Dr. Eric L. Brown was born on December 6, 1968 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
He received his formal education in the Johnstown Public School system and graduated from Greater Johnstown Senior High School. He matriculated at Wilberforce University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religion and the Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Homiletics under the tutelage of Bishop Richard Allen Hildebrand and Dr. Louis-Charles Harvey. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. His dissertation is entitled “A Paradigm for Lay Ministry.” He has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary as well as visiting lecturer and keynote preacher at the German National Baptist Convention.
He professed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age and acknowledged his call to preach at the tender at of 17. He was subsequently licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presiding Elder Paul P. Martin at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was ordained as an Itinerate Deacon by Bishop Richard Allen Hildebrand and an Elder by Bishop Henry Allen Belin in the Pittsburgh Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He pastored churches in Ohio prior to being transferred to the Pittsburgh Annual Conference in 1997, when he was assigned to serve as the Pastor of the Historic St. Paul AME Church on Pittsburgh’s Southside. He led this congregation in a period of revitalization and renewal that led to the acquisition of a 16,000 square foot worship complex valued in excess of $1.5 million. In 2002, he was appointed by Bishop Robert Vaughn Webster to serve as the youngest Pastor of the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh’s East End. Where he gave tremendous leadership to the Pittsburgh Annual Conference, serving as the Dean of the Board of Examiners, Chair of the Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. James Deaconess Home.
On November 13, 2004, history was made when Dr. Brown was appointed to serve as the Presiding Elder of the Allegheny Scranton District, where he served as the youngest middle manager in the history of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference, charged with supervising 27 churches and pastors in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. As a presiding elder he has developed many innovative ministries among them are: The adopt a church ministry, One Night Revivals, Fire in the Mountains and the revitalization of the Men’s Ministries throughout the district. Currently he is serving as the Treasurer of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference and Vice Chair of the Anderson Adams Restricted Fund.
On the connectional, national and international spectrum, he served as a delegate to the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2021 General Conferences, member of the Connectional Council, Richard Allen Young Adult Council, a member of the Connectional Presiding Elder’s Council where he serves on the Finance Committee; Member of the General Conference Commission 2016-2020; Member of the Preliminary Inquiry Committee 2016-2020. He was a member of the 2004-2007 National Council of Churches General Assembly, (2004-2011) he served on the Biotechnology Committee co-authoring the “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” policy statement on Biotechnology.
He was a delegate to the 19th World Methodist Conference in Seoul, Korea where he was elected to serve as a member of the Executive Committee and elected to serve on the Worship and Liturgy Commission. In 2014, he published his first book a groundbreaking work entitled “A Dictionary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church” Volume 1. In 2019 he published his second book entitled “Beating on the Bible Bragging on Jesus.”
He is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Payne Theological Seminary. He also serves as an Adjunct Homiletics Instructor for Payne Seminary having taught the Inagural Payne course on the Continent of Africa in 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 he served as the keynote speaker and lecturer at the German National Baptist Convention in Wiesbadan, Germany.
He holds membership in the Wilberforce University, Payne Theological Seminary and Ashland Theological Seminary alumnae associations, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Prince Hall Masons, Melita Lodge #117. He is a member of St. Cyprian Consistory # 4 A.A.S.R., where he is the Illustrious past Commander in Chief. He received the coveted 33rd and last degree of Prince Hall Masonry at the 2013 session of the United Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction that meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was selected as one of seven persons nationwide to receive the Religious Heritage of America’s Leadership Award. He is also the recipient of the Third Episcopal District Living Witness Award from the Lay Organization. He has served as the Pastoral Leader for the Hill Top Health Ministries Consortium, President of the Pennsylvania Prison Chaplain’s Association. Currently he previously served as the President of the Board of Delegates of Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which is an ecumenical group comprising nine Pennsylvania counties and 20 judicatories and more than one million members. He is also a member of the Allegheny County Jail Project Committee, The Allegheny County Advisory Board for the Transformation of Senior Centers, as well as numerous other activities that help to improve the quality of life for those in the community.
He has traveled extensively in: Germany, Belgium, Paris, Denmark, Holland, Amsterdam, Jamaica, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Korea, Australia, Turkey and Lesotho, Southern Africa, Lyon, France and Italy. He has conducted preaching crusades in Paris, France and Berlin, Germany, Lesotho, Southern Africa, Craddock, South Africa and Livingstone, Zambia.
He was formerly employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as a Facility Chaplaincy Program Director, where he supervised the Protestant, Catholic, Islamic, Native American and Jewish Chaplains. At that time he was the only African American Male to hold that position throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In that capacity he led more than 1,000 men to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
On October 31, 2020, he was assigned as the pastor of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where he looks forward to using his God-given skills and abilities to build on the great tradition of this historic congregation.
He is the proud father of two children: a son, Justin Todd and a daughter, Jordyn Alexis.
Rev. Brown’s motto is “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.” His favorite scripture is: “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14