BATON ROUGE, La.––Allen Brown, 94, director of UM Men’s Ministry from 1978 to 1994, died October 20.
During his 16 years of service UM Men moved from a unit, to a section, and finally to a division in the General Board of Discipleship. The number of chartered units increased from 2,805 to 10,155. The number of staff members increased from three to 10.
Allen also led two successful Black Men’s Conferences in 1992 and 1994. Some 350 men attended the 1994 “Black Men in Crisis” event at the Mormon Auditorium of the Board of Discipleship.
Allen’s wife Helen died in 1994 and members of Clark UMC in Nashville established a national memorial fund in her memory. In recognition of Allen’s service to UM Men, the memorial fund committee and the national UM Men established the Helen and Allen Brown Scholarship Fund to provide awards to two graduating high school students.
In December 1996, Bishop Raymond Owen, chair of the newly formed General Commission on UM Men, invited Allen to leave his New Orleans home to come to Nashville to serve as the interim general secretary while the commission searched for a top executive. During that time, he helped organize the meetings of the General Commission on UM Men, the National Association of Conference Presidents, and the Seventh International Congress of UM Men.
The Rev. Joseph Harris was hired in 1997, and Allen returned to his New Orleans home.
“It is my sincere hope that my ministry to men has made a significant difference in the lives of men here in the United States and in other places around the world,” said Allen in a farewell letter in a 1994 issue of Men’s News.
No one doubts that Allen’s hope is a reality and his legacy will continue for generations to come.
A service for Allen will be held at noon on Saturday, October 27 at First Street Peck Wesley UMC (2309 Dryades Street, New Orleans, La.). Visitation will start at 11 a.m.