Pastor Marlene Parker Brown, 71, entered into eternal rest on March 17, 2021 at her home with her daughter and grandchildren by her side. She was born on October 27, 1949 to the late Winfred A. Parker and Virginia H. Parker in Nassawadox, Virginia. Marlene was educated in the Accomack County Public Schools and graduated from Mary N. Smith High School in 1969.
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At an early age, Pastor Brown began attending St. Joseph Holiness Church in Atlantic, Virginia, where she was saved and began serving the Lord with all her heart. At the age of nineteen, she married Bishop Elton Brown. Their union was blessed with one daughter, LaTonya Brown.
Pastor Brown always believed in doing what her hands found to do (Ecclesiastes 9:10). She was a self-taught hairstylist and barber, styling and cutting hair for family members and friends. Pastor Brown loved cooking and often liked to bake cakes and pies. Another one of her hobbies was that of a seamstress, as she would make clothes for herself and others. She loved to sing and would often be called upon to sing duets with her husband, Bishop Brown, and solos on various occasions.
As well as the natural, her hands found many spiritual things to do. She learned how to play the piano for the services at the church. She sang in the choir and later became the choir director. As her husband’s health began to fail, she became the Sunday school teacher and was later called by God to preach the Gospel. She was elevated from that of a missionary to an Evangelist and later a Co-Pastor. After Bishop Brown was called home to be with the Lord, Co-Pastor Brown was installed as the Pastor of St. Joseph Holiness Church.
Pastor Brown’s ministries included visiting the nursing homes to sing and pray for the residents there, as well as visiting the sick and shut-in. During the illness of her husband and mother, she was a loving caregiver until they went on to glory. Pastor Brown was also a spiritual mother in which she gave Godly counsel and blessed so many with the works of her hands. She often quoted from St. John 2:5, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
In addition to her parents, Pastor Brown was preceded in death by her husband, Bishop Elton Brown and sister, Pauline K. Dale.
She leaves to cherish her memories: daughter, Latonya Brown; two grandchildren, Jayden Townsend and Jayla Townsend; two sisters, Geraldine Parker and Elmira Marshall (Frank); three brothers, Cecil Parker (Hester), Winfred Parker (Gloria), and Tyrone Parker; three sisters-in-law, Yvonne Harper, Eloise Brown, and Marcia Brown; brother-in-law, Thaddaeus Brown; uncle, Johnny Parker; aunt, Bessie Smith; special daughter, Tira Witherspoon; son-in-law, Torrey Townsend; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.