Frances Gertrude Shufford-Brown was born Sunday April 5, 1942. She was the seventh child of eleven children born to the late George Shufford and Lenora C. Brooks in Hope Hull, Alabama in Lowndes County. Frances graduated from Wenonah High School (Birmingham, Alabama) in 1961, where she majored in cosmetology and was a majorette in the marching band.
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Striving to improve her economic potential Frances migrated to New York City. It was there she met and married Harrison Brown Jr. On June 6, 1962 they were united in Holy Matrimony and to this union four beautiful daughters were born, Mildred, Michelle, Harriette and Felicia.
She was affectionately called “Gert” by her extended family, but to her immediate family she was simply called “MA” and “Grandma”. Frances was the matriarch that held the family together. There was nothing that she would not do for her family.
Mother Brown accepted Christ as her personal Savior, under the tutelage of the late Elder Damon Wiggins, pastor of Mason Temple Church of God in Christ. It was there that the fire of fasting and prayer was ignited. She was dedicated to the noon-day prayer. It was in this daily noon-day prayer her ministry of intercession was birthed. Mother Brown committed herself to consecrate herself to the Lord the first three months of every year through fasting and prayer. Mother Brown had a hunger and thirst for the Word of God this caused her to enroll in the O.M. Kelly Bible Institute. The late Bishop Frank O. White was her instructor. She excelled and graduated becoming qualified to Preach, Teach and Rightly Divide the Word of God. Not long after Mother Brown was led to join the Universal Temple Church of God under the pastorate of the late Bishop Landon E. Penn. While at Universal she received her Evangelist license and taught Sunday school.
In the summer of 1984, Mother Brown and her family joined the St. Mary Church of God In Christ under the pastorate of Bishop David Butler. Mother had over 30 years of dedicated service to the St. Mary Church of God In Christ. She served as the Pastor Aide Leader and a member of the Trustee Board. She taught in various capacities including Victory in Jesus Bible Institute, YPWW and Sunday School. She was a Bible scholar; she also served on the Missionary/Women’s Department of the church and operating the church kitchen. She was committed to the mission of the Church of God in Christ. In 2019 the Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction licensed her as an Evangelist/Missionary in the Church of God in Christ.
Mother Brown’s ministry extended far beyond the four walls of the church. She loved her Williamsburg Community and they loved her. She was an example of the Love of God. As she sat on what is now known as Mrs. Brown’s bench, she was willing and ready to spread the Love of Christ through prayer, testimony and explaining the Word of God to all who would come her way. Many have stated their lives were changed because of the prayers she prayed over them. Mother Brown embodied the essence of “A charge to keep I have and a God to Glorify.” Mother Brown would often say, “Nothing or no one is worth going to hell over.” She lived her life ready to meet her Savior.
On Wednesday, July 10, 2019 our Beloved Mother Frances Gertrude Shufford Brown met her Savior leaving a legacy of Holy Living. Her siblings that preceded her in death are Ernestine Mayson, Georgia Suggs, Andrew Shufford, Carrie Olgetree, and Glenzine Meekins. Those who will cherish her memories are her husband Harrison Brown Jr., her four beautiful daughters: Mildred Brown of Charlotte North Carolina, Michelle Brown-Taylor (Robert), Harriette Brown and Felicia Brown-Butler (David) all of Brooklyn, NY; five loving siblings: Naomi Deas of Colonial Heights, VA; Hugh Bruce Shufford (Johnnie Mae) of Riverside, NJ; Rev. Willie Nell Shufford of Columbia, SC; Dr. Earl Louis Shufford (Jackie) of Chester, VA and Marie Ann Johnson of Charlotte NC; a Life-time friend and sister, Mother Geneva Thompson. Twelve grandchildren: Timothy who preceded in her in death, Micaiah, Candace, Shanee, Kyle, Mynneka, Messiah, Praize, Robert II, Andrew, Christian, and Levi; five great grandchildren: Skye, Kelvin, Silas, Payton and Micaiah Jr.; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives , dear friends and her St. Mary’s Church Family.