. She teaches and advocates for those who are often overlooked and underappreciated.