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Bishop Carlton Theophilus Brown is the Senior Pastor of Bethel Gospel Assembly, Inc., in Harlem, New York, which was founded in 1917.
His secular training led to the fulfillment of his dream of becoming a teacher with the New York City Board of Education. He served in that capacity from 1978 until the Lord called him into full-time ministry in October of 1987.
Bishop Brown’s ministry has opened the doors for extensive travel throughout the world. He has served in short term missions’ assignments and has been a conference and crusade speaker overseas in Azerbaijan, Russia, Cuba, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Panama, South Africa, Venezuela, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Barbados, Haiti and Aruba, as well as around the United States.
As a visionary Pastor, he founded the Bethel Gospel Assembly Ministries Trust which includes six churches in Transkei, South Africa. In addition he has founded the Bethel Gospel Global Assemblies International, Inc. under which seven churches have been planted since 2002, with locations in the Bronx, NY; Hackensack, NJ; Paterson, NJ, Stockbridge GA and Norfolk, VA. Bethel Gospel Global Assemblies International, Inc. also provides oversight to over 25 ministries in the Caribbean, South Africa, Florida and Harlem, New York. The Bethel Community Development Corporation (CDC) was established under Bishop Brown’s leadership to serve as the umbrella organization for future for-profit initiatives.
In October 2004 the Northeast Regional Great Commission Conference was inaugurated to equip leadership and laity of the local church to transform their urban and global community through their commitment to fulfill “The Great Commission”. Since its inception the Great Commission Conference has also been held in Aruba and St. Marten. He has expanded Bethel’s short-term missions’ involvement to include medical missions to countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and South Africa. He also launched three full-time missionaries over the last 10 years to South Africa, St. Vincent and Jamaica; Dr. Ruth Onukwue, Rev. Cecilio Mitchell, Pastor Ridley Buchanan respectively and he also gives oversight to several churches in Venezuela. He has also founded the Christ Community Action Initiative (CCAI) which focuses on meeting the needs of the underserved and disenfranchised residents of New York City.
In January 2006, Bethel dedicated its 364 acre Harmony Estates Project in South Africa which houses a church, Christian boarding school, Youth Resource Center, and skills training program. Bishop Brown also oversees a Christian School and a recent church plant in Jamaica, West Indies with plans to launch other educational institutions with the help of God. In 2006, the state-of-the-art Becoming God’s Answer Bookstore was completed and dedicated. Additionally a 2000-seat sanctuary is being built on the Fifth Avenue side of the existing city square block of property and is slated to be dedicated shortly. Bishop Brown can be heard on Bethel’s weekly radio broadcast: Becoming God’s Answer, each Sunday at 7:00 a.m. on WLIB 1190 in the New York tri-state area and also each Sunday evening in Greenville, South Carolina on WELP 1360.
Besides giving leadership to Bethel Gospel Assembly, Inc., and its affiliated ministries, Bishop Brown currently serves as the General Superintendent of Urban Global Missions Alliance, a ministry geared towards promoting the partnership of Churches committed to fulfilling the Great Commission which was founded by his predecessor, Bishop Dr. Ezra Nehemiah Williams. In addition he is a Clergy Liaison with the New York City Police Department. Bishop Brown received a BA degree in History from Herbert Lehman College and later pursued graduate work at New York University and at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – New York Center. He also holds a Master’s Degree from Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. He received national recognition for his excellent academic record and has received several awards and commendations including the 2010 Outstanding Clergy Leadership Award by the Council of Churches of the City of New York as well as appearing in the 2010 edition of Cambridge Who’s Who for Excellence in Spiritual Services.
Bishop Brown is the author of “Till Death Do We S.H.O.P.” which encourages the reader to take hold of a ministry approach and presentation that is making a difference in a spiritually indifferent world. Bishop Brown resides in New York City with his lovely wife, Pastor Lorna Iona Bell Brown. They have two adult children, Justin Obinne and Carla Priscilla.