As we welcomed Rev. Dr. Kori Phillips McMurtry to lead our congregation, the members of CCPC extended gracious thanks and love to those who led us through some pretty difficult years since Rev. James Brassard's death in 2020.
Pastor Caroline Wilson - August 2022 - Jan 2023
Pastor Susan Graceson - Sept 2020 - May 2022
Justin Devine - April 2020 - Sept 2020
James Brassard (1956-2020)
Rev. James Brassard retired from CCPC -- and from ministry – on May 31, 2020. James has been a dynamic and passionate leader during his time at CCPC and we have been very lucky to have him.
When the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) that was responsible for bringing James Brassard to CCPC first learned of James’ existence more than 16 year ago, one particular video of James immediately stood out. In that video James rode a donkey into the church on Palm Sunday. The lengths that he was willing to go to bring the story of Jesus to life was so fresh, fun, and real.The PNC reviewed countless resumes and watched many sermon videos. James instantly stood out. They invited both James and Andrea for a visit. They watched as he delivered a sermon at a church in Laurel and they were hooked! The PNC took James and Andrea to lunch and had a wonderful time getting to know them both. They knew then and there that they wanted to invite them to Bowie.
James also has a real depth of character – one that is rooted in his faith. He is a serious man who does not take himself too seriously. And, he can change with the times as he showed when CCPC began offering a contemporary service three-years ago and James embraced it.
It was a sad time when Reverend James Brassard's ill health precipitated his retirement in May 2020. A stage IV malignant brain tumor (glioblastoma) took him from CCPC again. He died peacefully at home on November 4, 2020. He had served CCPC faithfully, to the end.
December 9, 1956 — November 4, 2020
Rev. James Dewart Brassard, 63, passed away at his home on November 4. James was born to Rev. LaVern and Mary Brassard on December 9, 1956 in Connell, Washington, and spent his boyhood in Vancouver, WA. He graduated from Whitworth College in 1979 and Princeton Theological Seminary in 1984. In 1994, he married the love of his life, Andrea Belanus, in Wayne, NJ.
James held pastorates in Slippery Rock, PA, Wayne, NJ, and was senior pastor of Christian Community Presbyterian Church (CCPC) in Bowie, MD, from July 2004 to May 2020. James’ ministry was marked by his many acts of service to his church, community, and region. His unbridled and contagious enthusiasm helped support mission trips to install clean water systems in Honduras, annual building weeks for Habitat for Humanity and others, Warm Nights shelter weeks, and other community service-oriented projects. He was a hands-on pastor, taking seriously the call to feed the hungry, welcome strangers, provide clothing, visit prisoners, and heal and comfort the sick.