Black Church Pioneer, Bishop Herman Darius Brown, Dies at 92

RESPECTED: Bishop Brown
RESPECTED: Bishop Brown

TRIBUTES HAVE poured in to honour one of the most respected pioneers of the black church, who has died at the age of 92.

Bishop Herman Darius Brown served as a minister for 61 years in Wolverhampton, becoming co-founder and pastor of the city’s first Black-led, cross-denominational fellowship based at the YMCA.

Born in Hanover, Jamaica, the popular great-grandfather went on to found Mount Shiloh Church in Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton in 1959. He died on Sunday 10th July.

One of his seven children, Pastor Gilroy Brown, who officially took over Mount Shiloh in 2013, along with assistant pastor Sonia Bennett, praised his father, saying: “We are very grateful for the example you set us in your personal lives, always striving to give us the best guidance in our natural and spiritual lives. We feel proud and privileged to be the results of your parenthood.”

Bishop Brown was known as ‘a man of dignity and integrity’ who was available at all times, day and night, to give words of encouragement in a humble and approachable manner.

During more than six decades of service, he travelled across the world spreading the word of God – from Liberia and Nigeria in Africa to Calgary and Toronto in Canada.

He married Margaret Allen in 1945, and they arrived in the UK in 1950, where five days later he got his first job at the Goodyear tyre factory in Wolverhampton.

Soon afterwards he organised the first prayer meeting with 11 men living in Connaught Road, Wolverhampton; from there they graduated to the YMCA in Stafford Street.

Between 1955 and 1958 four New Testament branch churches were formed – two in Birmingham in Handsworth and Balsall Heath, one in Walsall and a fourth in Dudley.

In July 1959 Bishop Brown and his wife left the New Testament church to found Mount Shiloh – a year later he was ordained as Overseer of the Wolverhampton Diocese (District of Churches).

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Source: The Voice Online UK