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John Melville
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D: 2020-07-13
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100 Bridge St.
Mifflintown, PA 17059
Phone: 717-436-6252
Fax: 717-436-6912
Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown

Monday, June 24th, 1935 - Monday, May 25th, 2020
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Indiantown Gap National Cemetery
    R.R. #2
    ANNVILLE, PA 17003-9618
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
All Services will be Private.


  • Christian Cross
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Mary Meiser

Posted at 06:00pm
Copied from Andy Meiser's facebook post:
At my friend Joe Brown's 80th birthday party, I gave him a card with 80 dollars in it, filled the inside with reflections on our long friendship, and promised that I would come through with an even 100 if he could make it another 20 years.

Joe passed today, a month shy of his 85th birthday, and I've thought often of his words in response to mine when he called me after the party.


I will say he was right.

My sophomore year of college, a 48-year-old classmate fast-talked me into joining him for student ministry at a little hole-in-the-wall drug rehab in South Philly. He would later say that "God told him" to ask me (God seemed to do that a lot with Joe). Soon after I was careening down I-95, straining to keep up with the Mach-One Caddy in front of me because I had NO idea where I was going if I lost him.

What began that night was a wild ride of seven years which stretched me, broke me, changed me and made me. But the center of the storm was not the long hours, the incredible demands, the financial struggles, or the longing for home. It was the ceaseless cataclysm of Joe, our friendship, and what it asked of us each. Neither got it fully wrong or right as we strived to get it together.

"Hey Andy, it's your friend, your brother, your ole buddy Joe." Those words wafted through my voicemail in his rich southern brogue just a few days ago. Things didn't conclude terribly well for us when our ministry season ended over 25 years ago but, curiously, it didn't end. Fifteen years ago he moved to Juniata County, rented an apartment, and stayed there: living, working, and worshipping, until failing health took him to a nursing home nearby about four years ago.

And our friendship continued...still fits and starts, but the growing sense that this was about more than getting along. It was about God moving US along. So...movement.

"I sure do you love ya Andy." I heard that a lot as I stopped by the home with regular deliveries of cream of wheat, denture cream, and shrimp fried rice (before the nursing home said "no" to the rice). The nursing home staff said that, to him, we were family, and he loved to receive updates on our crazy flywheel, particularly Scotty, who was born during our Philly days, and Allyson, who once told us that she wanted to "adopt" him.

They say love is a choice, but I have found a deeper rhythm. Sometimes love chooses you for purposes higher, wider, deeper and longer than we would choose on our own. In this, it becomes less about what we get, more about what we give, but most about what we learn.

We learned a great deal old friend. Would I have two African-American children, and a rich network of friends across culture, language and border had I not known you? God knows.

What I know is that it was quite a ride. And I sure did love you Joe. I am so glad it isn't really over now either.

There is nothing better than friendship.

Kimberly Nichols

Posted at 01:49am
Joe will be missed by his dialysis team.

Samuel Harrell

Posted at 10:02am
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

A dear friend has gone home today to be with His Lord and Savior. He always talked of wanting to go and now he is in glory - the place called "far better". He was just shy of turning 85 years old. He was a Korean war veteran, a singer, a reader of books, an historian, a mentor, a pastor, a student of God's Word, and a lover of Jesus Christ! He grew up impacted by the horrors of the Jim Crow south. He loved his training at PCB (Cairn University). He was best friends with Pastor Andy Meiser and his wife Mary who were with him until the end. He was a real voice for the gospel and big on African history. He told everyone about their need to be born-again. He was generous and cared for his community. He was outspoken on issues he cared deeply about (my understatement). All of it was passion and rooted in his love of God. He was the first apologist I knew.

Rhodah and I spent our first years together at his and Andy's community center, Agape Community Outreach, in South Philadelphia in the early 1990's. She taught Swahili and I taught the Bible to tons of children in that community. It was a great foundation for our marriage. He and I even pastored together!

Brother Brown, we will see you again. You were faithful and we were blessed to have you in our lives! We love you! Rejoice in Heaven! We will eat hoppin johns in your honor!

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 02:29pm
Joe was a legend to everyone who heard stories about him from the Meisers. As a lover of trees, I'd like to memorialize him with one. Much love.
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Laura hart

Posted at 08:50pm
My condolences to the family. I am so glad I had the pleasure of meeting Joseph. A very kind mind who will forever be in my heart. 8 will never forget him.

Mary Meiser Posted at 10:25am

Thank you, Laura. The staff at the nursing home took such good care of him. Thank you for caring for him the last few years. He appreciated you.

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