When asked to comment on Bishop Kim Brown, Thornton Parker hesitates. Parker is one of the Doorkeepers at Bishop’s church, The Mount, and for a brief moment is at a loss for words.
“What can I say?” he smiles. “There just aren’t enough positive adjectives. I’ve attended The Mount for 13 years, and I can truthfully say Bishop is a great example of kingdom leadership. He and his wife are strong and anointed role models in many areas, especially marriage & family.”
Bishop Brown married his wife, Elder Valerie Kay Brown, back in 1989 and started his ministry at The Mount the following year. It takes a very special relationship to survive the spotlight and scrutiny of being in church leadership for almost 25 years.
“I hate to sound cliché but we’re still together, first and foremost, because I married a great woman,” Brown shares. “Secondly, my mother-in-law gave me some great advice early on and I listened to it. I based my marriage book, “Marriage Talk,” on her valuable insight. Thirdly, when you come from a home of divorce as I did, you either make up your mind you will repeat the cycle or you will put a stop to it. I knew I wanted my children to grow up in a home with both of their parents.”
Not originally ministry-minded, Brown received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Norfolk State University. He was then called to The Mount in 1990, and he has watched the congregation grow from 75 members to over 9,000, with Sunday services held in Chesapeake, Newport News and Elizabeth City.
“It was a tough beginning,” he remembers. “I was working fulltime for the Navy, attending seminary fulltime and pastoring at the same time. But there are three things in my life I have no doubt that God has called me to: my acceptance of Jesus Christ, my marriage, and the church I serve.”
Brown’s academic preparation for his calling included a Master of Divinity degree, received in 1991, and a Doctorate of Ministry degree, received in 1998, from Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. As a result of his servant attitude and his willingness to be used outside the four walls of the church, Brown has developed close relationships with highly-respected ministry and political leaders locally and nationally. In 2004, he was appointed to the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center’s Board of Authority.
“The first way you incentivize your congregation is by example,” he says. “You can’t lead people where you’re not willing to go. My desire to reach out and be of assistance to the community comes from, as a boy, watching my grandparents helping those in need. Also, I’m a product of a single-parent family, and I have a heart for those kids in the same situation.”
Following Brown’s lead, The Mount is well-known for its community outreach. As their website www.themountleads.org states:
“Our Community Care program’s purpose is not to draw attention to the church, but to help others. It’s a biblical principle. From cleaning houses and performing yard work, to building handicap ramps and rebuilding public parks, it’s The Mount’s pleasure to care for our entire community.”
The church participates in the Hampton Roads’ annual Coats for Kids campaign and have distribution centers in Chesapeake and Elizabeth City. They offer senior care on a weekly basis, providing health and welfare services through their Bells Mill Road campus. They host a school supply drive to provide school supplies to families, regardless of income levels.
Brown strongly feels “if there’s a need, there’s a way.” He was approached by a few young men who wanted to learn the secrets of his success and he was happy to help. His forward-thinking prodigies prophetically call themselves “Young Millionaires.” Of course, Brown included in his tutelage the necessities of helping others.
“The Young Millionaires take the lead on our Thanksgiving outreach,” Brown says, “and they have a bike giveaway at Christmas. They joined together with the mission of being productive businessmen in corporate America and they are also productive in the community. They’re now accumulating food donations for 40 Thanksgiving baskets for eight different cities: Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Elizabeth City. Our women’s ministry packs the baskets and the men’s ministry delivers them. It’s a group effort.”
Bishop Brown and his congregation will finish off their year of service with a huge celebration. Brown invites everyone to The Mount’s New Year’s Eve party at the Ted Constant Convention Center at 10 pm Dec. 31 – a New Year’s Eve party like you have never seen before! For tickets or information, please call (757) 547-3388.
Congratulations Bishop Brown, on being named Citizen of the Month! We appreciate your dedication to community service. The City of Chesapeake is incredibly fortunate to have you as a role model for all who aspire to impact the community and world for good.