Meet our Chaplain, Brian Beverly III
July 30, 2014
I have spent the last 6 years as a Youth Director, Solo Pastor, International Minister at the University of Dubuque, and most recently as the Chaplain at Hillcrest. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with a minor in Communication from the University of Dubuque and am working towards my Master of Divinity through University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.
Focus at Hillcrest:
I focus on the youth, staff, and families.
What excites you about working with the clients?
The majority of the clients I serve have not had a good role model. I am zealous at the opportunity to model a life lived with God—not a perfect life—but one that is filled with joy, meaning, and purpose.
What have been some challenges?
The youth I serve have been neglected or abused—sometimes both. So it takes a lot of effort to gain their trust. However, over time, persistence, unconditional love, and prayer; I have seen God begin the healing process of those I serve. It is a humbling experience each time I gain a clients trust.
Tell me a story about your experience with one or two clients:
Recently a client asked me if she could sing a solo in our chapel service. I was surprised because out of the ten months she has been at Hillcrest, she has never wanted to attend chapel. Interestingly, despite her lack of attendance at chapel, she always wants to talk with me when I come into her group home. Moreover, she has given me gifts that she has made herself (bead jewelry, drawings, etc.). She is consistently kind at my presence, but she always refused my invitation to come to chapel. Nonetheless, one day she asked if she could sing at chapel. She did and we all discovered that she has a beautiful voice. When I think I have failed to reach someone the truth is that God is working behind the scenes.
One of the adolescent males came to me and said, “I am thinking about joining a gang.” Then I said, “Why would you want to join a gang?” “I want a place where I can belong,” he said. His comments shocked me. This kid is very compassionate and he has a lot of positive leadership qualities. I paused for a moment, collected my thoughts, and proceeded to tell him what I thought. I said, “This is not the guy I know. No absolutely not! The guy standing in front of me is compassionate, thoughtful, and is a leader. This gang member identity is something that you would have to pretend to be. If you are looking for gang to join, then it would be best to join a gang that suits your personality.” I then told him about joining the gang of Jesus Christ. I told him that, “in the gang of Christ, members are asked to love their enemies, to be leaders of justice and peace, to care for those who are consider lowly, and the best part, is that the leader of the gang loves you (Christ)—and everyone is invited to participate in this gang.” He was very encouraged, and he told me that he would rather be a part of Christ’ gang.
Where do you see the Chaplaincy program going in the future?
I anticipate Hillcrest expanding its influence and outreach in the community. Hillcrest is unique, because people are unique. As each individual has unique challenges of their own, I see Hillcrest adapting and meeting mental health and social needs. I get a real sense that society’s spiritual needs are growing, and I believe the chaplaincy program will grow to have more chaplains to reach a greater number of people.