Bivocational Pastor a Cut Above the Rest

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Great Lakes

By Julie Campbell

Pastor Eric Brown has a unique edge over his fellow partners in ministry. Some would even say he’s “a cut above the rest.”

As a barber shop owner and pastor of York Avenue Church of God in Warren, Ohio, Brown not only helps people with their personal grooming but also with their spiritual upkeep. “I love the freedom and flexibility of doing God’s work no matter if I am in a house of worship or my family-owned barber shop,” said Brown. “I get to share Jesus wherever I go.”

Eric Brown

Brown is the owner of C.B.S. Barber Shop in Warren, Ohio, and comes from a family of barbers. His mother, Ceola Brown, is a retired Master Barber of 29 years. “My brother Henry Brown Jr. works with me as a Master Barber (33 years),” he said. “My wife, Christol Brown, works with me as a Master Barber (8 years), and my son, Eric Brown Jr., has been a Master Barber for seven years.”

As the senior pastor of York Avenue Church, Brown is well known in his community as an influential role model for African American men. “I have been able to establish personal relationships, advice, and guidance as a positive African American male role model over the years,” he said.

Ministry is more than a vocation for Pastor Brown—it’s a way of life. On Dec. 4, York Avenue Church recognized Pastor Brown and First Lady Christol for their nine years of service to the church. Pastor Brown has been involved in ministry for 22 years and has been a pastor for 14. Brown also draws from his experience as a veteran of the US Navy and uses the skills he learned while in the military to help shepherd his flock. He retired as a ITC(sw) – E-7 Information Technician Chief Petty Officer following 24 years of service.

“The Navy gave me organizational skills as I climbed through the ranks, as well as serving God, my country, and people,” he explained. “The barber shop provided me a place to continue serving God, serving the community, and providing a personalized service for our customers.”

Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Christian Resources (formerly Warner Press) and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband Russ on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled red Doberman puppy.

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