The Rev. John Ashmore Brown, Jr., was born on January 27, 1948, in Gaffney, SC, and passed away on September 23, 2023, in Columbia, SC. He was 75 years old.
Married to Pamela Hammett Brown for 54 years, Father Brown was a retired Episcopal Priest and mental health professional. He was an avid fisherman on Lake Murray, chess player, and reader and he loved being a grandfather. Father Brown said that any good things he accomplished in life were with the help of his life partner and wife Pam. He was predeceased by his father, John Ashmore Brown, Sr., and mother, Bobbie Helen Simmons Brown, and brother, Charlie George Brown. He was always proud of his son, Derek Christopher Brown (Margaret) and grandsons Peyton Ashmore Brown and Ethan de Montmollin Brown. Beth Boland is the mother of Peyton and Ethan. Margaret Brown is mother of step grandchildren Wendell, Lucy, and Zadie. Charlie’s son is David Sanabria (Tathy) and their children are Carter, McKenzie, and Shelby. His brother is the Rev. Rob Brown (Sandra) and their children are Zachary (Cara) and Rebecca (Roderick). He had many dear cousins.
He graduated from Spartanburg Methodist College (’68) and Wofford College (’70). He holds a Master of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling (’72) from the University of South Carolina and Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary (’86).
He was employed by the Alston Wilkes Society as Assistant Director for 12 years before seminary, helping men and women in prison reenter society and helping children in trouble.
Father Brown served as Vicar of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Newberry, SC, from 1986-1989, taught at Newberry College, and was an Addictions Counselor at the Care Center in Newberry. He served as a Sunday assistant priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC, from 1990-1995. He initiated the first healing prayer service at St. Mary’s in 1990 with the rector, Fr. Robert Wisnewski, and was a supply priest in the Diocese of Upper SC, routinely giving sermons on A Christian Response to Suicide. Father Brown was a Retired Priest at St. Mary’s and Chaplain of St. Mary’s Daughters of the King. He focused on Healing Prayer and writing articles about Jesus and the Christian life.
He served as Director of Crisis and Forensic Services at Columbia Area Mental Health Center from 1990-2013. His program responsibilities over the years included Emergency Services, detention center, homeless outreach, residential services, clubhouses, intensive programs, and he was devoted to NAMI family support. He was also President of the SC Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2008-2011.
In lieu of flowers donations may be mailed to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at PO Box 1487, Irmo, SC 29063 or can be made online at stmaryscolumbia.org. The memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 7th at 2:00 pm. St. Mary’s physical address is 170 St. Andrews Road, Columbia, SC.
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
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