Jane Ellen Brown died June 11, 2018, just weeks before her husband, Rev’d J. Montgomery Brown (Monty), was to retire from St. Marks United Methodist Church in Charleston.
Monty wanted to honor Jane’s memory that would exemplify her spiritual gifts. After reflecting on Jane’s legacy, Monty made a gift to the United Methodist Foundation to establish the Jane Ellen Brown Memorial Prayerspitality Trust, where prayerspitality is a portmanteau created by Monty to exemplify Jane’s spiritual gifts: prayer and hospitality.
Monty envisions that the Jane Ellen Brown Memorial Prayerspitality Trust will provide funds for an annual award for an art/speech/composition that uplifts the importance of the marriage of the two Judeo-Christian virtues of Prayer and Hospitality that were so important to Jane. Jane had retired from serving 38 years as a public school teacher, with two master's degrees from Marshall and WVU. Monty thought such a competition would be the fitting way to honor Jane’s love for teaching and her deep spirituality.
Monty planted the seed for the Prayerspitality Trust with his initial generous gift; then he went to cultivating new gifts by encouraging family and friends to participate with him in honoring Jane’s memory. For Monty’s birthday, he told family that instead of a material gift for me, consider making a gift to the Prayerspitality Trust. For Monty’s birthday on January 19 of this year, Monty used Facebook fundraising to encourage friends to add nearly $4,000 to the Prayerspitality Trust. Sadly, the day after Monty’s birthday, his mother, Betsy, died at the age of 92. The family requested that memorial gifts be made to the Prayerspitality Trust.
Monty knows that Jane lives; that is their faith and trust; the Prayerspitality Trust will provide tangible evidence of Jane’s continuing positive influence on the lives of others through prayer and hospitality.