Edward Lynn Brown, 46th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Dies

Bishop E. Lynn Brown, retired presiding prelate of the CME Church, delivers a passionate speech during the Clayborn Reborn Blessing Ceremony at Clayborn Temple on Tuesday. The historic site is currently being revitalized in Downtown Memphis. The church, located at 294 Hernando St., was built in 1892 and belonged to Second Presbyterian Church until they sold it to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1949. It was abandoned and boarded up for good in 1999. Neighborhood Preservation Inc. Clayborn Temple LLC purchased the church last October from the AME church for $65,000, according to the Shelby County assessor of property. (Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

Bishop Edward Lynn Brown, the 46th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, died Friday, according to the church. Brown was known throughout the Memphis community for his support of the church and civil rights activism.

Bishop Brown was elected bishop in 1986 in Birmingham and retired in 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. Brown was a pastor in Memphis at Temple of Love CME Church and Mt. Pisgah CME Church, according to his biography.

“(Brown) understood the evils of racism and segregation and fought hard to eliminate those twin evils,” said Bishop Henry M. Williamson. Williamson is the presiding prelate of the first district of the CME. He described Brown as an “outstanding” preacher who would always stand for what was right, marching early on with Martin Luther King, Jr.

“(Brown) was a bridge-builder,” Williamson said.