Reverend Wayne Brown died January 12, 2021 in Choctaw, Oklahoma at the age of 84 years 1 month 16 days. Graveside Services are scheduled for 2:00 PM, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Stroud Cemetery in Stroud, Oklahoma, entrusted to the care of Wadley’s Funeral Service.
Wayne was born November 27, 1936 in Stroud, Oklahoma to Wayne Ellis and Edna (Blickensderfer) Brown. He was raised in Stroud, Oklahoma, graduating from high school in 1954. He continued his education at OBU, earning his Bachelor’s in Arts degree. On November 25, 1958, he married Carol Doles in Kilgore, Texas. In 1969, Wayne was inducted into the United States Army, and proudly served his country until his honorable discharge, as a Lieutenant Colonel and Brigade Chaplain. Wayne served as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Checotah, the Purcell First Baptist Church of Purcell, and Johnson Road Baptist Church in Purcell, as well as numerous others. Wayne loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed ministering out on the oil sites, delivering candy as he ministered, and reading books about the oil fields. Wayne also enjoyed writing, going fishing, trapping, working outdoors planting gardens for his wife, and taking care of the yard.
On Thursday, September 27, 2018 The Purcell Register printed a wonderful article titled An Interesting Neighbor.
The Purcell Register
When the Lord God calls you, not heeding His summons isn’t an option.
Which explains very briefly how Wayne Brown became an Army chaplain and Baptist preacher and not a petroleum engineer.
You see, the Rev. Wayne Brown was originally from Stroud and grew up around the oil patch.
He would work summers at an oil refinery there while he was in high school.
Wayne always intended to become a petroleum engineer and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he was also in the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
It was 1954 and the Korean Conflict wasn’t that long ago. Wayne enjoyed student life at OU, his studies not so much.
“All I had to do at Stroud was play football,” he explained.
After one semester, his ROTC counselor called him in.
“I don’t think you are going to make it,” the counselor told him.
It was a wake up call for Wayne and he struck a bargain of sorts with God.
“I said, “God, if you get me through this, I will do whatever you ask,’” he recalled.
God asked, calling him to the ministry after his second semester at OU.
Wayne transferred to Oklahoma Baptist University and later attended seminary in New Orleans.
His first church was an open country church near Fargo in northwest Oklahoma. From there he went to Plato Baptist Church in Duncan.
It was always in his mind to minister to the oil patch – even when the oil patch was a platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
He left Duncan and went to work offshore and soon learned he couldn’t preach any regular service with the crew on call 24/7.
From there, he took a church assignment at Checotah and in short order was reaching out to rodeo greats like Benny and Willard Combs, the Duvalls and Walt Garrison with his ministry.
He spent eight years at Checotah and it was a deacon there who had been a POW during World War II who encouraged him to become an Army chaplain.
It was 1969 that Wayne was ordained as a military chaplain and commissioned a second lieutenant.
He would spend 22 years in uniform, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
As a chaplain, he dealt largely with trainees. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many were shipping out to Vietnam.
The Army sent him to posts in Georgia, South Carolina, New York, Wisconsin, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Following the Army, he moved his family to Purcell in 1988 and became pastor of First Baptist Church.
He also became the announcer for the Purcell Dragons football games.
Wayne has led the Memorial Day service for several years at Hillside Cemetery.
He calls it a “very special reunion every year.”
He started a lake ministry and implemented the first bus ministry in Purcell.
“I left First Baptist on my 10th anniversary,” he said.
He next moved to Victory Baptist Church, which was started as a mission of First Baptist.
And eventually he became pastor at Johnson Road Baptist Church, a mission of Victory Baptist Church.
Over the span of 30 years, Purcell and McClain County have become his home.
He also currently serves as chaplain at Westbrook Gardens in Purcell and Arbor House at Norman.
Wayne and his wife, Carol, married in 1958.
“We grew up together,” he said. “My mother baby-sat her when she was born.
They raised five children – Paul, Nancy, Charles, Patrick and Annette – and have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I’m old,” he said.
Age notwithstanding, he continues to work an oil patch ministry, as well as shepherd the Johnson Road church.
“If you are going to be a minister, you will meet a lot of people. Some will succeed and some won’t,” he said. “I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but at least I keep trying.”
In a lifetime of lives touched and souls saved, Wayne is proud that he’s never been fired or “run off” from a church.
And over the decades, he’s amassed a “treasure trove” – copies of all the funerals he’s ever preached.
There have been a lot.
He also recalls the big mission trip where he accompanied a choir to New York City.
“We sang all the way from here to New York,” he said.
“I have great feelings for the people of Purcell,” he said. “I’ve met some of the most wonderful people in the world at Purcell.
“I always stayed busy and was always willing to help somebody.”
Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Edna Brown; his siblings, Nora Lee Brown, Donald Brown, Wallace Brown, Ruth Ligon, and David Brown. Survivors include his wife, Carol Brown; his son, Paul Brown; daughter, Nancy Brown Liles; his son, Charles Brown; his son, Patrick Brown; his daughter, Annette Westerman and husband, Jason; his grandchildren, Jennifer Dailey and husband, Robert, Steven Liles, Barbara Brown, Zachary Brown, Nathan Westerman, Nicole Westerman; his great grandchildren, Adelyn and Wyatt; his sisters, Nan Wilkerson, Joan Farmer; and numerous other relatives and friends.
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