Bishop Theodore N. Brown says he had a "drug" problem as a child. "I was reared in the church. It gave me a drug problem, because my parents drug me to church," Bishop Brown said jokingly in a recent interview. His love for church is apparent. He was elected and installed as the President General of the Church of the Living God during the 81st General Assembly.
He is the leader of the Church of the Living God with churches throughout the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean with more than 10,000 members.
After starting out as a Baptist, Brown attended an Episcopal church. He attended a Christian college, St. Augustine's, in Raleigh, N.C.
But it wasn't until Dec. 19, 1972, he says, that he visited the Church of the Living God in Brooksville and had a conversion experience. "I wasn't in any church at that time," said Brown, a Florida native who was a math teacher at Hernando High School at that time. "One of my nieces invited me to attend during a week of prayer. I complied, and, boom, it happened. I received the Lord into my life as my personal savior and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. From that point, I've been living for him."
Two years later, Brown was ordained as a minister and was given the pastorate of a church in the town of Hernando in Citrus County. "I served there for 10 years and then was transferred to the Josephine Street church (in Brooksville) as its pastor until 2004 — 20 years," Brown said.
During his pastorate, Brown was consecrated as a bishop over the Florida Gulf Diocese, with churches in Bradenton, Brooksville, Hernando, Lakeland, Orlando, Plant City, Plymouth and Wildwood, and the Georgia Diocese, with churches in Metter, Stillmore, Swainsboro and Wrightsville. Before being elected President General, he served as Church of the Living God General Treasurer for many years.
Bishop Brown's duties take him all over the globe, meeting with bishops in the various dioceses and still preaching on occasion. He and his wife of 44 years, Elder Gladys Brown, also take time to visit their four children and six grandchildren, who live in other states.