- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
An Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Eddie Albert Brown Jr. – who served the AME Western Tennessee Conference for 40-plus years – died Aug. 5 at Methodist University Hospital.
Rev. Brown, who answered the call to preach at an early age, was led to the African Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Bettye J. Alston. Through her guidance, he became an ordained Elder. He developed an unwavering passion for justice and equality and was an outspoken supporter and defender of the rights of women in ministry.
The turbulent 60s were in full effect when Rev. Brown began his ministry. Although a youth at the time, he was mentored by civil rights icons Dr. H. Ralph Jackson, the Rev. James L. Gleese, and Dr. Henry Logan Starks. Under their leadership, Rev. he gained experience as a civil rights activist and found a niche garnering youth support of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike.
Rev. Brown's dedication to the spiritual development of young people was acknowledged when The Young People's Division of the West Tennessee Conference named him "Pastor of the Year."
Known for his fiery commitment to faithful service, Rev. Brown had more than eight pastoral appointments, including: Ward Chapel (Memphis) Quinn Chapel (Paris), Salter's Chapel (Dyersburg), Historic Clayborn-Ball Temple (Memphis), Providence (Memphis), Williams Chapel (Millington) and St. Paul (Fulton). Additionally, he served on the Board of Examiners, Finance Committee and as Trustee.
Born in 1947, Rev. Brown was raised by his paternal grandparents, the late Parker and Alice Brown. He graduated from Douglass High School in 1965 and attended the University of Memphis and Memphis Theological Seminary.
Rev. Brown died following a stroke that he suffered on July 19. For many who knew him, his ministry can be summarized as one of "zeal, enthusiasm and encouragement."
He leaves his ex-wife, the Rev. Patsy T. Brown; two daugthters, Wyndie "Oh!" Henry and Angela Oliver; two sons, Eddie Albert Brown III and Patrick Jonathan (Michelle); six grandchildren, Sydney, Imani, Kylan, Kayla, Elijah and Wesley; a sister, Betty Gray-Streeter; a devoted niece, Dominique Chambers; a loving aunt, Zelda E. Webb; an adoptive mother, Leola Hines; his best friend, Bishop C.W. Fugh, and numerous other relatives and friends.