ABOUT CHRIS

Christopher Riley Brown (May 15, 1969 - November 18, 2010)

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Our Lord and King called the name, Christopher Riley Brown, to walk through the gates of heaven November 18, 2010. Oh how the heavens must have rejoiced!

Chris was a faithful servant, touching the lives of so many during his walk with our Savior. A teacher and leader of the Word, Chris devoted his new birth to running the good race in His name. He did that very well. A devoted husband and father, he led his home with gentleness and truth. Chris will forever remain in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Chris was a captivating man of God. He had a heart of pure intention solely focusing on unselfish gain. Chris had met his Savior & was changed forever. He then devoted his life to the One. Chris shared his faith boldly but with such gentleness. He was radical but compassionate. Chris was always the one who would draw you in, leading & teaching. He was passionate yet humble. He truly relished each moment. He devoted his life to others. His days were filled with a yearning to become Christ like. He embodied what every one of us is called to be. The ones who are honored to call Chris son, brother, husband, father and friend knew him well.

He revealed his heart to everyone he encountered. When you met Chris Brown you would be introduced to Jesus. If not by words, in his kindness, humility, graciousness, service, and transparency, Christ was there. He was a man after God’s own heart. Chris loved a good laugh. He put others first. He was what we all hope to be. A man devoted to his family, his work, his education, his friends but foremost his God.

If we could all been so fortunate to have spent some time with Chris. Those who laughed with him, loved him, shared those special moments with him will be changed forever. Even ones who only encountered him briefly have been challenged. Chris made you want to do better, be better, do more, be more. He was “that guy.” The one, who woke up earlier, read longer, served later, studied more, spent more. He is Chris Brown. He will live on in our hearts, minds, laughter, good times, but more importantly our ministry. He led his life constantly wanting to be a better Chris. He encouraged the ones who knew him to be at their best. In the days to come, honor Chris by being more like him. When you do you will honor the Holy One Chris was most like.

Chris' Story: A letter from Amanda

It’s a typical story really – a twinge in the gut, a tug on the heart. The world’s ways didn’t seem so appealing any longer. Maybe it was just part of growing up. No, it felt like more than that.Chris Brown went to church a few times with a friend he had met after moving to Charlotte, NC. He began to experience an immense allure to know this God who brings new life and who changes people from the inside out. After all, he too wanted to change; he wanted to know and have the same peace that he saw in true followers of Christ.

One day in 1997 in his bedroom, Chris couldn’t wait until the next Sunday for an alter call. He got on his knees and prayed; he begged the Lord to save him too. From that day on, he was a different man. It wasn’t easy. He had to make many lifestyle adjustments, getting rid of the old self and putting on the new. Chris eventually left his wellpaying job and began working at a church in 2004 as a well-respected maintenance man. Yes, maintenance man! That’s where God wanted him to be. He was led to Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary to continue the journey that God had called him. The transformations he experienced were radical.

Chris and I met in April, 2007 at church. It was his humility and incredibly love for the Word that drew me to him. We married in October 2008. While teaching and preaching on various occasions, leading new members’ classes, small groups and single adult classes, we prayed about where God would lead us in ministry. But God had a different plan.

In November 2010, just two classes before graduating from seminary, Chris passed away unexpectedly. God had need of him in heaven. Chris was a leader of our home; a warrior for the Lord. He touched so many lives by teaching the word of God, many times without saying a word. He lived it!

There are so many details left out, but there’s one thing I want you to know. Chris was just an ordinary man who became an extraordinary reflection of Jesus Christ. This had much to do with Christians who had invested in his life, many from Gordon-Conwell. I see clearly now that the way Chris lived his life was his ministry. His calling didn’t include a particular title, but it did include a particular mission.

This scholarship was developed in Chris’ name to enhance the Kingdom - to turn gatherers into sowers. You do not need to be extraordinary to apply for this scholarship, but be willing to be transformed into extraordinary by God. Your legacy is not about your success on earth, it’s about your reputation in heaven.

Blessed to have known him,

Amanda

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