Known among World leaders, presidents, celebrities, and academicians alike for his trademark activism, intellectual discipline, and masterful oratory, Dr. Amos C. Brown is a legend in his own time. Tutored by Medgar Evers, Benjamin Mays, Samuel Williams, J. Pious Barbour, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (as one of the eight students in the only class Dr. King taught in his lifetime at Morehouse College), Dr. Brown has never seen the issues of society as separate from the mission of the church, especially when the members of the church are directly affected by systems of evil.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Dr. Brown has been Pastor of San Francisco’s Third Baptist Church since 1976. As a scholar, theologian, preacher and social activist, he has maintained a marriage of piety and political action in his ministry. He was equipped for great and distinct ministerial leadership through his training at Morehouse College, B.A. (1964) and earned degrees of Master of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary and the Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. Before accepting the call to Third Baptist, he served as pastor of Saint Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Under his leadership, Third Baptist Church has established a summer school program, created an After-School Academic enrichment program (Back on Track) in partnership with Temple Emanuel Congregation, the Charles A. Tindley Academy of Music; sponsored more African refugees than any local congregation in the nation and sponsored 80 children from Tanzania to receive heart surgery in the United States. He led the Bay Area in raising $68,000 for the Somalian Relief Effort in 1984, led in founding the Black American Response to the African Crisis, which raised $300,000 for the Ethiopian Famine crises, and led an airlift to Ethiopia under the auspices of the National Baptist Convention.
In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he has served as a member of the governing board of San Francisco Community College, National Chairman of the National Baptist Commission on Civil Rights and Human services, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Chairman of the Bay Area Ecumenical Pastors Conference, first Vice President of the California State Baptist Convention, President of NAACP Branch in San Francisco, California, and a member of the governing board of the National Council of Churches of Christ.
Dr. Brown was a delegate to the 2001 United Nations Conference on Race and Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. He represented the National Board of the NAACP in this World Conference. Also in the wake of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Dr. Brown was one of the principal national faith leaders to give a response address to the tragedy at the San Francisco’s Day of Remembrance. In September of 2001, Dr. Brown and Jesse Jackson met with the venerable, Nelson Mandela in South Africa around issues of African development and U.S. foreign policy matters. And as a great champion of educational enterprises, he brought to Third Baptist the Honorable Kweisi Mfume for an evening of “Celebrating our Commitment and Passion for Education and Academic Excellence”. From this effort over $67,000 was raised for scholarships for worthy students who are pursuing higher education and training.
Dr. Brown was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Ministerial Award for outstanding leadership and contributions to the Black Church in America. He was also inducted into the International Hall of Fame at the King International Chapel at Morehouse College. For a second time, Dr. And Mrs. Brown was invited by President and First Lady Barak and Michelle Obama to a Christmas Reception at the White House. Most recently, the City and County of San Francisco honored Dr. Brown during the Martin Luther Ling Jr. Holiday, and gave a brilliant address to the community. In April of 2011 he will be honored by his hometown of Jackson Mississippi.
Sharing Dr. Brown’s commitment to service and racial uplift are his wife, Mrs. Jane Smith Brown of Richmond, Virginia, two sons, Amos C. Brown, Jr., David Josephus Brown, and daughter, Kizzie Marie Brown.