The Rev. Dr. Dwight Brown, 84, died on October 14, 2012. Rev. Brown was born in Zanesville, OH on November 4, 1927 to Mae and the Rev. O. Dwight Brown. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 1950. In 1958, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry. He received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1971.
Rev. Brown was called to the First Unitarian Church of Trenton, NJ in 1948 (where he was also ordained on October 5, 1958) and served as the minister there until 1961. He was then called to the Unitarian Church of Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 1961-1964. Switching gears, he then became the District Executive of the UUA New York Metropolitan District from 1964-1968. He returned to parish ministry with a long run as minister of the First Unitarian Church in Dallas, TX from 1968-1976. He found himself back in the UUA world with the position of Director of the UUA Office of Ministerial Finances (which is now the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances) from 1976-1978. In 1978, he returned once again to parish ministry as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, OH until 1988. He then became a District Executive of the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist District from 1988-1992. He officially retired from ministry in 1992.
While Rev. Brown was District Executive of the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist District, the district established its first Leadership Experience, a training program for lay leaders. Named after Rev. Brown, the District’s Dwight Brown Leadership Experience is “designed to teach and reinforce skills and abilities for leaders and leaders-to-be in UU congregations.”
Rev. Brown lived a full and accomplished ministerial life. He proudly walked alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King during the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL in 1965. He also boldly and respectfully provided abortion counseling both before the passing of Roe v. Wade and after.
In a sermon delivered at the 1982 UUA General Assembly, entitled “Impersonating the Divine: An Essay in Theological Anthropology,” Rev. Brown notes,
“Human history is MY history. What I am today is linked in a living chain of being with all lives past. I am Socrates, probing the mysteries of the mind. I am Moses, proclaiming the majesty of the moral law. I am Jesus, witnessing to the love which animates the process in which I live and move and have my being. I am Galileo, meditating on the pathways of the stars. I am Johan Sebastian Bach, composing temples of beauty out of the raw stuff of the imagination. I am Susan B. Anthony, proclaiming a new era in human development.
“But what is even more significant is that what I am now, as I participate in the complex patterns of humanness which exist in this moment of time, as I connect with the humanness of others in those myriad currents of meaning and sharing which make up the human network, what I am now is and remains a part of the totality of humanness, which is ongoing, continuing, immortal, so in the most simple and literal way, the humanness which is in me will live on, long after that instant of awareness which I call in me has finally faded.”
Known as a “great intellect who was curious about everything and never stopped learning,” Rev. Brown enjoyed writing, books, computers, sailing, good food, good company, and good conversation. He was especially fond of time spent with his family and friends.
Rev. Brown is survived by his loving wife, Marie E. Brown; daughter, Janet E. Darez; daughter, Deborah L. Brister; daughter, Stephanie L. Murray; son, David A. Brown; sister, Elaine Clum; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his father, the Rev. O. Dwight Brown; mother, Mae Brown; and mother-in-law, Grace V. Wilson.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Hill Country, 960 Barnett St., Kerrville, TX 78028.
Notes of condolence may be sent to Marie E. Brown at 916 Barnett St., Kerrville, TX 78028.