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Samuel Brown Named Recipient of Byrd Preaching Award at Mississippi College

Mississippi College junior Sam Brown, 20, a Christian Studies major from Rose Hill, is pictured on the Clinton campus.
Mississippi College junior Sam Brown, 20, a Christian Studies major from Rose Hill, is pictured on the Clinton campus.

Samuel Brown will preach before hundreds of Mississippi College students at an upcoming chapel program.

A 20-year-old Christian Studies major, Brown gets that opportunity as the new recipient of MC’s Byrd Preaching Award. He will deliver the sermon on March 19 at First Baptist Church Clinton.

As Spring Break nears, the MC junior will polish his message titled “The Love of God Revealed in a Name.” Samuel will discuss the love of God against a backdrop of sin.

He’s pursuing career plans to teach Bible classes in a higher education setting. It seems to be a natural fit. His parents, Stuart and Stephanie Brown are Meridian Community College educators. His dad oversees the MCC drafting and design program. His mom teaches biology at the two-year school in Lauderdale County.

With a perfect 4.0 grade point average, the 2018 Meridian Community College graduate excels in the classroom. He’s taking courses in Hebrew, Greek and Spanish in addition to Christian Studies.

Samuel Brown impressed leaders of the Christian Studies Department. The annual award goes to MC students who penned inspiring sermons. But they are also top-notch students preparing for careers in Christian ministries.

Burn Page, the department’s chair, believes Sam will become a terrific educator in a couple of years after continuing his studies at a seminary.

“Sam’s ambition is to be a Bible professor, and he will be a great one,” Page said.

“Sam is a straight A student in my Hebrew class,” adds Wayne VanHorn, dean of the School of Christian Studies and the Arts. “I was not surprised when I learned he won the Byrd Preaching Award because he is so devoted to everything he does.”

After winning the preaching award, Brown thanked his family and others in his life for their support. “Moreover, I thank God for this opportunity, and I pray that I would merely be an instrument to accomplish His purposes.”

Brown remains active in the Baptist Student Union on the Clinton campus. He was also recently elected chief justice of the Student Government Association. In addition, he’s involved in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Sam will become its co-president during his senior year at MC.

A member of Wesley Independent Methodist Church in Rose Hill near Bay Springs, Brown finds little time for hobbies. “I enjoy helping out on my family’s cattle farm. I enjoy playing the piano and attempting to learn other instruments.”

He likes the close-knit atmosphere at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College. “It is very welcoming and inviting. People really treat each other like family here,” Sam Brown said. “I find the educational experience at MC to be challenging in a good way.”

MC junior Jeremy Gore of Dallas, Texas got to know Sam through the Baptist Student Union chapter. “Sam is a great guy and he is very reliable when helping with BSU activities,” Gore said. “Sam getting the Byrd preaching award is a testament to his work ethic and strong Christian faith.”

The prestigious award was established by the Byrd family to recognize the talents of MC undergrads on track to become future leaders in a Christian ministry.

Serving as a pastor, teacher or in another ministry capacity is never easy. “It involves walking with others in their personal and spiritual lives,” Sam Brown said. Pastoral duties require “providing help and support along the way,” the Mississippian said. While some aspects of pastoral service can be a little intimidating, “I realized that God’s grace would equip me to do this.”