Meet the Pastor
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Reverend Dr. Brian Scott Relford, Sr.


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Rev. Dr. Brian Scott Relford, Sr. is a native of Massillon, Ohio. He is the fifth child of nine children born to William and Janet Relford.  He is married to the former Patrice LaChelle Elder, an avid reader that enjoys singing and writing.  Together they are the proud parents of three children, Brian Scott Jr., Rachel Jenel, and Sarai Patrice.  Reverend and Mrs. Relford credit their children for keeping his preaching and teaching fresh and relevant so that he may “Serve this present age.”


Dr. Relford graduated from Central Catholic High School and enrolled in Livingstone College.  While matriculating at Livingstone he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  In the spring of 1991, he heard that small still voice and accepted his call into the ministry to preach God’s word.  He went on to complete his studies and graduated from Livingstone College with honors with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education.  Upon completion from Livingstone he enrolled in Duke Divinity School where he received the Benjamin E. Mays Scholarship and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship in the fall of 1992.  While studying at Duke, Dr. Relford became a local preacher at the historic St. Mark AME Zion Church in Durham, North Carolina and completed one Clinical Pastoral Education Unit (CPE) at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He received his Deacons Ordination in 1993 and Elders Ordination in 1994.  Both of these ordinations were received in the Central North Carolina Conference under Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.  He graduated from Duke Divinity School with a Masters of Divinity Degree in May of 1996. Dr. Relford enrolled in United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in August of 2013. He finished his Doctors of Ministry (D. Min) in December of 2016.


Dr. Relford began his pastoral experience in the Central North Carolina Conference.  He was appointed to his first church in February 1995 at the Corinth AME Zion Church in Siler City, North Carolina where he served as their Shepherd for 2 1/2 years.  In May of 1997 Dr. Relford was transferred to the Tennessee Annual Conference, under the leadership of the late Bishop Enoch Benjamin Rochester and began pastoring the Logan Temple AME Zion Church.  During his 9 year tenure, Dr. Relford and the Logan Temple church family paid off the mortgage on the parsonage, built an education building, brought the sanctuary up to code, purchased a new church van, bought property adjacent to the church building and began an outreach ministry for youth enrichment entitled “Begin-A-New.”  For six years this ministry provided tutorial assistance to elementary, middle and high school students who struggled with reading, writing, and mathematics.  He also served as chairman of the Tennessee Annual Conference Community Development Corporation. This was a non-profit organization that was responsible for building homes, providing youth enrichment and educating the community on health and wellness.


In June of 2006, the late Bishop Roy Anderson Holmes, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, appointed Dr. Relford to Lomax Temple AME Zion Church in Detroit, Michigan. While at Lomax, Dr. Relford was instrumental in purchasing 9 lots of property adjacent to Lomax for future development. The church has purchased a commercial handicapped bus, and did various renovations such as bathrooms, roofs, new windows, new air conditioners and upgrade to LED lighting throughout the church. The food pantry of the church continues to meet the needs of community through weekly distributions as well as the prison ministry continues to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the “least of these”. Many have been blessed through the ministry of Dr. Relford. Staying focused on the mission of “Changed people changing the world” he believes that God doesn’t change situations, but God changes people and people change their own situations. God has used this pastor and this congregation to bring change to where it was needed. 


In July 2019, Bishop W. Darin Moore appointed Dr. Relford the pastor of the Union Wesley AME Zion Church in Washington DC. Dr. Relford is excited about this new chapter in his 24 year span of pastoral ministry. Union Wesley has a rich history of leadership and ministry and Dr. Relford is honored to serve.  God will do great things with this pastor and congregation, “Eyes have not seen nor ears have heard nor has it entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for them that love him.” I Corinthians 2:9.

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