REV STERLING N. BROWN
born in Roane County, East Tennessee, November 21, 1857. He attended the first free school ever taught in his county. He entered Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.) in 1875, and for some years, during his terms of vacation, taught school to provide the means with which to pursue his studies. He was converted when quite a boy and has been able since, almost continuously, to lead men to Christ. He began to preach early after his conversion, and many revivals have followed his ministry. The first great awakening where, under God, he was the instrument, was at Kingston, Tenn., where every child in school, of over one hundred in number, became Christians, and when the whole town was stirred as never before. Many hardened sinners were brought to Christ in the meeting. Several of the converts are now actively engaged in the ministry. Mr. Brown’s acceptance as a preacher made it possible for him to spend the entire vacations of his last years at college in supplying the pulpits of his denomination in different parts of the South.
He graduated from the college course of Fisk University in 1885, and took the degree of A. M. in 1891. He is also a graduate from the Oberlin Theological Seminary with the degree of B. D. He was called, June 1, 1885, to the Mount Zion Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, and was by that Church ordained to the gospel ministry. This church was composed of a few faithful but discouraged members. They worshipped in a small frame chapel without either attraction or convenience.
Soon the membership was increased, the church took new courage and a great ingathering came, the old building was torn away and in its place a beautiful and convenient house of worship was erected. Mr. Brown served Mt. Zion for nearly four years when he accepted a call from the Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, D. C., April 1, 1889. This church, under his pastorate for eight years, had a steady and most healthful growth. In January, 1897, he gathered about him a few leading men and women of the race and organized a church in Northwest Washington, in the midst of a large unchurched population. Park Temple, the name of the new church, at once took an important place in the community and its influence for good was felt far and near. For five years the work grew and throbbed with life. Its lines of work, so practical and successful, awakened such interest in an older sister church nearby that overtures were made for a union, and so, October 1, 1901, the Lincoln Church and Park Temple were merged into a new organization to be known as Lincoln Temple, with the Rev. Mr. Brown as pastor. The new Institutional Church with a large main building and a branch work gives promise of an unusual church movement. The pastor of this church is one of the hardest worked men in the city. He was for three years a most active and influential member of the Washington Board of Education, and has been for seven years and is yet Professor in the Theological Department of Howard University. He is an able minister, a good pastor, and a practical man of affairs. His long public life in the city has added to his influence and in every best sense, he is still a growing man. He is full of sympathy and helpfulness, and so is continually drawn upon by all classes and conditions of people. He is regarded highly by public men of both races for his conservative views, good judgment and genuine public spirit.