Our Pastors

Bishop Warner Brown

Bishop Warner Brown, Interim Senior Pastor


Bishop Brown was born and raised an only child in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Ida and Warner Brown. At the age of thirteen, while reading the New Testament, he felt a call to serve. He began preaching as a youth, and was encouraged to continue doing so. As a young adult, he attended the University of Maryland, (B.A. in Sociology, 1969.) He also graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC with a Master of Divinity degree.

In 1973 Warner was ordained deacon in the Baltimore Annual Conference by Bishop James K. Mathews. Yet his movement west had already begun with a pastoral appointment in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference as both the pastor of a church and Director of Bethany House Ministries in Pittsburgh, a social service ministry for two housing projects. While serving in western Pennsylvania, he was ordained elder in 1975 by Bishop Roy C. Nichols. In 1979, he answered a national search for an associate conference staff position in the California-Nevada Conference, and transferred there. Once in California, it was only six months later that he was asked to serve as Conference Council Director.

From this role of program and administrative oversight for the Conference, Warner was appointed just four years later to the Superintendency of the Golden Gate District, the richly diverse area including San Francisco and several rural and suburban counties along the Pacific Coast. Four years after that, he was given the charge of the Taylor Memorial UMC in Oakland, CA. While serving this significant congregation, the community was then assaulted by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and two years later the holocaust of fires in the Oakland hills. As chairperson of the Oakland Inter-religious Network for responding to this disaster, Warner led the community's ecumenical disaster response.

Throughout these years, Warner has been active in the social justice ministries and programs of those communities and church connections where he has been appointed. To list but a sampling: Volunteer Police Chaplain, Trustee of the Glide Foundation, vice-chair of the Community Advisory Commission for Alameda County Medical Center, member of the Governing Board of United Way for Kern County, a member of the. Board of Directors for the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, recipient of the 1996 Outstanding Leadership and Service Award for Emergency Response Ministries, given by UMCOR, and recipient of a 1998 Special Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Warner's leadership in the church has included service as: delegate to General Conference twice, member of the General Commission on Religion and Race, a faculty member for New DS/CCD training, Harry Hoosier Member of and twice the host for the National Black Methodists for Church Renewal, chair of the Board of Missions in California-Nevada Annual Conference as well as numerous other conference boards and agencies, adjunct consultant to the Alban Institute, and a Wesley Seminary Distinguished Alumni.

Following a successful eleven-year pastorate in Oakland, Warner was given a new challenge as Senior Pastor of the predominantly white yet multi-ethnic First UMC of Bakersfield, CA. Only two years into this pastorate, he was nominated and endorsed by his conference for the episcopacy: at the Western Jurisdiction Conference Sessions in Casper, Wyoming, and in July of 2000 he was elected to the episcopacy on the 19th ballot and assigned to the Denver Area.

Bishop Brown is married to Minnie Jones Brown; their family includes Catina Marie Harvin, Warner III, and Calvin Brown.





Karen Oliveto

Rev. Angela Brown JD., Associate Pastor

ANGELA BROWN, born in Atlanta, Georgia re-located to San Francisco with her mother at the age of 4.  Angela was nurtured through her church and the Upward Bound program at the University of San Francisco where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with the aspiration of becoming a medical doctor.


Instead of pursuing a career in the medical industry Angela began to work in the San Francisco District Attorney as an investigator. She was quickly promoted to Senior Criminal Investigator, the first woman assigned to the Criminal Division and later joined the Naval Reserves where she was commissioned an Officer, and after twenty-two years of services she retired at the rank of Commander.


Angela then considered working for another law enforcement agency, however instead of moving to another agency she entered Law School while working full-time while attending classes in the evening. The San Francisco District Attorney Office hired Angela after she graduated from Law School and passed the California Bar as an Assistant District Attorney where she worked for twenty-two years.


Angela is a lifetime United Methodist, during the 2008 General Conference Angela was elected to the United Methodist Judicial Council from the Western Jurisdiction.

Angela attended the Pacific School of Religion receiving a Master’s of Divinity, May 2014.


Angela’s call to ministry gives her an opportunity for her to proclaim her heartfelt belief that God’s love and grace is available to everyone equally and to work on issues that demands that everyone is treated with dignity, respect and an opportunity to live their lives to their highest God given potential.


Email Angela at abrown@glide.org



Theon Johnson III

Rev. Theon Johnson III, Associate Pastor

Associate Pastor Rev. Theon Johnson III came to GLIDE from Mississippi where he led the music program at Canton United Methodist Church.  Rev. Johnson believes music traverses many perceived and existent barriers and is particularly passionate about music as a vehicle for both personal expression and communal witness.

With a background in Philosophy, Religion and Education from Millsaps College, Rev. Johnson went on to study Theology and Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC.  During his time in Washington he had the honor of serving as an Advocacy Associate with the General Board of Church Society on Capitol Hill.  Rev. Johnson is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

He brings with him a strong connection to GLIDE’s Mission and Core Values: “I celebrate GLIDE’s vision of a future with hope for every person who walks through its doors.  But, most importantly, I believe the best days of GLIDE and its mission are ahead.  I am excited about our future.”


Email Theon at tjohnson@glide.org


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