Beverly brings a diversity of life experience to her ministry at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Her early childhood was spent in Maine, and at age seven, her family moved to Roswell, New Mexico. Her first two years of college were spent at Cottey College, a private women’s college in Missouri, and she graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 1982 with a B.A. in English. She began the M.Div. program at Princeton Theological Seminary that fall. While at Princeton, Beverly concentrated in Biblical Studies and Church and Society, and devoted considerable time and energy to the hunger and peacemaking task forces. Between her middler and senior years at Princeton she did a year-long internship with Mission at the Eastward (MATE) in Maine, serving in a three-point rural parish and learning through the active outreach ministry of MATE about the vital role the church can play in community development.
Immediately following graduation, Beverly did a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with Interfaith Health Care Ministries in Rhode Island. In the fall of 1986, she was called as designated pastor of the Barnet Center and West Barnet Vermont Presbyterian Churches, and was installed as pastor a year-and-a-half later. After five-and-a-half years of rural ministry, Beverly realized that God was calling her to a different form of ministry—acting—another form of exploring and communicating what it means to be a human being. Before moving to New York City to study acting, Beverly spent most of 1992 working with the Iona Community on the Isle of Iona, Scotland. As the cook for the MacLeod Centre for three months, then as Abbey Musician for the remainder of the year, Beverly worked with staff and guests who came to participate in an ecumenical, Christian community through their stay at one of the two centres the Iona Community runs on the island.
In 1993, Beverly moved to New York City to study acting. She studied off and on for nine years and acted in productions Off-off Broadway and in New Jersey. In addition, she worked for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for seven years, writing their newsletters and brochures, and interpreting the mission of UMCOR in a variety of ways. She wrote the worship, educational and interpretative resources for the ecumenical One Great Hour of Sharing offering for the year 2000. Before joining the pastoral staff at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in September of 2002, she was a parish associate at The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York.
Music has always played an important role in Beverly’s life–she is a pianist (with rusty fingers) and a singer (with slightly less rusty vocal cords), having sung with many choirs, choruses, chamber groups and a cappella ensembles. She is also an avid reader, enjoys knitting, loves hiking and sea-kayaking and, of course, the theatre. But all of that has taken a back seat since Beverly became the proud and happy mother of Emily Somu. Emily was born in Nepal in 2004, arrived home with Beverly in January, 2008, and her mother is thankful that, so far, she doesn’t mind the church being her second home.
You may contact Beverly Bartlett at