First Missionary Baptist Church Pastor James E. Brown. (Photo courtesy of First Missionary Baptist Church via Facebook)
A Jacksonville pastor and civic leader has died.
Dr. James E. Brown was the Senior Pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church on Broadhurst Street.
Mayor Sammy Phillips offered condolences to his family and congregation.
“His legacy of civic leadership extends back decades as he spoke for those who could not speak,” Phillips said, “He organized events, activities and programs that sought to inform his parishioners and the community about issues in the African-American community. He infused the community with insight about opportunities and actions they could take to help improve their families, and our society.”
Phillips called Brown’s church a community civic center, saying Brown hosted informational sessions and organizing drives and programs to help others.
“It was also an important introduction for many to the African-American community as he and his congregation welcomed visitors, office-seekers and elected officials,” he said.
Brown fostered Second Chance Mission, a program to help those in need, whether homeless, hungry or downtrodden.
Former County Commissioner and attorney Ernie Wright has called Dr. Brown the John Lewis of our community, and the mayor agreed.
“It was Dr. Brown who would stand for others, and his organizing that made a powerful voice for African-Americans in our community,” he said.
Phillps said Brown’s congregation and the community should celebrate his work, and added that he would want someone else to assume his role in helping to create a better community.