ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« We Are Different | Main | Mabria »

A Tribute to Deacon Brown

Several years ago, I returned to my hometown of Jackson , Michigan to pay my respects to one of the finest Christians I’ve ever known, Archie Brown. The life of this man that impacted hundreds of people, including me, was remarkable for both was he was not as well as what he was.

He was not highly educated, boasting only a third grade education. He worked in a tire factory most of his life. He did not teach a Sunday School class nor did he formally head up a ministry. He haled from the north woods of Michigan and had few of the cultural refinements that most of us “city folk” find impressive. Other than singing in the choir and beating a big, slightly out-of-tune bass drum in the church orchestra, he wasn’t among the musical elite.

What he was, however, made whatever he was not pale into insignificance.

He was faithful. Rain, shine, sleet or snow, Brother Brown came to church. He came early and left late. He lived exactly the way he was taught, never varying off course.

He had a servant’s heart. He mowed the grass. He shoveled the snow. He did minor repair jobs. He taxied people to and from church, ran errands for widows and shut-ins, divided up and distributed the Sunday School literature, took care of the details of foot-washing and communion services, and literally did whatever needed to be done around the church.

He was loyal. Not one contrary word ever came out of his mouth toward the leadership of the church. I know because in lived in the pastor’s home. I heard my father say more than once, “Well, I know Brother Brown is with me.” His support was genuine and unwavering.

He loved the truth. Nearly every testimony I heard Brother Brown give during my childhood and youth started out with, “One Lord, one faith and one baptism.” He thrilled at the simple, Apostolic message of the oneness of God and the new birth experience. Often, his shoulders shook, his face took on a sort of twisted, yet joyous look, and he stomped his feet whenever he heard these wonderful truths expounded.

He had the same exuberance and excitement for God everywhere and all the time. If you were somewhat shy, you hoped you didn’t meet up with Brother Brown in the supermarket or walking down the street. “Praise the Lord,” he would always shout. He might even wave his hand or give you a bear hug and declare loud enough for anyone to hear, “God is good, ain’t he!”

He was a pure soul. Brother Brown was, I believe, the most non-self-conscious person I have ever known. He was unabashedly Apostolic. He had no hidden agenda, no guile, and no devious motives. He was what he was.

He was a family man. My dad never took a call from Sister Brown complaining that her husband was not treating her right. He never went “out with the boys” to the neglect of his wife and four children. He commanded the respect of his family because they knew he was real.

He took responsibility seriously. For a man who laughed often and loud, doing the right thing was no laughing matter. He not only took care of his personal and family responsibilities, he shouldered the problems and trials of others as well. If somebody slipped up, there was Brother Brown, quietly taking care of the needs left behind.

He desired no recognition or credit. He never looked for nor needed anyone to pat him on the back and tell him he was doing a good job. If anyone did, he would just smile and say, “God is good, ain’t he!”

Deacon Brown was a real deacon. He made my dad’s job so much easier. I pray that every church would have at least one deacon like him around.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>