Rev. Dr. Earl Kent Brown (STH ’53, GRS ’56, and STH Faculty ’64-’86)
July 26, 1925 – December 5, 2018
Rev. Dr. Earl Kent Brown received his “Heavenly Reward”, following a long and rewarding life, including as Assistant Professor of History for 7 years at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and then for 33 years at Boston University as Professor of Church History until his retirement in 1986. An acclaimed guest speaker at many churches and convocations, Dr. Brown both informed and entertained his professional and student listeners. He was also a favorite teacher and lecturer at Sunday morning classes at Lakeside Chautauqua in Lakeside, Ohio, where his Sunday classes were enthusiastically received by both young and old alike.
Dr. Brown was born in Kent, Ohio, to the Rev. Earl Royal Brown and Bernice Blanche (Howard) Brown. At the age of six months, his family (including his sister Edith Ella and brother Howard Wesley) moved to Alliance, Ohio, where his father assumed the pastorate of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Alliance. At the age of 13, his family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he would complete his high school education. He went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts at Columbia University in 1948, followed by a Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Boston University, 1953 and Doctor of Philosophy, Boston University, 1956. But throughout his life his favorite place was always Lakeside, where he relished in the cottage his father, uncle, and brother had built.
In retirement Dr. Brown lived in Florida for 15 years and traveled extensively. His quest for new places led him through four continents and many times on cruises around the world. He enjoyed research and was a scholar extraordinaire, particularly on the role of women in Methodism. He wrote the definitive study of “Women in Mr. Wesley’s Methodism.”
He is survived by three nieces: Martha Jean Brown, Mary Lee Brown, and Carolyn Tausch Hervey, as well as their many children.
In Dr. Brown’s memory, donations may be made to:
The Anna Howard Shaw Center, Boston University School of Theology
c/o Development and Alumni Relations Office
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 109
Boston, MA 02215
A memorial service will be held at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94597 on April 4, 2019, at 1:00 PM. A committal service will be held at Lakeside on March 19th. Please send condolences to Jean Brown, 854 West I Street, Benecia CA 94510.