Philemon Brown is the dedicated full-time pastor of Harker Heights Community Church. He also works as a senior program coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was voted Staff Person of the Year last year.
Brown organized a wellness symposium for the community last year, addressing topics such as youth obesity and diabetes. The church held a Praise in the Park event as well.
“Our goal is to make Christ relevant in our community,” Brown said.
Growing up in Suffolk, Va., Brown’s father was a well-respected Sunday school teacher in their church and also practiced his faith at home. Brown left the church in 1979 and served 20 years in the Army. He did tours in Kentucky, Okinawa, Johnston Atoll, Korea and Fort Hood, when he met his wife Debra in Cameron. They married in 1984, have attended church regularly and have three children and two grandchildren.
While in the Army, Brown studied online, earning a bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College and a master’s of business administration from Trinity University. The family moved to Temple and attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where he joined a men’s group named The Brotherhood. While participating in a revival he did street ministry with the church.
One evening as he waited for his wife and daughter to return to church after street ministry, they were involved in an accident that totaled their car. Fortunately, his family was unharmed. After arriving home that night, a call came for his deployment to Desert Storm. The family’s faith in God brought them through those trials, and Brown knew he wanted to be a minister of the Gospel.
For two years, Harker Heights Community Church met in the Heritage Funeral Home until members could find a suitable building for worship. The church has been in Heights for 14 years.
“Starting from nothing and learning to work with what you have is a valuable lesson,” Brown said. “God’s faithfulness never waivers and we must stay true to the Word.”
Besides being a pastor and teacher, Brown loves to do carpentry and repair work and is also a mechanic.
“Pastor Brown is a great teacher and I have learned so much,” said Laquita Clark, charter member of the church. “He is very enthused about sharing the Word of God.”
The Browns said they are delighted God chose them for the ministry and enjoy life in Harker Heights.
Harker Heights Community Church is at 202 Beeline Lane.
Herald/Sandra Duffy Oliver