Dr. Heber M. Brown, III is a community organizer, ordained reverend and budding farmer who has been a catalyst for personal transformation and social change for more than twenty years. For nearly 14 years, he served as pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. While there, he launched Orita's Cross Freedom School in 2012; an educational program that celebrates African heritage and develops hands-on skills in youth. In 2015, he launched the Black Church Food Security Network which supports African American congregations in their efforts to establish gardens on church-owned land and partners them with Black farmers in order to pipeline nutrient-rich produce from soil to sanctuary. He is the recipient of numerous awards and is currently working on his first book which explores the historic relationship between Black churches, Black farmers and faith-based food sovereignty.
Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III is a husband, father, and change maker who 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.
Additionally, in 2015 he launched the Black Church Food Security Network a multi-state alliance of approximately 100 congregations working together to grow food, purchase from Black farmers and partner to co-create Black food ecosystems to inspire health, wealth and power in the Black Community.
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 Atlanta, Georgia.
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.)