You may not know Rev. Ludwell Brown, but you’ve most certainly heard him.
Brown’s booming voice reverberates throughout any venue he speaks at - usually delivering an invocation or message on behalf of veterans.
Brown’s accomplishments span decades in Culpeper County. His positivity, passion and ability to energize any crowd he speaks to is what made our choice for the 2017 Culpeper Times Citizen of the Year.
Brown retired from the Army with the rank of Sgt. Major and has served as minister of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for 24 years. He’s a member of the Wayland Blue Ridge Baptist Association, the Culpeper Ministerial Association, the Culpeper Heat Shelter Oversight Committee, he’s a past president of the Culpeper Chapter of the NAACP and has served as on the Culpeper Human Services Board as CHS Board Liaison to Head Start Policy Council.
He was instrumental in the Early Head Start program’s recent implementation and construction.
A veteran himself, he gives tirelessly to honor veterans - speaking and saying prayers at numerous events at Culpeper National Cemetery.
“To know Rev. Brown is to know one of the most courageous, humbling, and patriotic men that exist today,” said Matthew Priest, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Director, Culpeper, Winchester, Staunton, and Balls Bluff National Cemeteries. “Rev. Brown’s love of country shows not only in his 32 years of service in the United States Army, but also his continued service to this community. The Culpeper National Cemetery is honored to have Rev. Brown as part of our team because of his love of country and devotion to our Veterans.”
Brown also has worked as a guardian, assisting individuals who have n one to care for them and helps insure their end of life last wishes are carried out.
His always uplifting personality shines through - with anyone he comes in contact with, but especially seniors. His face lights up when he interacts with seniors - which he does on almost daily basis, giving of himself at nursing homes and retirement communities.
He’s been honored throughout the years, serving as the Grand Marshall of the Culpeper Independence Parade, was named one of Aging Together’s 5 over 50 Award Winners and was a recipient of the Good Scout Award.
“We are always in need of exemplary role models and no one could ask for a better one than Rev. Ludwell Brown,” local historian and longtime friend Zann Nelson said. “He is the epitome of the “family man;” he served his country proudly, and he serves his community without reservation. I have been privileged to work alongside Rev. Brown and honored to call him colleague and friend.”
A native of Fauquier County, Brown graduated from Taylor High School in Orlean in 1964 and joined the Army. He was drafted and recalled during a Veteran’s Day ceremony at Culpeper County High School the experience of opening the envelope from “Uncle Sam” in front of his mother.
“I had not seen my mother cry before,” Brown said. “To see her hand me this letter, and turn her head and walk off assured me that something important had to be in that letter. The only thing I could say was ‘Mom, don’t worry about it, it’s going to be alright.’”
Brown was more than alright, he said, because God had already ordained his way. He made a career out of the military, married his wife Evelyn, had three children and became a qualified tanker in the Army.
He later was promoted to Master Sergeant where he, as he proudly tells it, cooked for generals and heads of state.
While he has a passion for helping older people, he is also a beacon for the younger generation - encouraging them and driving them to do better.
His passion, his drive is what helped make him successful and he asked the students at CCHS to put forth the same effort in everything they do - including honoring the veterans assembled.
“I busted my butt every day I showed up for the job,” Brown said. “I did not take one day for granted that I had it made. When you put forth 100 percent in anything you do in life, can’t nobody hold you back.”
If you see Rev. Brown, greet him with a resounding “HORAH!” and thank him for all he does.
We certainly do.