Death of local minister rocks religious community

Apostle Brenda J. “B.J.” McCloud

Death of local minister rocks religious community
August 23
05:00 2018

Apostle Brenda J. “B.J.” McCloud is one of the most revered pastors in the Triad area.  McCloud passed away on Friday, Aug. 10.  Her homegoing and celebration of life was held at Greater Church on Saturday, Aug. 18. She was 73 years old.

McCloud was born on Jan. 28, 1945 in Winston-Salem.  She was a graduate of Atkins High School and attended Vintage Bible College, where she was an honor roll student.

Early on in her journey through life, McCloud was employed by the Northwest Child Development and the Forsyth County Public Library System, where she was affectionately known as one the “Jazzy Grannies.”

McCloud became well known by the children in the community, as she would drive the bookmobile.  Her affectionate personality naturally drew people to her and her great storytelling skills were well received by the kids whenever she came around.

Apostle McCloud and her husband, Bishop Alonzo McCloud, founded Tabernacle of Faith Church in January 1983, where they co-labored for 17 years until the passing of Bishop McCloud in December 2000.  Apostle McCloud then took up the mantle as senior pastor and did so until her passing. She celebrated 17 years as pastor in October.

On Saturday, McCloud’s homegoing service was packed with family and friends.  From her time with the public library and her time in the pulpit, McCloud touched many lives.

“Me and my family were very enthused that my mom touched so many lives,” said Bishop Phillip McCloud, Apostle McCloud’s son.  “It was so many people there that I didn’t even know were there and people I did not even know my mother touched were coming up to me and the family saying how much she impacted their lives.

“That just shows the impact her life had on other people.  She was about people and loving people.  She really cared for them, prayed for them and saw many people through.  This city is really in mourning because of her death due to the amount of lives she impacted in Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas.”

Bishop McCloud is the senior pastor of Fresh Fire Worship Center in Winston-Salem.  He stated that Greater Tabernacle will now merge with the congregtion of Fresh Fire and become one church.  He says they have not decided on a name or where the combined congregation will meet, but he will lead the newly formed congregation.

Before her death, Apostle McCloud was working on the developments of a new church building on Carver School Road.  Bishop McCloud plans to “complete that assignment” and the church will then decide where they will convene for service. 

Apostle McCloud was one of the few female senior pastors in the city.  In the past she stated it was important for young ladies in the ministry to see her in this position to know that anything is possible, even when people say you can’t do it.

“She was a trailblazer especially when it comes to female pastors,” McCloud continued.  “To take on a ministry that was held by her husband went against what a whole lot of people thought.  My mom was the type of person that did not care, she looked at the assignment and the assignment was to push that ministry to the level it is now.  By doing that a lot of females have stepped out because of her stance and have broken out and said ‘this is what I’m called to do.’

Bishop McCloud says at one point in time, Apostle McCloud worked full time in the library system as well as being a full time pastor.  He says she would even minster to people at the library if necessary. 

“She has always been a person full of life that loved people and that’s just how she was,” Bishop McCloud went on to say. 

McCloud was well respected by ministry leaders all around the city.  Bishop McCloud said that was because she supported everyone, anytime and anyplace. 

“Mom would come over and support them but she always held her ground to who she was in the body of Christ and they respected her as such,” said McCloud. 

Bishop McCloud was newly ordained as a bishop the day after his mother passed, on Aug. 11. 

“I told her I was about to be ordained as a Bishop and she wanted me to be an Apostle,” he said.  “Looking at it now, I believe she was saying that because she knew she was getting ready to go and that was like the baton being passed to me from her.”

“She did not make it to the elevation, but I knew what God was saying, which was continue the work.  God makes no mistakes and she knew it was time for the baton to be passed to me to carry on the work, and that’s why it was such an urgency for me to be elevated at the time that we did it.  I was going to push it back, but I heard her voice saying ‘No, you do this and don’t you back out of this’ and the church was in agreement.”

Bishop McCloud says he is eager to lead both congregations of Fresh Fire and Greater Tabernacle.  He says his family will be strongly involved with the development of the new congregation.

“My family will help me in that cause,” he said.  “Together we feel like we can do this and push these ministries to where they should be and further the advances of the Kingdom through Greater Tabernacle and Fresh Fire Worship Center.”

“I am so excited about doing this because I know the things she was already in stride of doing and I am ready to take that up and continue that where it has to go.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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