A collage of images with LIVE THE BROWN LEGACY

"When you know better, you do better."
- Abe Brown

In 1976, Coach Abe Brown picked up a newspaper and was shocked to see that one of his former football players had been charged with murder.

Upon visiting this young man in prison, Coach Brown realized that he had taught young men how to play football, but he felt he could have done more to teach them how to live.

Deeply moved with the tremendous spiritual needs of those confined to penal institutions, Coach Brown committed his life to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that young men will know God’s rules of life.

It was then that he incorporated Prison Crusade Ministries, now known as Abe Brown Ministries.

About Our Founder

Abe Brown worked in the Hillsborough County School System for 38 years, with the first 23 of those years being spent as both teacher and coach until retirement from active coaching in 1972. That same year, he earned a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Florida A&M University.

He excelled as a motivator to young people, both on the playing field as well as in the classroom, and has been used to turn men’s hearts to the Father.

Coach Brown was eventually called to God’s Vineyard and was ordained as a member of the clergy and from 1993 until 2007, Rev. Brown served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of College Hill.

Below is a sampling of the numerous honors, awards and designations the man known to many as “Coach Brown”, “Abe” and “Rev. Brown” has received for his dedication and vision for our community.

Honored on Congressional Record by
State Representative
Kathy Castor
(March 2010)

New Middleton High School stadium named
“Abe Brown Stadium”
in his honor

Received the GEBA (George Edgecomb Bar Association) Francisco Rodriguez Award for
Outstanding Public Service

Received the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’
Community Quarterback Award

Presented with
an award for
from DACCO

Selected for the
America’s Award
(“The Nobel Peace Prize for Goodness”) for dedication through the Norman Vincent Peale Foundation

Co-Founder of
Citizens for a Decent Community,
an assemblage of persons loyal to fighting street drugs

Served on the
Board of Directors of
Florida Health Sciences Center/Tampa General Healthcare

Appointed to the
Florida Commission on
Responsible Fatherhood

Appointed by Secretary Harry K. Singletary of the FDOC to the Board of Directors for Foundation for Partnerships in Correctional Excellence

Served on the
Board of Directors for the
Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County

Elected to the
Board of Directors
Trinity College of Florida

Served as an
Advisory Council Member position for
Faith Theological Seminary

Served as a
Promise Keepers
Task Force Member

Appointed by
Mayor Sandy Freedman
to the Board of Directors for
Tampa Sports Authority

In Memorium

Rev. Brown was well known and highly esteemed throughout the Tampa Bay area. The quotes below are from his memorial service and are a true testament to his character and legacy.

It’s one thing to help people that can help you, but Rev. Brown made it his mission to help people that may not ever be able to help him. And that was the lesson he taught me.

Tony Dungy, former Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Our city is a better place because he lived. Moreover, we are better individually for having known him. With his quiet strength, he reminded us, all that a good life is in the eyes of God has nothing to do with titles or wealth, but everything to do with simply helping your fellow man. It is a legacy that will endure.

Pam Iorio, former Mayor of Tampa

Abe Brown was the rock. And he was a stickler for the rules. Often when you arrived in his office, he would just let you sit and stew and think about what you had done. But you just knew you were going to be okay.

U.S. Rep Kathy Castor, Chamberlain High School alumni, reflecting on when Abe Brown was her Dean