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Alumni News: Class Years 1960-1969

Rev. John H. Brown (1964) Passed Away

Wednesday, March 4, 2020   (0 Comments)
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The Rev. John H. Brown, 82, passed away Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, after a brief illness. 
He was born Feb. 28, 1937, in Old Hickory (Nashville), Tennessee, to Odell T. and Julia F. (Howard) Brown. He had started the Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville, Tennessee, in the early 1960s, and was the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Ellettsville, Indiana, in the late 1960s. He was also the mental health director at Bloomington Hospital in Bloomington, Indiana, in the early 1970s. 

In 1975, Rev. Brown moved to Muskegon and served as pastor of First Baptist Church for 33 years. It’s been said, “John’s congregation was not just the church, but the community in which he lived.”

On May 7, 1955, he married the former Betty J. Duke, and she survives him along with his children, Sonja (Nels Gunderson) Brown of Madison, Indiana, Julia (Mark) Conlin of Bloomington, Indiana, John H. Brown Jr. and Jennifer (Jeff) Costin of Indianapolis, Indiana; seven grandchildren, Sara (Jeff Kotmehl) Renneisen, Jaclyn (Page) Cotton, Elizabeth (Courtney) Curson, Wade Costin, Chase Costin, Parker Brown and Logan Brown;  two great-grandchildren, Connor and Sydney Cotton; and one brother, Jim (Judy) Brown of Algood, Tennessee. 
For a more lasting memorial, you are asked to consider First Baptist Church of Muskegon or Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.  You are also invited to sign the family’s online guest book at; and view his complete obituary.


The Herald Citizen 

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