Rev. Dr. Curtis Brown’s career and ministry are focused on equipping and mentoring the passionate, innovative, and courageous lay and clergy leaders needed by churches and religious organizations to effectively engage their communities. In his pastoral and denominational staff roles focused on starting new churches, congregational vitality, and leadership development, he has taught, coached, and consulted with hundreds of congregations and thousands of lay and clergy leaders across the United States. He is a national-level leader and trainer for the United Methodist Church in new church systems and organization, innovative forms of Christian community, fundraising, congregational renewal, and developing entrepreneurial ministry leaders.
Curtis currently serves as Director of Connectional Ministries for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a frequent event speaker, workshop trainer, and author of resource materials, but his passion is conspiring with leaders to develop new ways creating powerful congregations where people connect with each other and with God.
Before joining the Illinois Great Rivers Conference team, Curtis served as a national New Church Strategist for the United Methodist Church, regional Director of Faith Community Development for the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Conference, and as Director of Congregational Development for the New England United Methodist Conference. An ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Curtis got his first job in ministry the day before he graduated high school, and has served as a church planter, turn-around church pastor, associate executive pastor, youth minister, and campground pastor in the northwoods of Wisconsin.
Curtis holds an undergraduate B.A. in Pre-Theology (Religion, Philosophy and Literature) from the University of Evansville in Indiana, a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, and Doctor in Ministry in Community Organizing from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. His doctoral research focused on how new church planters were using the principles and practices of community organizing to innovate a more relational kind of congregation. Curtis is currently working on a book on relational disciple-making and a workbook for new church planters on gathering and growing their first twelve core team members.
Curtis is an avid backpacker, amateur student of pre-Columbian Native American archeology, and aficionado of all things bacon.
Learn more about Curtis’s ministries:
Illinois Great Rivers Conference - www.igrc.org
Path 1 New Church Starts at Discipleship Ministries – www.Path1.org
Coaching and Consulting – www.RevsBrown.com/coaching
Research and articles – www.RevsBrown.com/blog
Weddings and celebrations – www.RevsBrown.com/weddings
Rev. Meredith Manning Brown is an experienced pastor and ministry leader, focused on innovative congregations and spiritual entrepreneurship. With decades of ministry leadership experience, Meredith has led multiple new church planting efforts, pastored through several church revitalization and growth projects, and served in senior ministry staff positions in large and small congregations across the United States.
Meredith is currently serving as Pastor of Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church in Springfield, Illinois. Douglas Ave. is a vibrant, growing, community-focused, progressive United Methodist congregation. Before coming to Douglas Ave, Meredith served as the interim pastor at Williamsville, Illinois UMC and Lead Planting Pastor for Evergreen UMC in Lacey, Washington. Meredith has served churches in Salem, New Hampshire and Byfield, Sudbury, Westborough, Acton, and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
Meredith is also a principle and founder of With Coaching, a resource and coaching collaborative of women church planters focused on supporting innovative leadership in sacred and secular organizations. Through her coaching and consulting ministry, Meredith shares her experience and perspective to support men and women leaders seeking to integrate their spiritual practices, their missional callings, and their household relationships into their busy lives as innovators and leaders in the church, businesses, and public life. With her dual experience and education as a pastor and a church musician, Meredith often specializes in coaching clergy and lay worship leaders and consulting on worship design, music, and staff relationships.
Meredith is an ordained United Methodist clergyperson, who is credentialed as a Full Member in the Order of Elder in the New England Conference. A native of Austin, Texas, she is a proud graduate of Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana where she completed a B.A. in religion, a B.M. in sacred music, and Certificate of Church Careers. She holds a Master in Sacred Music degree and a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology. Meredith’s musical training includes an undergraduate focus in piano, a graduate focus in voice and conducting, and extensive experience leading worship bands and choral ensembles in traditional, contemporary, and contemplative styles.
Meredith is a former troop leader for the Girl Scouts of America, happy experimental baker, and holder of the Brown Family Tournament of Games and Round-Robin Classic record for the most yahtzees rolled in a single game.
Learn more about Meredith’s ministries:
Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church - www.douglasavenue.org
With Coaching – www.WithCoaching.com
Coaching and Consulting – www.RevsBrown.com/coaching
Weddings and celebrations – www.RevsBrown.org/weddings