Former SAGU professor, Dr. Gene Brown, passes at age 78
SAGU's Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Robert Harden said, "Dr. Brown is truly a man of indomitable spirit. He was one in a million. He loved God, his family, his country, and his students. His office was always open to everyone and everyone sought his council. He served this great country as an Army chaplain retiring as a Colonel. He was a true friend to everyone, a true American hero."
Dr. Brown was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, on December 26, 1935. He began his ministry when he was 19 years old by preaching in the Amarillo County jail and on street corners. He was ordained as an Assemblies of God minister and pastored First Assembly of God in Florence, South Carolina, and First Assembly of God in Angier, North Carolina.
After graduating from SAGU with a bachelor's degree, he received a Master of Divinity from Duke University. He also received a Master of Arts in counseling from Brooklyn University and Doctorate of Ministry from Vanderbilt University with a 4.0 average.
In 1966, he entered the army as a military chaplain during the Vietnam War. He continued chaplaincy for 30 years until May 1993 when he retired as a Colonel. After retirement, he served as SAGU Division Chair of Bible and Church Ministries until his retirement in 2004.
Dr. Brown was able to lead many people to Christ and influence many more. He was at the forefront of the Jesus People revolution during 1970 while in the Army. While at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he was able to lead more than three thousand troops to the Lord during a three-year period. Many are in active ministry today.
During his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967, he was exposed to Agent Orange that was used to defoliate a rubber plantation. The exposure caused Lewy Body Dementia and resulted in his death. He was classified as 100% disabled in 2010. Thus, he gave his life for his country.
He won numerous awards for his service, including Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Award (5th Award), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal and Bronze Star.
He was preceded in death by a son, Jonathan David; his mother, Pauline Temple; his grandmother, Florence Hilburn; his identical twin brother, Dene; a nephew, John Miles, III; and a cousin, Trevor Bommersbach. He is survived by his wife, Grace Hurd Brown; a son, Christopher Brown and wife Diane of Tulsa; a daughter, Andrea Brown of Waxahachie; a sister, Janet Demas and husband, Noel, of Magnolia, Texas; a brother, Bert Ewell Temple of Mesa, Arizona; four grandchildren, Noelle, Ryan, Savannah, and baby Mason and his special Aunt Evelyn Allen.