Adam Burwell Brown was born on this day (October 20) in 1821. He was raised in Virginia and first educated by the Episcopalians. It was expected that he would become a priest of that denomination, but upon studying the Word of God, he became a Baptist. He attended Washington College and the University of Virginia. John A. Broadus, a fellow student of his later wrote, “Before the middle of the session it was apparent to me that he (Brown) was the foremost man of the class.”
After completing school Brother Brown became engaged in mission work in Western Virginia and West Virginia. But then the War broke out. He joined the Southern forces and became a missionary chaplain. He loved evangelism and worked to start and strengthen churches wherever he could even during the conflict.
When the war ended, he found that the churches and missions he had previously served had been decimated of their members and finances. To supplement his income and to feed his wife and family he farmed and taught school. At one point his wife had sacrificially saved a few dollars for her Pastor/husband to buy a vest. She surprised him with some cash just before he left for a fellowship meeting, instructing him to buy the needed vest before returning home. But during the meeting A. M. Poindexter made an impassioned plea for missionary support for foreign missions. Bro. Brown rose and said before a number of more wealthy men, “Here is money my wife gave me to buy a vest, but the vest may go, and I will do without, and foreign missions can have it.”
Pastor Brown passed away November 27, 1885. The funeral was held during a terrible storm with torrents of water and flooded streets, but a great congregation gathered to express appreciation and respect for a man who was willing to sacrifice much for the glory of Christ.