Centennial Celebration in Charlottesville

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

February 3, 2007

All weekend long, people throughout the Charlottesville community gathered to commemorate the life of a man who many would consider a model citizen: The Reverend Charles H. Brown.

“My father was by trade a builder and by nature a humanitarian,” said Angie B. Jefferson, Browns’ daughter.

A man whom many remember for his kind and giving spirit, always there putting others needs before his.

“Most of all as a builder, he often built houses for people who would not have ordinarily been able to afford a home at that time,” said Jefferson.

That time, the 1950's, was a time when many blacks in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas needed someone like the late Rev. Brown to help them fulfill their home owning dreams.

Rev. Brown acquired much of the land that today sits at 12th Street NW in downtown Charlottesville, a place where he built many a house that still sits there today.

“In fact, last year there was one that sold for about 200,000 dollars,” said Jefferson.

Rev. Brown’s reputation as an honest citizen gained the respect of both blacks and whites in Charlottesville.

His kind spirit even stretched as far as the grounds of UVA.

“The ties to the university are actually the black voices, at a time when black students, or minority students, had no say,” said Jefferson.

Rev. Brown opened up his heart and the doors of his church to the black voices, allowing them a place to practice their songs and forget all their problems.

That church, Holy Temple Church of God in Christ still stands in Charlottesville today just the way the late Rev, Brown built it fifty years ago.

Brown was born on February 2nd 1907 and would have been 100 years old this year.

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