Jan Brown began attending Greenville Baptist Church in 1955 when she was 20 years old, and her husband Bobby Brown has attended Greenville Baptist Church from the time that he was 14 years old in 1944, until now at age 86. Together, they have one daughter, Karen Brown. Brown has been attending church her whole life. As a pastor and school principal, Brown's father instilled the importance of being in church into his five daughters. Brown's favorite thing about church is the atmosphere of being with fellow believers and worshipping God. “I love the Lord, [and] I love church, because I know where I come from,” said Brown. At 13 years old, Brown was baptized as an outward symbol of her faith in Ideal, Ga.
Years ago, Greenville was a bustling small town. Brown recalled how, when she was a young woman, her parents dropped her off in Greenville with a “suitcase and [her] two feet to walk” where she needed to go. There were three or four department stores, two grocers (not including those within the department stores) and several places to eat in those days, whereas very few businesses exist there now. Brown spoke fondly of Sydney's, a restaurant and gas station that once stood at the corner of Highway 90 and 221. She remembered having many meals at Sydney's, which was a hub of activity within the community. “There were at least six service stations then that I can remember,” said Brown. There, you could have your car pumped full of gas, your windows washed and your tires filled with air. “They weren't like the gas stations we have today... they took care of you... now you take care of yourself,” said Brown.
Brown remembers that when she first came to Greenville Baptist Church, the church and the people reminded her of her old church, and she felt right at home. There is no doubt that now, after 61 years, Brown is at home in Greenville Baptist Church and makes other new members feel welcomed and loved as well. Brown's favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” was also a favorite of the late Brother Thad of Greenville Baptist Church. Her favorite scripture is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)