Brenda's been practicing youth ministry for thirty-two years, twenty-three as a teacher/speaker. Her first nine years she served as youth pastor of churches in Minnesota and Virginia. She’s been serving the last twenty-three at New Covenant Fellowship in Manassas, Virginia. Brenda attended North Central Bible College (now North Central University) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavorial Science with a minor in Youth Ministry and was originally ordained by the Assembly of God denomination and is now ordained through New Covenant Fellowship.
As well as speaking opportunities, the ministry of Wild Frontier allows Brenda the time to be with non Christian youth--to be a youth evangelist and a substitute teacher.
Brenda experiences public school life. She walks the halls and sits in the desks. She has broken up fist fights and food fights. She is also sought after to be shown some kind of achievement or to be trusted with some deep hurts. Since 1992 Brenda has been substituting at a middle school and a high school.
Brenda's experiences as a substitute teacher give her a unique message to youth. There is an immediate connection as your youth have had substitute teachers and they most likely have tried stuff on “subs.” They identify right away that Brenda probably really does know what is going on in their lives. As one youth pastor told her, "You are the first retreat speaker we've ever had who shared not what was done in the past, but what you are doing now."
Through Brenda’s work as a substitute teacher--somehow and with many individual stories--dozens of students have become Christians. Brenda and her husband, John Amodea, have been parenting these kids. Only three have/are serving time and one has died and is secure in heaven. The rest have a hope for their future when before the odds were against them. There are many true stories here but they mostly belong to Brenda’s kids.
In 1997 Brenda was married to John Amodea, after fifteen years of ministry as a single. When Brenda announced the news to “her kids” (whom she has known years longer than John), they were not as happy. One of them said, “We like John and all, but we think he will be like any other stepfather and take you away from us.” So the kids became the ushers, singers, hostesses, and groom’s attendant and the wedding became a huge life lesson as well as a memorable event.
A certain pastor through conversation with Brenda discussing her drive in youth ministry made the statement, "Ease up a bit. Let kids be kids. We can't expect too much from them. Think back, what were you doing at their age?" At their age, Brenda was out on the Wild Frontier leading prayer meetings and seeing friends saved on her school campus. This is part of the message Brenda offers to your group.
As well as a speaker, Brenda is has authored many articles for youth ministry publications and youth ministry books.