Rev. Thomas Louis Brown, Sr., Bishop

Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.
Bishop Thomas Louis Brown, Sr., was elected the 54th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on June 28, 2006, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bishop Brown was born June 21, 1951, in Oakland, Mississippi, the eighth child of Stephen and Lillie H. Brown. His elementary and secondary education was attained at Walker High School in Oakland. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. He attended Northwest Junior College, Senatobia, Mississippi; and earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in 1973. He matriculated at the Phillips School of Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia, and earned the Master of Divinity degree, with honors, in 1976. Bishop Brown also earned, with honors, the Doctor of Theology degree in Pastoral Counseling from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in cooperation with Candler School of Theology/Emory University and Columbia Seminary in 1991. He is a member of Theta Phi Honor Society.

The ministry of Thomas Louis Brown, Sr. began during his junior year at Ole Miss when he answered the call to Christian Ministry. In the fall of 1973, he was admitted on trial in the Mississippi Annual Conference by Bishop Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. and was assigned to pastor Rice Chapel in Durant, Mississippi. In 1975 and 1976 respectively, Bishop Joseph C. Coles Jr. ordained him Deacon and Elder and admitted him into Full Connection in the Georgia Annual Conference.

Bishop Brown’s itinerant ministry in the CME Church has been extensive and thorough. In addition to Rice Chapel, he served Murray Memorial, Covington, GA; St. James, Columbus, GA; Butler Street, Atlanta, GA; and College Park, College Park, GA. He was the organizing pastor of the Good News Community Church in Lithonia, GA. From June 1990 until July 2006, Bishop Brown served with distinction as the sixth President/Dean of the Phillips School of Theology at the ITC. During his tenure, more than ninety-five students graduated. It was under his leadership in 1996 that the Annual C.M.E. Pastors’ Conference was established.

The 54th Bishop is a noted scholar, lecturer and preacher. He has served as adjunct professor of CME History and Polity as well as pastoral care; lectured at Candler School of Theology, (Emory University) and Columbia Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary; and regular teacher and preacher with the Institute of Church Administration and Management (ICAM). He is in national demand as a preacher both within and outside the CME Church. Moreover, Bishop Brown has represented the church exceptionally well. He has been a delegate to the General Conference of the CME Church from 1978 to 2006; and was a delegate to the World Methodist Conference in Nairobi, Kenya and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was a founding member of Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta, an advocate for the homeless and persons on death row. Civic participation include the NAACP, SCLC and Urban League.

Bishop Brown is married to Dr. Louise Baker-Brown. They are the parents of Charisa Nicole Brown-Jefferson and Thomas, Jr. Upon his election, the General Conference assigned him to the Fourth Episcopal District which encompasses the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. He is the Chair of the Department of The Christian Index.