Pastor Emeritus Charles S. Brown
Dr. Charles S. Brown is best known as Pastor Emeritus of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, having served from May 1982 through March 2011. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.
Dr. Brown is a Florida native who has essentially made Dayton his home since June 1956, when he was employed as a mathematician at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base after graduating from Morehouse College at the age of eighteen. He joined Bethel Baptist Church and accepted the call to ministry in 1959, whereupon he resigned his employment at Wright-Patterson and enrolled as a divinity student at United Theological Seminary. Dr. Brown graduated cum laude from United in 1962 and moved to Boston to pursue doctoral studies at Boston University School of Theology.
While completing his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Brown was appointed to the faculty of United as Assistant Professor of Church and Society. Returning to Dayton in this capacity Dr. Brown also served the Dayton Civic and church communities as Board member and Chair of the Dayton Urban League, author of an important ministry study for the Wesley Center, and Pulpit Associate at Bethel Baptist Church. This period of service was ended in the fall of 1979, when Dr. Brown accepted an appointment as tenured Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.
Dr. Brown’s ties to Bethel Baptist Church brought him back to Dayton when he was called to succeed his father in the ministry, The Rev. George W. Lucas, as pastor of Bethel. He returned to Dayton in May 1982 to pastor Bethel and again served the Dayton community in numerous capacities, a few of which include:
Organizing Chair of the January 1986 Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Celebration in Dayton;
Chair of the Dayton Human Relations Council;
President of the Ecumenical and Nehemiah Neighborhood Development corporations,
Governing Board member of the Dayton Foundation;
Board member of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio representing the Miami Valley Urban League Advisory Board;
President of Metropolitan Churches United;
Moderator of Western Union Baptist District Association;
President of the Ohio Baptist General Convention;
And Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Medicine of Wright State University Medical School.
Dr. Brown was recently honored during the Wesley Community Center’s Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration as a Social Justice Champion for the contribution of his 1973 Wesley Center Report to the vision and ongoing program of the center.