Reverend Brenda Beckford Payne was elevated to the rank of Presiding Elder and first woman to lead the South Houston District on November 14, 2015 under the hand of Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie to supervise 24 churches in the Houston area and vicinity with a membership of over 2,000.
Born and reared in Washington, D.C., she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Alma Mater of her father and grandfather, Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. She continued her studies at Boston University School of Theology and Houston Graduate School of Theology, and received a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology.
Rev. Payne now celebrates 40+ years in ministry. She accepted her call to the ministry in 1979 at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Cambridge, Mass. She was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1982, and ordained an Itinerant Elder in 1984. She served as Assistant Pastor for 4 years at her home church of 1,500 members and on several episcopal and conference committees.
Her ministry in Texas began in 1992 when she founded Clear Lake A.M.E. Church in Houston. Rev. Payne was promoted in October 2000 to serve six years as pastor to Historic Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church in Galveston. In November 2006, Rev. Payne was promoted to pastor Payne Chapel A.M.E in 5th Ward Houston. On November 15, 2014, Rev. Brenda Payne was appointed to South Wesley and served a year before her next promotion as presiding elder.
Rev. Payne has had the unique opportunity to travel twice to Africa using her nursing skills and ministerial gifts to Cape Town, Johannesburg, South Africa; and to the country of Lesotho. Rev. Payne has also appeared several times on Day Star Houston television as a guest on the Houston Celebration shows.
She is the devoted wife of Jerryl Payne of 39 years and the mother of three college degreed children. Her middle son is also an ordained elder. Rev. Payne strives to daily serve God quoting Ephesians 4: 1-3. and delights in the fellowship of the saints, soul saving, evangelism, and ministering to the unsaved and downtrodden.