We consider ourselves doubly blessed to not only experience the forward leadership of Dr. Brown but also the to witness the complimentary services and gifts of our first lady, Mrs. Jane E. Brown. Mrs. Brown credits her dear parents Irving Russell and Jane Rosetta Smith, who owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store, for fostering an entrepreneurial spirit within her from an early age.
A woman of distinction, Mrs. Brown attended Spelman College just long enough to meet her husband-to-be, Amos C. Brown, who was a neighboring student at Morehouse College. After receiving her B.A. degree in French from North Central College of Naperville, Illinois, Mrs. Brown went to live in France and Spain through the Experiment in International Living Program. In 1966, after having arrived back to the U.S. she married Pastor Brown as they prepared to move to West Chester, Pennsylvania, and later St. Paul, Minnesota where he pastored churches. In 1976 when Dr. Brown accepted the call to become Pastor of Third Baptist Mrs. Brown demonstrated her delicate yet humble taste when she meticulously set up their beautiful new home in our Church parsonage.
Aware of the importance of Civil Rights, Mrs. Brown marched in Selma and worked in an Exchange Program to foster better understanding between northern white and southern black students, demonstrating a calm but consistent devotion to service of God and others.Mrs. Brown is widely hailed as the best fundraiser in TBC. Whatever committee she joins or task she assumes will achieve excellence.
In 2001, she chaired the 150th Church Anniversary Committee, the crowning moment of which was the 150th Church Anniversary Gala at which President William Jefferson Clinton was the keynote speaker. As Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee she has raised over $100,000.00 to assists young college aspirants in attaining their education. One summer she was asked to organized the Third Baptist Summer School program to benefit black students after the public schools laid-off a disproportionate number of black teachers. This program, BIBBS (Being Black is Being Smart) had become one of the long running academic institutions in the community.
Most recently, in what started out as a church evangelistic effort was elevated to a Bay Area community effort to speak to the escalating violence between Asian and African Americans, by creating a venue where both communities could become aware of the many positive programs such as Back on Track that are made available by other institutions both religious and secular that aim to help parents tutor and mentor their children toward academic and civic excellence. Her effort resulted in galvanizing a committee of more than 25 persons, and organizing an event called “Living Beyond Limits” which was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral, attracted over 4,000 people, and featured the World-renowned Nick Vujivic, a man with no arms or legs as the keynote speaker. The program included the presence, commendation, and support of the likes of Danny Glover, mayors, and state senators.
In 1991 she opened her own business, Optimum Reality & Financial Services, a very successful real estate company in the Bay Area that has gained national recognition as a result of her business achievements. She oversees a full-time staff and has expanded to several different locations outside of the Bay Area.
In her own words, “One of the greatest challenges I have faced is being a breast cancer survivor, and hopefully my experiences and testimony will give faith and strength to others who face this disease. My greatest blessings have been my husband, my 3 children, Amos, Jr., David, and Kizzie, and my 4 grandchildren who bring joy and light into my life.