WITH WATCHFUL EYES
Should you ask any member of the Elim family about one member they can recall seeing at almost every and any church event, they would give you one of two names; either Rev. Blake or Bro. Brown. The latter can always be seen with his trademark bicycle, at the front of the church enjoying the company of the fellow workers of the school, or in deep thought and conversation with the Lord.
Sylvester Brown, while unsure of the year, was born on January 7. He grew up in the community of Naggo’s Head where he has lived and worked for his entire approximately 70 years on earth. While age has caused many things to slip from him, he still remembers fondly the friends with whom he grew up. He recalls how many of these boys were in gangs, many of whom encouraged him to join. However, young Sylvester did not heed to the call. Even back then he knew there was something different about him, and this pushed him to continue doing what was right always. He recalled times when he was even counseling and encouraging some of his friends to put down the violence, and the popularly held Jamaican ideology of being a “gyaliss.”
As he grew as a young man, filled with strength and wisdom, he decided it was time for him to get a job in order to sustain himself. And so, at the young age of 20, he decided to acquire the skills to become a fisherman. Upon reminiscing about his first time at sea, he remembers nothing but the fear that caused him to stand stiff as he tried to learn all he could from the more experienced men around him.
Though age once again bested him, he stated that he has been in the Elim family for a very long time, almost as far as he can remember. He gave his life to the Lord right in the “dirt church”, under the leadership of Pastor Wright. It was here, he even met the love of his life, and later to become wife, Sis. Deslimay Spence, who was extremely active in the church. In fact, it was Sis Spence who pushed him to be the church’s own fisher man, a calling to which he heeded.
Bro. Brown was instrumental in signature events such as the weekly fish fry, for which he and fellow member of the church and good friend, Bro. McKoy, provided the majority of the fish needed to keep the events going. Sylvester continued to flourish in both church and his walk with the Lord, as well as his professional career as a fisherman. Upon giving his life to the Lord, he became in charge of praying and blessing the daily journeys out to and from sea.
Being more skilled in his craft, he expanded his arsenal. As he was now able to purchase his own boat, and engine, and nets needed to make his job so much easier. Back in his church Bro Brown was forever and always active. He assisted in the crusades with the setting up of tents and standing in the pool with Bro. Owen Braham when persons were to be immersed. He was active in the events coordinated during the period of fund raising, and in addition to providing the fish; he also prepared roast fish at the weekly fish fry. He laughed as he recalled patrons eating and enjoying, shouting with satisfied taste buds, “dem ready, an dem steady!”
Bro. Brown’s work at Elim has been completely indispensable. And though age betrays him, he still holds fast to memories of passing by Bro Roman, and the small meetings in his house when he was still unsaved, and memories of Pastor Watson driving down the chicken back truck just to get the Elim Grocery Shop well stocked. With a warm smile he remembers all the young people who have participated and have grown immensely over the years, like Minister Owen Wilson and his wife Deaconess Yvette Edwards-Wilson, Sis Angella Williams, and even Evelyn and her sister. He remembers and misses his friends from those days, such as the Roman family, and the McKoy family, and Sis. Joy Graham, who has passed on recently, and her family.
With watchful eyes he has seen almost every period in Elim’s history, and his influence has survived the test of time. When asked about words of wisdom he could pass along, he started with the young people. Urging them to stay determined within their walk with Christ and get involved. The church has survived because of the goodness of God, and the willingness of everyone to pitch in and do their part. And the young people should do the same. And to the brethren of the church, be reminded “It will be rough, and tough, but continue with the process. The Lord will keep us through. May God bless you and keep you. You can’t give up now, because our good great God has plans to lead us through.”
Great words of encouragement from watchful eyes.
Editorial by Kenrick Morgan
Elim Open Bible Church