Rev. Willie Brisco

Growing Faith and Community: Reverend Willie E. Brisco, MICAH President

“All it takes is faith, not money, to mobilize people to help save human and civil rights,” the Reverend Willie E. Brisco said at a January 2012, MICAH “Hands Across the Viaduct” meeting at MICAH headquarters. Since Rev. Brisco was elected president of MICAH in 2010, he has helped to galvanize Milwaukee advocacy and services agencies into forming “Hands Across the Viaduct” to overcome legislation that jeopardizes human and civil rights, as well as to help people in need.

“To protect the least of us, we need everyone possible to canvass every neighborhood, north, south, east and west, to let residents know that a diversified united front is working to promote decent jobs and economics, education, drug treatment instead of incarceration, healthcare in local clinics, as well as to overcome wrongful immigration practices and other human rights issues,” Rev. Brisco said. Putting his vision into words and action set the stage for the March 30–31, 2012, “Hands Across the Viaduct” Rally to strengthen communities on issues of health, voting and shared resources.

As you can see, the Reverend Willie Brisco, like Reverend Dr. James E. Leary, the founding president of MICAH, is a man of action and good deeds.

Since June 2009, Reverend Brisco has been an Associate Minister of the New Covenant Baptist Church, under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. F. L. Crouther. Reverend Brisco was called to the ministry in 2008 after a 25-year distinguished career in law enforcement and corrections. In 2009, he retired as the Deputy Superintendent of the Milwaukee County House of Correction.

Prior to becoming a licensed minister, Reverend Brisco was a 27-year member of The Way of the Cross Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and was president of the men’s ministry and the men’s chorus. In 2007, Reverend Brisco helped form the Abiding Fellowship Church, where he also served as deacon and as leader of the congregation’s men’s programs.

Before being elected president of MICAH, Reverend Brisco served as a MICAH Board Member and as chair of MICAH’s Jobs and Economic Development Committee. His MICAH leadership has also included work on the Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Collaborative. In addition, Reverend Brisco has served MICAH’s parent organizations, Wisdom at the state level and the Gamaliel Foundation on the national level. He currently serves as Wisdom’s representative to Gamaliel’s African-American Leadership Commission.

Reverend Brisco is a graduate of Milwaukee’s North Division High School and he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Rev. Brisco has been married to his wife, Sandra, for 22 years. And he is a proud father and grandfather.

Reverend Brisco loves the Lord and studying the Bible. He credits his mother and his grandmother with keeping him grounded in his faith from the time he was a young boy in Sardis, Mississippi. He firmly believes that God directed him to a career in corrections, where he discovered his calling to help the troubled and less fortunate in society. That work led him to reflect upon and understand his gifts and responsibilities as a leader, role model and advocate for social justice. His ministry will continue to focus on deterring young people from entering the criminal justice system, helping those who have been incarcerated to successfully rejoin society, and on ensuring that minorities in Milwaukee come together and ensure human and civil rights for all.

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Last edited by tyler schuster. Based on work by Tyler Schuster.  Page last modified on March 09, 2013

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