Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart and
solemn remembrance that I rise today, to pay tribute to a man of God,
respected public servant, and dear friend of longstanding, Reverend
Jasper R. Brown, Sr. Sadly, Reverend Brown transitioned from labor to
reward on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. His funeral service will be held
at 3 pm on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at Live Oak A.M.E. Church in
Donalsonville, Georgia.
Rev. Jasper Ross Brown, Sr. was born in Malone, Florida on September
17, 1925, to the union of Reverend David Rufus Brown and Mrs. Torah
Bowers Brown. The values of Christian discipleship and hard work were
instilled in Jasper at a young age. After completing primary school in
the Jackson County, Florida Public School System, he began working
under his father and developed the discipline, work ethic, and joy that
came with farming and being exposed to the Gospel. Because manhood was
thrust upon him at an early age, he only finished eighth grade, but was
an avid reader, highly intelligent, and had a love for learning. Hence,
as an adult, while working full-time at Great Southern Plywood Mill in
Cedar Springs, Georgia, and supporting his family, he went back to
school taking high school classes in Tallahassee, Florida and earned
his GED.
Jasper Brown answered the call to serve his nation at the age of 18,
becoming the first African-American from Seminole County, Georgia to be
inducted into the United State Marine Corps. He was trained as a member
of the historic Montford Point Marines and fought in the gruesome
Battle of Peleliu in Japan during World War II. More than 50 years
later, he and all of the Montford Point Marines, the first African-
Americans allowed to serve in the Marine Corps, were awarded the
Congressional Gold Medal by President Barack Obama recognizing their
personal sacrifice and service to their country during World War II.
When Jasper Brown returned home from World War II, within a few days
of his return, he met and shortly thereafter married Ruby Moore Brown,
a union which lasted for 53 years until Ruby's death in May, 2001.
Japser and Ruby had 10 children, seven of whom predeceased them.
A man of many trades, he explored the realm of real estate in the
Donalsonville area before taking classes to obtain his GED. During this
time, he used his voice to help improve the working conditions for the
employees at the Great Southern Plywoood Mill in Cedar Springs,
Georgia, where he helped organize and form a union to protect
employees' rights to a fair wage, fair pensions, insurance, and overall
fair treatment. He mentored others and was often a voice for the
voiceless and was never reluctant to challenge injustice in the
workplace or anywhere people sought his help for unfair treatment. He
was elected and served honorably as the first Black City Councilman in
the City of Donalsonville, Georgia.
In October 1977, Jasper Brown accepted his calling into the ministry
to preach the word of God, and for 30 years, he pastored in the African
Methodist Episcopal Church under the jurisdiction of the South and
Southwest Georgia Conferences.
His pastoral ministry included Whigham Circuit & Little Bethel A.M.E.
Church, South Georgia Conference; Hilton Circuit, Southwest Georgia
Conference; Newberry A.M.E. Church, Southwest Georgia Conference; Payne
Chapel A.M.E. Church, Southwest Georgia Conference; Aimwell A.M.E.
Church, Southwest Georgia Conference; and Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church,
Southwest Georgia Conference. After briefly retiring to rediscover his
love of farming, Rev. Brown was called back to the church and assigned
to Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Hilton, where he pastored for another four
years before completely retiring in December, 2011.
On a personal note, I am proud to have considered Rev. Jasper Brown,
his late wife, Ruby Moore Brown, and the entire Brown and Moore
Families as friends of longstanding. Their daughter, Alice, interned at
the Georgia General Assembly while I was serving in the State House and
she was a student at the University of Georgia. Through her, I
eventually met the family, as attorney for her mother, the sister of
the renowned Dr. Dallas Moore. Mrs. Ruby Brown had been seriously
injured in a motor vehicle crash in Seminole County. My relationship
with the Brown and Moore families has endured for over 3 decades and
has been pivotal in my career and political success. I will be forever
grateful for their friendship and support.
Rev. Brown accomplished much in his life, but none of it would have
been possible without the Grace of God and the love and support of his
family as well as the countless others who impacted his life. His
passing leaves a tremendous void in the lives of his children: Jasper,
Jr., Derrell, Alice, Kendra, Deborah, Angela, Annette, and Anthony;
brother, Virgil; sixteen grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren;
nieces, nephews, cousins; personal assistant, Ms. France Land; friend
and companion, Ms. Petronia ``Sweet'' Mike; and countless other family
and friends; all of whom will miss him deeply.
Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues in the House of Representatives to
join my wife, Vivian, and me, along with the more than 730,000 people
of Georgia's Second Congressional District, in honoring the life and
legacy of the Reverend Jasper R. Brown, Sr. for his outstanding
accomplishments in the ministry and his service to humankind. Moreover,
we extend our deepest sympathies to Reverend Brown's family, friends,
loved ones, and all who grieve during this difficult time of
bereavement. We pray that they will be consoled and comforted by an
abiding faith and the Holy Spirit in the weeks, months, and years
116th Congress