Deacon Nelson Brown, Sr. was born on July 22, 1926, in Halifax County, North Carolina, to the late Rev. Alex Brown and Bessie Jenkins Brown. After the passing of his mother in 1929, Nelson and his siblings were raised with the love of his paternal grandmother, Caroline Pearson Brown, and his aunt, Lula Brown Faulcon. He departed this life on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, in Norfolk, Virginia, at the home of his son, Alvin Brown. He was predeceased by his son, Reginald Brown, and his siblings, Naomi Brown, Lina Brown-Dixon, Cleveland, Herlot, and Alex Brown, Jr.
During his early life, Nelson accepted Christ and joined the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina, and attended the Halifax County Public Schools.
On October 11, 1959, Nelson met Annie Herbert, and they were married on June 18, 1960, in Portsmouth, Virginia. He became employed at the Norfolk Navy Shipyard.
Later in 1960, they relocated to Newark, New Jersey, where they raised their six children: Reginald (deceased), Nelson, Jr., Gary, Lyndon, Brenda and Alvin. The family joined the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, and Nelson became a member of the Gospel Chorus, Sunday school, Bible Study Ministry, and the Trustee Board where he was later elected as Vice-Chair. He also served as President of the Tri-Block Association, and later founded the Youth Tri-Block Association which was composed solely of youth who organized neighborhood clean-up projects and numerous other community events.
Nelson owned and operated Brown’s Furniture Store for several years, and often worked two jobs to support his family. He was employed as a Sheet Medal Finisher at Vernitron, Inc. in Carlstadt, New Jersey , and then worked for the Newark Board of Education as a Maintenance Specialist from 1972-1988.
After his retirement, Nelson returned to North Carolina, rejoined the Oak Grove Baptist Church, and was ordained as a Deacon. He initiated weekly Bible Study classes, led Sunday morning devotional services for many years, was a proud member of the Tribe Joseph, and was quite instrumental in improving the cemetery grounds at the church.
Nelson had a positive impact in the community as an active member of the Halifax County NAACP, the Davie Volunteer Fire Department, and for visiting the sick and shut-ins.
He enjoyed gardening, home improvement projects, sharing a testimony or a scripture, (II Timothy 4:7) and especially, singing his favorite hymn, “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow”, which was also his father’s favorite hymn.
Those remaining to forever share the legacy his life and treasure the precious memory of his love are his wife of fifty-five years, Annie Mae Brown of the home; his sons, Nelson, Jr. and his wife, Mary, of Raeford, NC, Gary and his wife, Maria, of Lawrenceville, NJ, Lyndon of Newark, NJ, and Alvin of Norfolk, VA; his daughter, Brenda of Newark, NJ; ten grandchildren: Kizzie, Shari, Christopher, Rudiah, Tawatha, Lucretia, David, Ashanti, Terril, and Chelsea; seven great-grandchildren; two brothers-in-law, George Dixon of Seattle, WA, and Cornelius Herbert (Polly) of Portsmouth, VA; three sisters-in-law, Senora Brown of Herndon, VA, Ella Webb (Moses) of Paterson, NJ, and Shirley Sessoms (Matthew) of Newark, NJ; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M on Saturday, January 2, 2015, at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, NC. The Pastor, Rev. C. E. McCollum, will deliver the eulogy, and burial will follow in the church cemetery. The body will repose at the church for two hours prior to the funeral rites.