Martin Methodist College‘s 30th president, Dr. Ted Brown, was the recipient of the Francis Asbury Award at the 2012 TN Annual Conference. The Asbury Award is recognized for excellence in fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education.
In a unique twist, this year’s recognition during Annual Conference was especially noteworthy as the Tennessee Conference was in the midst of celebrating its Two-hundreth Year Anniversary. As part of this celebration various historical characters were portrayed by willing participants from around the Conference, in period dress, and appeared at various times to relive key moments in Tennessee Methodism.
After David Alford delivered his historical moment as Bishop Francis Asbury, Dr. Ted Brown, portraying Martin Methodist College founder Thomas Martin, was honored with the award on the floor of Annual Conference.
A non-monetary award to recognize and encourage support of higher education and campus ministries within The United Methodist Church, the award is given annually to a clergy or lay person (whether employed or is a volunteer of the Church) that meets the specific criteria. The award is named for Bishop Asbury and is based on his admonition to the people called Methodist to erect a school in the vicinity of every church. “We must” he said, “give the key of knowledge to your children and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages.”
About Dr. Ted Brown | Ted Brown was selected by the Martin Methodist College Board of Trustees as the 30th president in 1998 and assumed office on March 1. His arrival at Martin followed 13 years as vice president for college advancement at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., and nearly 25 years of experience in church-related higher education.
During his first year at Martin Methodist, Dr. Brown initiated a visioning process that led to the development of an ambitious 10-year plan of development for the college. Martin 2010 advanced the college on all fronts, including enrollment growth of 99.8 percent to more than 1,100 students. The Campaign for Martin 2010 concluded in October 2010 with a total of $41.6 million raised. In April 2012, the Board of Trustees approved the next long-range plan, Martin 2020, to further advance the institution.
Dr. Brown’s impact as president of Martin Methodist College has been felt far beyond the campus, however. He was elected in 2008 as president of the 775-member International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU), and in 2010, he was named chairman of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), representing nearly 300 colleges and universities. A key leader in that organization for a decade, he was one of the authors of the NAIA’s Champions of Character initiative in 2001.
Since his arrival at Martin Methodist, Dr. Brown has been deeply involved in the Pulaski-Giles County community, serving as past chairman of the board of the Giles County Chamber of Commerce and a member and past president of the Pulaski Rotary Club. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Middle Tennessee Boy Scout Council, and he has been an active member at First United Methodist Church, serving on various committees and as a lay leader.
Ted Brown is a native of southern New Jersey and grew up as an active member of the United Methodist Church. In 1973 he graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a degree in philosophy and began working on that campus in admissions, eventually serving as assistant director. Following a year on the staff of Jay Rockefeller’s successful West Virginia gubernatorial campaign in 1976, he enrolled at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. He earned his master of divinity degree in 1979. In 1987 he earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, focusing on the field of higher education administration. Dr. Brown did post- doctoral study at Harvard University in 1996.
During his career, Dr. Brown has served as a research assistant at the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, as assistant dean and director of development at Vanderbilt Divinity School, as director of development at Centre College in Danville, Ky., and as vice president for college advancement at Presbyterian College.
Dr. Brown is married to the former Cheryl Kiser, who was secretary of his freshman class at West Virginia Wesleyan College when he served as class president. She is in her 37th year as a learning disabilities teacher, currently serving at Pulaski’s Southside Elementary School. She also has extensive experience in writing church school curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House. They have two sons: Ted, a 2004 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College who lives in Birmingham with his wife, Stephanie, and their two children, William and Sadie; and Tyler, a 2009 graduate of BSC who also lives in Birmingham.