Esther Brown

August 3, 1925 – February 13, 2008

The Rev. Esther Brown, former vicar of St. John’s Church, Needles, died on February 13 in Vermont, where she had lived since her retirement in 1997. She was 82.

Survivors include her husband, W. Averell Brown, whom she married in 1958; their children, Alice and Philip; five grandchildren; and her three brothers, Luther, Milton and Richard Pierce, all of whom were ordained ministers in various Christian denominations.

Services were held on February 16, 2008 at St. John the Baptist Church in Hardwick, Vermont.

During her term at St. John’s, Brown led the congregation in opening “Save Haven,” a shelter for battered women and their children.

Before becoming vicar at St. John’s in 1991, Brown served as at St. Mary’s Mission in Wilmington, Vermont, and then vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Hardwick, Vermont. As the congregation achieved parish status, she became its first rector.

Brown was the author or editor of several books, including Chris Explores the Church, Susan Elizabeth Smith and Good Morning, Mother Church.

Before her ordination, Brown worked as a shepherd and a potter. She was an editor on the widely used Seabury Series for religious education, and worked as Christian education officer for several organizations. She was ordained in Vermont in 1984.

Esther Pierce was born August 3, 1925 in Plainfield, Connecticut, and educated at Colby-Swyer, Mount Holyoke, University of New Hampshire, the divinity schools of Duke University and Yale University, and at General Theological Seminary.