August - September 2008
The Rev. Gregg Brekke has been named editor of United Church News and the denomination's news director, succeeding the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, who was appointed the UCC's national director of communications last December.
Brekke, 39, will begin the position Sept. 2.
Brekke, currently pastor of Nexus UCC in Hamilton, Ohio, has been a free-lance writer for United Church News for the past two years. He also has written extensively for DisciplesWorld, the monthly magazine of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Brekke's journalistic portfolio is broad and includes attention to global understanding, justice issues, evangelism and church vitality, and faith-journey feature stories.
As editor, Brekke will oversee the day-to-day operations of United Church News, both online and in print. In his role as news director, he will work closely with secular journalists who are reporting on the UCC.
Guess, 42, will continue to provide administrative leadership for the newspaper as its publisher.
"I have every confidence in Gregg's journalistic abilities and his knowledge of and commitment to this church," says Guess. "I look forward to working with him as we continue to improve the quality and delivery of the church's news in innovative ways."
Brekke received a B.A. in history from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., and an M.Div. degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is an accomplished photographer and brings experience and interest in emerging forms of media.
Under Guess' five-year stint as editor, United Church News received more than 60 awards for excellence in religion journalism. With 206,000 subscribers, United Church News is the largest religion newspaper in the country. In 2007, it was named the nation's best religion newspaper by the interfaith Religion Communicators Council.
"It is an honor to continue in the tradition of innovative religious journalism for which United Church News is known," Brekke says.