856.983.0607 ext. 11The Rev. Brett W. Ballenger was born the youngest of five (three brothers: Bob, Steve, Rick and one sister, Donice) children in State College, PA., less than three miles from Beaver Stadium, at Penn State’s Main Campus.
He has a strong love of animals stemming from his father’s pet store chain. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, school and community based choirs and bands, as well as his home congregation of Grace Lutheran (a congregation a little larger than Prince of Peace).
Upon graduation from High School in 1987 he entered Susquehanna University and graduated with a B.A. in Religion, magna cum laude with departmental honors. While in college, Pastor Brett was active in the Chapel program, where he served as a Deacon for three years, and the music department, where he was President of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After graduating from college in 1991, Pastor Brett worked professionally as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America before enrolling in the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Columbia, S.C., where he graduated as Student Body President in 1996.
He started his first Call on July 1, 1996 at Faith Lutheran Church in Lavallette, N.J. and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Toms River, N.J. Pastor Brett served these congregations as a Mission Redeveloper, and Youth and Family Ministry Specialist from 2001 to 2005, he was on leave from Call in the New Jersey Synod to reconsider the role of more physically-based disciplines and theologies. He became certified as a yoga teacher, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner and a Kripalu Body Worker / Massage Therapist. He also deepened his understanding of the connection between soul and body.
During this “sabbatical”, numerous close friends insisted that “it was time” for him to return to formal ministry because that is his true calling. He began his Call at Prince of Peace in December 2005. Pastor Brett is passionate about his role as a disciple of Jesus. He has a gift for helping people progress in deepening their relationship with God, and helping people and congregations bring their regular life into fuller harmony with God. Brett writes: “As a community we are called to challenge others; individuals, communities and systems to be reconciling communities. This is the work of justice that brings about peace. Colossians 1:24-29 defines most clearly my call. It is my role as pastor to proclaim, warm, teach and make known the mystery that Christ is in each of us. It is my joy to walk along side of others as they encounter the living Christ in themselves and foster that relationship. As a pastor I am called by a community to be in relationship with them and guide them in fostering their relationships with the Triune God, with one another, and in the ministries that build community.”
He presently serves as the Cluster Counselor for the Burlington County Cluster of Lutheran Congregations and was appointed Dean of the Delaware Mission District of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by Bishop Tracie Bartholomew.
In October 2016 the congregation witnessed and celebrated his marriage to Marvin Duarte. At present their household includes two dogs, Cody and Kuma and two Syrian Hamsters, Javier and Filipe. Pastor Brett enjoys touring mansions, learning languages (Spanish at present), cooking, singing, dancing, listening to music and being in the outdoors.