Meet Pastor Don Brown
Don Brown's Picture

Rev. Donald R. “Don” Brown
Pastor: First United Methodist Church, Brazoria, Texas


A native of Houston Texas, Reverend Brown was raised in a mixed-denominational household. His father was Episcopalian and his mother, Methodist. At one point, as a teenager, he attended BOTH Bellaire United Methodist Church (where he would sing in the youth choir for the 9:30AM worship service) and then to be driven across Bellaire to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church (to serve as an Acolyte and Crucifer for the 11:00AM Eucharist) on the same morning. He joined the UMC in 1973.

Educated, first in the Houston Public School system and later at Houston Baptist University where he earned a B.A. degree (History & Political Science, “pre-law”) in 1983.designated funds to do so) and later headed-up the construction of emergency helipads (for air ambulance use) in Iola and Keith, Texas.designated funds to do so) and later headed-up the construction of emergency helipads (for air ambulance use) in Iola and Keith, Texas.

He was ordained an “Elder in Full Connection” in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June of 2005.

While at Zion UMC, Brown also served as a volunteer Licensed Paramedic with the Grimes County EMS First Responders. In fact, he was often the only qualified medic for the entire north end of Grimes County. To help remedy the shortage of medics, in 2006, he successfully obtained a State grant for Blinn College to present a no-cost Emergency Care Attendant (ECA) or First Responder Course --in Iola—that trained 25 volunteer medics for the County. Concurrently, he served as Chaplain and Safety Officer for the Iola VFD.

In addition to his church responsibilities and other community service activities, Pastor Brown spent 23 years as a volunteer officer with the Civil Air Patrol (the USAF Auxiliary).

He served as a staff officer, a squadron commander, served on Group, Wing, Region, and National Headquarters staff. He is a graduate of the CAP’s Southwest Region Chaplain Service Staff College, National Staff College, and the National Search and Rescue School. He earned the aeronautical rating of Master Observer and was a search and rescue (SAR) Incident Commander. He earned numerous awards and decorations among them were the Gill Robb Wilson Award and the National Commander’s Commendation.

He was endorsed by the United Methodist Church as a military chaplain to serve CAP as a chaplain beginning in 2002.

His final duty assignment was as the National Deputy Director of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. In that volunteer position, he was responsible for crisis interventional support for CAP personnel throughout the Country. He was actively involved with CAP CISM efforts following hurricanes Charlie, Katrina, and Rita. Pastor Brown retired from the CAP in January of 2008 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

In June 2006, Rev. Brown was appointed to pastor Grace UMC in Manvel, Texas. He was specifically charged by Bishop Janet Riggle Huie with initiating community ministries there. Among those ministry initiatives, he restarted a food pantry in August of 2006, it has been very successful.

In calendar year 2008, the pantry –by then renamed Susanna’s Cupboard (after John Wesley’s mother)— served 5,305 families consisting of more than 40,000 individuals. Currently, the pantry serves more than 200 families each week and those numbers are increasing. It serves needy families in the underserved communities of Manvel, Rosharon, Iowa Colony, Fresno and Arcola.

At GUMC, Pastor Brown was active with the Kairos program at the Darrington Unit of TDCJ. He would also lead the effort to purchase a new parsonage and led the sale of some surplus land that retired the capital indebtedness of the congregation (including for the new parsonage) in 2010.

He also volunteered as a paramedic for Manvel EMS, only to discover he lacked the necessary time to practice his skills adequately and reluctantly elected to retire his paramedic license in June of 2007. He continued to serve as the chaplain for Manvel EMS until June of 2010.

In July 2008, “Susanna’s Cupboard” became a Disaster Food Site with the Houston Food Bank. This was fortuitous, as Grace UMC would be inundated with hungry neighbors in the days following Hurricane Ike in September of that year.

Due to the absence of assistance from FEMA, State and County agencies to Manvel and surrounding communities hard hit by the storm, the church unilaterally set up its own relief mission.

From the Monday following the storm through that Thursday (4-days), Grace UMC’s Pantry (augmented by a wonderfully diverse group of eager community volunteers) served more than 14,000 people food, water and ice. It was due to the actions of the church that FEMA was ultimately persuaded (shamed into ...) to locate a relief supply distribution point in Manvel, albeit a week after the storm.

Additionally, he remains a volunteer Flotilla Staff Officer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

In June 2010, Rev. Brown was appointed pastor of the First United Methodist Church in the city of Grand Saline, Texas, an historic congregation of 282 members and a wide range of community ministries in Northeast Texas.

He worked to develop additional ministries and programs to attract new members to the congregation. Of particular importance was the need for greater congregational involvement in the local schools. In March of 2011 he led the congregation’s first Taizé worship service.

In August of that year, he was elected president of the Grand Saline Ministerial Alliance. In 2013, Pastor Brown was appointed to the local task force working to reopen our local community hospital. He also served on the Van Zandt County Grand Jury. Additionally, he has worked with church staff and volunteers to revitalize the youth ministries at FUMC and to bring more “blended” (and youth-led) music to their worship services. He initiated efforts to convert a vacant lot on church property into a community prayer garden. In 2014 he established a Covenant Discipleship program and also led a small-group study entitled “Living the Questions.”

Early in 2015, Pastor Brown spearheaded efforts to start an East Texas Food Bank affiliated food pantry at the church. In April 2015, he concluded another small-group study, that of Rev. Adam Hamilton’s book 24 Hours That Changed the World.

In July 2015, Rev. Brown was appointed to serve Brazoria FUMC a truly historic congregation (founded in 1836). He efforts since arriving have focused on restarting the youth ministry (by forming a cooperative youth program with Sweeny FUMC in October 2015), growing the membership and attendance, improving technology (especially for worship), and providing some blended worship music.

Pastor Brown most recently served as a member of the Northwest District Committee on Ministry (DCoM), the Chairperson of the Northwest District Leadership Team (DLT).

Rev. Brown currently serves as a Certified Candidacy Mentor to ministerial candidates, as a member of the Faith-Forming Relationships / Spiritual Formation Ministry Team of the Texas Annual Conference, the Texas Annual Conference Committee on Relief (TACCOR), the Texas Annual Conference Sexual Ethics Response Team, and the Perkins [School of Theology] Alumni Council (PAC).

In his spare time Pastor Brown enjoys playing bass and six-string guitar, vocal & choral music (he was a part of the Christian band Crown of Thorns while in Manvel and a member of the Grand Saline preacher’s band Out to Pastor), he’s also learning to play piano. He also enjoys woodworking (in his garage shop), cooking, amateur radio (W5DRB), astronomy, photography, reading, flying, and following Formula One racing.

Rev. Brown is married to the former Mary Beth Johnson, also of Houston. “Beth” is a retired schoolteacher. They have no children but two beloved rescue dogs “Senna” and “Schumi,” and a rescue cat “Sabine.”

He was ordained an “Elder in Full Connection” in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June of 2005.

While at Zion UMC, Brown also served as a volunteer Licensed Paramedic with the Grimes County EMS First Responders. In fact, he was often the only qualified medic for the entire north end of Grimes County. To help remedy the shortage of medics, in 2006, he successfully obtained a State grant for Blinn College to present a no-cost Emergency Care Attendant (ECA) or First Responder Course --in Iola—that trained 25 volunteer medics for the County. Concurrently, he served as Chaplain and Safety Officer for the Iola VFD.

In addition to his church responsibilities and other community service activities, Pastor Brown spent 23 years as a volunteer officer with the Civil Air Patrol (the USAF Auxiliary). He served as a staff officer, a squadron commander, served on Group, Wing, Region, and National Headquarters staff. He is a graduate of the CAP’s Southwest Region Chaplain Service Staff College, National Staff College, and the National Search and Rescue School. He earned the aeronautical rating of Master Observer and was a search and rescue (SAR) Incident Commander. He earned numerous awards and decorations among them were the Gill Robb Wilson Award and the National Commander’s Commendation.

He was endorsed by the United Methodist Church as a military chaplain to serve CAP as a chaplain beginning in 2002.

His final duty assignment was as the National Deputy Director of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. In that volunteer position, he was responsible for crisis interventional support for CAP personnel throughout the Country. He was actively involved with CAP CISM efforts following hurricanes Charlie, Katrina, and Rita. Pastor Brown retired from the CAP in January of 2008 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

In June 2006, Rev. Brown was appointed to pastor Grace UMC in Manvel, Texas. He was specifically charged by Bishop Janet Riggle Huie with initiating community ministries there. Among those ministry initiatives, he restarted a food pantry in August of 2006, it has been very successful.

In calendar year 2008, the pantry –by then renamed Susanna’s Cupboard (after John Wesley’s mother)— served 5,305 families consisting of more than 40,000 individuals. Currently, the pantry serves more than 200 families each week and those numbers are increasing. It serves needy families in the underserved communities of Manvel, Rosharon, Iowa Colony, Fresno and Arcola.

At GUMC, Pastor Brown was active with the Kairos program at the Darrington Unit of TDCJ. He would also lead the effort to purchase a new parsonage and led the sale of some surplus land that retired the capital indebtedness of the congregation (including for the new parsonage) in 2010.

He also volunteered as a paramedic for Manvel EMS, only to discover he lacked the necessary time to practice his skills adequately and reluctantly elected to retire his paramedic license in June of 2007. He continued to serve as the chaplain for Manvel EMS until June of 2010.

In July 2008, “Susanna’s Cupboard” became a Disaster Food Site with the Houston Food Bank. This was fortuitous, as Grace UMC would be inundated with hungry neighbors in the days following Hurricane Ike in September of that year.

Due to the absence of assistance from FEMA, State and County agencies to Manvel and surrounding communities hard hit by the storm, the church unilaterally set up its own relief mission.

From the Monday following the storm through that Thursday (4-days), Grace UMC’s Pantry (augmented by a wonderfully diverse group of eager community volunteers) served more than 14,000 people food, water and ice. It was due to the actions of the church that FEMA was ultimately persuaded (shamed into ...) to locate a relief supply distribution point in Manvel, albeit a week after the storm.

Additionally, he remains a volunteer Flotilla Staff Officer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

In June 2010, Rev. Brown was appointed pastor of the First United Methodist Church in the city of Grand Saline, Texas, an historic congregation of 282 members and a wide range of community ministries in Northeast Texas.
He worked to develop additional ministries and programs to attract new members to the congregation. Of particular importance was the need for greater congregational involvement in the local schools. In March of 2011 he led the congregation’s first Taizé worship service.

In August of that year, he was elected president of the Grand Saline Ministerial Alliance. In 2013, Pastor Brown was appointed to the local task force working to reopen our local community hospital. He also served on the Van Zandt County Grand Jury. Additionally, he has worked with church staff and volunteers to revitalize the youth ministries at FUMC and to bring more “blended” (and youth-led) music to their worship services. He initiated efforts to convert a vacant lot on church property into a community prayer garden. In 2014 he established a Covenant Discipleship program and also led a small-group study entitled “Living the Questions.”

Early in 2015, Pastor Brown spearheaded efforts to start an East Texas Food Bank affiliated food pantry at the church. In April 2015, he concluded another small-group study, that of Rev. Adam Hamilton’s book 24 Hours That Changed the World.
In July 2015, Rev. Brown was appointed to serve Brazoria FUMC a truly historic congregation (founded in 1836). He efforts since arriving have focused on restarting the youth ministry (by forming a cooperative youth program with Sweeny FUMC in October 2015), growing the membership and attendance, improving technology (especially for worship), and providing some blended worship music.

Pastor Brown most recently served as a member of the Northwest District Committee on Ministry (DCoM), the Chairperson of the Northwest District Leadership Team (DLT).

Rev. Brown currently serves as a Certified Candidacy Mentor to ministerial candidates, as a member of the Faith-Forming Relationships / Spiritual Formation Ministry Team of the Texas Annual Conference, the Texas Annual Conference Committee on Relief (TACCOR), the Texas Annual Conference Sexual Ethics Response Team, and the Perkins [School of Theology] Alumni Council (PAC).

In his spare time Pastor Brown enjoys playing bass and six-string guitar, vocal & choral music (he was a part of the Christian band Crown of Thorns while in Manvel and a member of the Grand Saline preacher’s band Out to Pastor), he’s also learning to play piano. He also enjoys woodworking (in his garage shop), cooking, amateur radio (W5DRB), astronomy, photography, reading, flying, and following Formula One racing.

Rev. Brown is married to the former Mary Beth Johnson, also of Houston. “Beth” is a retired schoolteacher. They have no children but two beloved rescue dogs “Senna” and “Schumi,” and a rescue cat “Sabine.”

While at HBU, he began to explore interests in the emergency services. Attending night school (concurrent with university studies) he completed the requirements for certification as an Emergency Care Attendant (ECA) and later as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). In 1983, he would qualify as a Paramedic, and much later he would be one of the first Licensed Paramedics in Texas..

As a non-paid volunteer medic, Pastor Brown worked with: the Harris County Emergency Corps, West Harris County EMS, and later the Community VFD.

He went to work for Hermann Hospital (later: Memorial Hermann Hospital) in the fall of 1980 as an EMT-Dispatcher for their Life Flight helicopter service. Later he would become a Flight Paramedic and a Manager with the program. He also worked, concurrently, as a Paramedic for Ft. Bend County EMS for several years.

Additionally he instructed EMT students at the North Campus of San Jacinto College.

In 1998, he FINALLY answered a long-standing call to the ministry. He began studies at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology that fall.
In July 1999 he left Life Flight to begin a yearlong concurrent pastoral internship (a degree requirement at SMU) as Associate Pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in Houston. He would remain at St. Mark’s until June of 2002.

While at SMU, Pastor Brown also studied at Dr. Gonzalo Báez Camargo Seminary in Mexico City and the Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Upon graduating from SMU with a Master of Divinity degree (magna cum laude) in May 2002, Pastor Brown was appointed senior pastor of Zion UMC in Iola, Texas. He would serve there for four years.

While there, besides his usual church duties, he led the effort to develop community missions and ministries. Members built a state-of-the-art livestock handling facility for the Iola FFA and 4H clubs (after raising sufficientdesignated funds to do so) and later headed-up the construction of emergency helipads (for air ambulance use) in Iola and Keith, Texas.

He was ordained an “Elder in Full Connection” in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June of 2005.
While at Zion UMC, Brown also served as a volunteer Licensed Paramedic with the Grimes County EMS First Responders. In fact, he was often the only qualified medic for the entire north end of Grimes County. To help remedy the shortage of medics, in 2006, he successfully obtained a State grant for Blinn College to present a no-cost Emergency Care Attendant (ECA) or First Responder Course --in Iola—that trained 25 volunteer medics for the County. Concurrently, he served as Chaplain and Safety Officer for the Iola VFD.

In addition to his church responsibilities and other community service activities, Pastor Brown spent 23 years as a volunteer officer with the Civil Air Patrol (the USAF Auxiliary). He served as a staff officer, a squadron commander, served on Group, Wing, Region, and National Headquarters staff. He is a graduate of the CAP’s Southwest Region Chaplain Service Staff College, National Staff College, and the National Search and Rescue School. He earned the aeronautical rating of Master Observer and was a search and rescue (SAR) Incident Commander. He earned numerous awards and decorations among them were the Gill Robb Wilson Award and the National Commander’s Commendation.

He was endorsed by the United Methodist Church as a military chaplain to serve CAP as a chaplain beginning in 2002.

His final duty assignment was as the National Deputy Director of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. In that volunteer position, he was responsible for crisis interventional support for CAP personnel throughout the Country. He was actively involved with CAP CISM efforts following hurricanes Charlie, Katrina, and Rita. Pastor Brown retired from the CAP in January of 2008 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

In June 2006, Rev. Brown was appointed to pastor Grace UMC in Manvel, Texas. He was specifically charged by Bishop Janet Riggle Huie with initiating community ministries there. Among those ministry initiatives, he restarted a food pantry in August of 2006, it has been very successful.

In calendar year 2008, the pantry –by then renamed Susanna’s Cupboard (after John Wesley’s mother)— served 5,305 families consisting of more than 40,000 individuals. Currently, the pantry serves more than 200 families each week and those numbers are increasing. It serves needy families in the underserved communities of Manvel, Rosharon, Iowa Colony, Fresno and Arcola.

At GUMC, Pastor Brown was active with the Kairos program at the Darrington Unit of TDCJ. He would also lead the effort to purchase a new parsonage and led the sale of some surplus land that retired the capital indebtedness of the congregation (including for the new parsonage) in 2010.

He also volunteered as a paramedic for Manvel EMS, only to discover he lacked the necessary time to practice his skills adequately and reluctantly elected to retire his paramedic license in June of 2007. He continued to serve as the chaplain for Manvel EMS until June of 2010.

In July 2008, “Susanna’s Cupboard” became a Disaster Food Site with the Houston Food Bank. This was fortuitous, as Grace UMC would be inundated with hungry neighbors in the days following Hurricane Ike in September of that year.

Due to the absence of assistance from FEMA, State and County agencies to Manvel and surrounding communities hard hit by the storm, the church unilaterally set up its own relief mission.

From the Monday following the storm through that Thursday (4-days), Grace UMC’s Pantry (augmented by a wonderfully diverse group of eager community volunteers) served more than 14,000 people food, water and ice. It was due to the actions of the church that FEMA was ultimately persuaded (shamed into ...) to locate a relief supply distribution point in Manvel, albeit a week after the storm.

Additionally, he remains a volunteer Flotilla Staff Officer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

In June 2010, Rev. Brown was appointed pastor of the First United Methodist Church in the city of Grand Saline, Texas, an historic congregation of 282 members and a wide range of community ministries in Northeast Texas.

He worked to develop additional ministries and programs to attract new members to the congregation. Of particular importance was the need for greater congregational involvement in the local schools. In March of 2011 he led the congregation’s first Taizé worship service.

In August of that year, he was elected president of the Grand Saline Ministerial Alliance. In 2013, Pastor Brown was appointed to the local task force working to reopen our local community hospital. He also served on the Van Zandt County Grand Jury. Additionally, he has worked with church staff and volunteers to revitalize the youth ministries at FUMC and to bring more “blended” (and youth-led) music to their worship services. He initiated efforts to convert a vacant lot on church property into a community prayer garden. In 2014 he established a Covenant Discipleship program and also led a small-group study entitled “Living the Questions.”

Early in 2015, Pastor Brown spearheaded efforts to start an East Texas Food Bank affiliated food pantry at the church. In April 2015, he concluded another small-group study, that of Rev. Adam Hamilton’s book 24 Hours That Changed the World.

In July 2015, Rev. Brown was appointed to serve Brazoria FUMC a truly historic congregation (founded in 1836). He efforts since arriving have focused on restarting the youth ministry (by forming a cooperative youth program with Sweeny FUMC in October 2015), growing the membership and attendance, improving technology (especially for worship), and providing some blended worship music.

Pastor Brown most recently served as a member of the Northwest District Committee on Ministry (DCoM), the Chairperson of the Northwest District Leadership Team (DLT).
Rev. Brown currently serves as a Certified Candidacy Mentor to ministerial candidates, as a member of the Faith-Forming Relationships / Spiritual Formation Ministry Team of the Texas Annual Conference, the Texas Annual Conference Committee on Relief (TACCOR), the Texas Annual Conference Sexual Ethics Response Team, and the Perkins [School of Theology] Alumni Council (PAC).

In his spare time Pastor Brown enjoys playing bass and six-string guitar, vocal & choral music (he was a part of the Christian band Crown of Thorns while in Manvel and a member of the Grand Saline preacher’s band Out to Pastor), he’s also learning to play piano. He also enjoys woodworking (in his garage shop), cooking, amateur radio (W5DRB), astronomy, photography, reading, flying, and following Formula One racing.

Rev. Brown is married to the former Mary Beth Johnson, also of Houston. “Beth” is a retired schoolteacher. They have no children but two beloved rescue dogs “Senna” and “Schumi,” and a rescue cat “Sabine.”