Pastor Matthew Southall Brown, Sr. honored at service

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:02 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - People are coming-together to honor Pastor Matthew Southall Brown Sr.

Brown spent 35 years at the helm of Savannah’s St. John Baptist Church. He passed-away last week at the age of 99 from natural causes.

Those closest to him came to celebrate his life at the Savannah Civic Center Friday evening.

Crowds of family, friends, state, city and community leaders came together to remember Pastor Brown.

He was a WWII veteran and one of the first black soldiers to fight in that war. He returned home to Savannah to fight for civil rights.

His legacy lives on through the people he touched in this city and beyond.

“It is our honor to host this type of celebration in your Civic Center. This is not something we do often. But he deserved that,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

“It’s our great good fortune that in his youth, Matthew South Hall Brown’s heart was touched by the fire of war and by the fire of injustice,” said former Congressman John Barrow, U.S. House-Ga. 12th District. “Back home in Savannah, he got involved in the civil rights movement. In fact he got involved in the movement before there was a movement. He was called to the ministry.”

“He would always be the person that would comfort you. He would tell you what you needed to know, not necessarily what you wanted to hear,” said Rep. Edna Jackson, Ga.-House 165.

“He watered and nurtured all of us. He acted justfuly. He loved mercifully. And he walked humbly with God,” said Mayor Johnson.

“There’s no question about where he is….. In heaven,” said former Mayor Otis Johnson.

“There will never be another Matthew Southall Brown Sr,” said Rep. Jackson.

A private funeral service for Pastor Brown will be held Saturday.

Savannah Police say to expect closures around Franklin Square in downtown.

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