William Washington Brown

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1814 - 1894

Rev. William Washington Brown and Jane C. McBride Brown

Photograph courtesy of Robert G. Mascho


Gone Before.


Brown, W. W. - Anderson Presbytery

[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1894, page 151]



After nearly sixty years of faithful service as a minister of the gospel, Rev. W. W. Brown was called to his reward, February 9, 1894. His last days were spent at the home of his son-in-law, George Gill, near Sturgis, Ky. He was born in South Carolina, October 23, 1814. He was the son of Robert and Jane Brown. His two brothers, Sumerl and John, survive him. His two sisters had gone before. After he was grown he removed to Tennessee, the State from which the Lord has called so many of our honored ministers. His first wife, whom he married about the year 1836, lived but a few years, and on April, 18, 1844, he married Miss J. C. McBride, who survives him.. Of his first union were born two children and of the last eight, all of whom are living except one. He united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the church of his father and mother, when quite young. He was received as a candidate for the ministry under the care of Hiwassee (now Knoxville) Presbytery September 23, 1837, and licensed March 22, 1839. He was ordained at Pond Creek Church, Monroe county, Tennessee, Monday, September 27, 1841. Rev. Robert Frazier preached the ordination sermon, and Rev. William H. Bell presided and gave the charge. Of all the ministers who were members of that presbytery then, Rev. T. H. Small, of Silverton, Oregon, is perhaps the only one living. A few years after his ordination Brother Brown was stated clerk of his presbytery. When Ocoee Presbytery was organized he became a member of it. His preaching in Tennessee was almost entirely missionary work at his own expense. In Missouri, to which State he removed in the year 1850, he was pastor at Springfield and Greenfield. By order of Synod he once traveled on horseback and preached to every church in three presbyteries. He afterwards preached at Liberty Prairie, Windsor and other churches in Illinois. He was associated three years with Rev. J. B. Logan, D.D., in the publication of The Ladies' Pearl, at Alton, Illinois. In the suspension of the Southern mails in 1861, the Pearl was wrecked, and he was left penniless with a large family. Soon afterwards he came to Union county, Kentucky, took charge of Mt. Ephraim, Mt. Pleasant and Shiloh. His last charge was Providence, Kentucky. In his closing years he received some assistance through the Board of Ministerial Relief.

This is but a brief outline of a noble life. Modest and unambitious, he kept no record of his good deeds. If the fragments of history cherished in the memory of those whom he blessed could be collected, they would make a bright volume, but complete record will never be made except in heaven. It will be known and recited there. He had little collegiate training--it was not so easily obtained when he was young--but, being a close student, he was not without literary attainments, and in the truest sense was well educated. Of him Rev. T. H. Small says: "He was quick of apprehension and logical in argument, but mild in his address; very diffident and slow to make acquaintances, and few knew his ability and appreciated him according to his worth."

His Christian character was above reproach. In three years spent among those who knew him as pastor, as citizen and as neighbor, the writer never heard one word against him. The tender affection and courtesy between him and his wife of fifty years was beautiful and impressive, and often the subject of remark. The last twenty-five years of his life, especially the last fifteen, were years of suffering and privation; but through it all he was patient and submissive. Financially he was a failure in this world, but he has laid up for himself treasures in heaven, and has left a heritage--to his children an honored name, a noble example and godly teachings; to his church, works that still preach, and scores of servants won from the bondage of sin. May those who loved him be an example toward God as he!

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 3, 1895, page 15]

BROWN.--February 8, 1894, Rev. W. W. Brown, one of the pioneer preachers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, ceased from his labors and went to his reward. He was born October 23, 1814. Joined the Hiwassee Presbytery at Nobb's Campground, Monroe county, Tenn., September 23, 1837. He was licensed to preach at Ebenezer, Marion county, Tenn., March 23, 1839; ordained at Pond Creek, Monroe county, Tenn., Rev. T. H. Small, of Silverton, Ore., is supposed to be the only living minister who was a member of that presbytery at that time. Brother Brown labored in Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky in times when it required men of worth and self-denial to be preachers in our church. His last charge was Providence, Ky. Although failing health prevented his engaging in public work during the last three years of his life, he continued to the last preaching, to imaginary congregations the gospel he loved and preached so well in the days of his strength. His end was that promised to the "perfect and upright man"--peace.
                                                E. McCollom.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 10, 1895, page 15]

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Updated January 28, 2015