Rev. Rebecca White Newgren came to Rockford in February 2015 from Center City Philadelphia where she was involved in a church revitalization project, which took an all but empty church in the heart of downtown Philly and in 6 years revived her mission to include over 90 people in what some described as an unofficial experiment between the Black Baptist church and the Presbyterian church.

Rebecca was raised in Bloomington, IL. She was a springboard diver at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH before starting a youth ministry program in Linden, MI in concert with Young Life. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and completed a Lilly Residency at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA. She was the Co-Director of the Seminary Immersion Program at Broad Street Ministry (Philadelphia) and continued to enjoy Philadelphia through Arch Street Presbyterian Church as the Minister for Community Life.

Now installed as both a UCC and PCUSA pastor at Second First Church, Rebecca is energized about the direction of Rockford’s downtown and knows God is calling Second First Church to build on her strong history by engaging a big bold and exciting mission. She enjoys being outdoors with her husband, Andy and their three children.

Reverend Rebecca was named one of the 16 people to watch in 2016 by the Rockford Register Star.

People to Watch 2016: Rockford church leader the Rev. Rebecca White Newgren’s calling is to be ‘big and bold’