Reverend Dr. Heber M. Brown, III has been a catalyst for personal transformation and social change for more than twenty years. For nearly fourteen years, he served as pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. While there, he launched Orita's Cross Freedom School; an educational program that celebrates African heritage and develops hands-on skills in youth. He later launched the Black Church Food Security Network which advances food security and food sovereignty by co-creating Black food ecosystems anchored by Black congregations in partnership with Black farmers and others. His work has garnered numerous awards and national recognition. He serves on the board of many impactful organizations such as Bread For The World and is currently writing his first book entitled, Nothing More Sacred: Radical Stories Of Black Church Faith, Food and Freedom. The book is scheduled to be published in Spring 2024. When not working, he enjoys playing basketball with his sons, doing yoga and gardening.
Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III has been a catalyst for personal and social change for more than twenty years.
From 2008 - 2022, he served as Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Under his leadership, the church grew tremendously and garnered national attention for its innovative approach to ministry.
While serving as pastor, Dr. Brown founded Orita’s Cross Freedom School. Based on the Freedom Schools of the 1960's, this program reconnects Black youth to their African heritage while providing them hands-on learning opportunities to spark their creative genius and build vocational skills that serve their community.
Additionally, in 2015 he launched the Black Church Food Security Network a national alliance of more than 200 congregations that work together to co-create Black food ecosystems anchored by Black churches in partnership with Black farmers and producers.
Dr. Brown's dedication to service has been widely recognized. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ella Baker Freedom Fighter Award and The Afro American Newspaper’s “25 Under 40 Emerging Black History Leaders” award. In 2011, Urbanite Magazine identified him as one of the “Change Makers of Baltimore City." In 2013; he received a $10,000 Fellowship Award from The Beatitudes Society who identified him as one of eight leading young progressive Faith leaders in the country. In 2016, Grist.Org named him among innovators, organizers, and visionaries as one of "The 50 People You'll Be Talking About This Year." In 2018, Baltimore Magazine named him a Visionary of the City and the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights presented him with their Food Justice Award. In 2019, he received the coveted Emerging Leaders Award from the Claneil Foundation which brought with it a $250,000 investment in the work of the Black Church Food Security Network. In 2021, Rev. Dr. Brown was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. In 2022, he was chosen to become an Ashoka Fellow - which places him among some of the most influential social entrepreneurs around the world. In 2023, he received Humanitarian Awards from both the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and the Morgan State University Baltimore Alumni Chapter. That year, he also received the Community Service Award from the Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
He has presented and lectured at many institutions of higher learning including Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), Drew Theological School, Wake Forest School of Divinity, Methodist Theological School of Ohio, Virginia Union University, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, St. Mary's Seminary, Memphis Theological Seminary, and the Black Theological Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.
He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Morgan State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary. (Washington, D.C.)
He serves on the board of many impactful organizations such as Bread For The World and is currently writing his first book entitled, Nothing More Sacred: Radical Stories Of Black Church Faith, Food and Freedom. The book is scheduled to be published in Fall 2024. When not working, he enjoys playing basketball with his sons, doing yoga, dancing and gardening.