Martin Methodist Bids Final Farewell to Beloved President

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Family and friends pay last respects in touching memorial service

PULASKI, Tenn. – A memorial service to honor the life of Retired Martin Methodist College President Dr. Ted Brown was held Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Pulaski, Tenn.

In front of a large crowd, distinguished speakers representing MMC and the United Methodist Church (UMC) reflected on Brown’s dedication to both the college and the church as well as his devoted friendship.

“In the words of John Wesley, ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,’” said Executive Director the Cal Turner Jr. Center for Church Leadership Ed Trimmer. “And Ted did just that. For 47 years we have known each other and have been friends, and a better man and a better Christian than Ted I have never known.”

Brown was MMC’s 30th and longest serving president in college history. After serving close to 19 years, Brown announced in September 2016 his intention to retire after the first of the year. His tenure at MMC ended on January 31, 2017, and Brown recently accepted a new position at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHM) for the UMC as interim assistant general secretary for the Division of Higher Education.

“Most people are aware of the huge successes MMC experienced under Dr. Brown’s leadership, from increasing enrollment and growing program offerings to building the college’s reputation not only in the south central Tennessee region but also nationally and internationally,” said Interim President Robby Shelton. “He had an innate belief the college could be the great place it has become, and we will honor Dr. Brown’s legacy by continuing the great work he started here.”

“Dr. Brown’s presence will be sorely missed in the United Methodist higher education community. Personally, it grieves me to know that I will not receive the benefit of his counsel, support and advice as I begin where he left off at MMC,” said Incoming President Dr. Mark LaBranche. “I look forward to joining the MMC team as we work together to preserve and promote the vital mission that Dr. Brown’s work helped establish.

Brown leaves behind Cheryl, his wife of 43 years; their two sons Ted Jr. of Birmingham Ala. and Tyler of Franklin, Tenn.; and two grandchildren.


Martin Methodist College, founded in 1870, is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Martin Methodist offers baccalaureate degrees in 39 programs of study that include English, religious studies, music and dramatic arts, mathematics and natural sciences to business, social sciences, education, criminal justice, and nursing.