Rev. Dr. Curtis Brown’s career and ministry are focused on equipping and mentoring the passionate, innovative, and courageous lay and clergy leaders needed by churches and religious organizations to effectively engage their communities. In his pastoral and denominational staff roles focused on starting new churches, congregational vitality, and leadership development, he has taught, coached, and consulted with hundreds of congregations and thousands of lay and clergy leaders across the United States. He is a national-level leader and trainer for the United Methodist Church in new church systems and organization, innovative forms of Christian community, fundraising, congregational renewal, and developing entrepreneurial ministry leaders.
Curtis currently serves as Director of Connectional Ministries for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a frequent event speaker, workshop trainer, and author of resource materials, but his passion is conspiring with leaders to develop new ways of creating powerful congregations where people connect with each other and with God.
Before joining the Illinois Great Rivers Conference team, Curtis served as a national New Church Strategist for the United Methodist Church, regional Director of Faith Community Development for the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Conference, and as Director of Congregational Development for the New England United Methodist Conference. An ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Curtis got his first job in ministry the day before he graduated high school, and has served churches as a church planter, turn-around church pastor, associate executive pastor, youth minister, and for one summer as a campground pastor in the northwoods of Wisconsin.
Curtis holds an undergraduate B.A. in Pre-Theology (Religion, Philosophy and Literature) from the University of Evansville in Indiana, a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, and a Doctor in Ministry in Community Organizing from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. His doctoral research focused on how new church planters were using the principles and practices of community organizing to innovate a more relational kind of congregation. In 2021, Curtis co-authored a book the on church planting through Upper Room publishers: Ready, Set, Plant: The Why and How of Starting New Churches.
Curtis is married to Rev. Meredith Manning Brown, and lives in Springfield Illinois with his two daughters and spoiled cat. His most recent hobby project is restoring a 1981 Honda Passport c70 motorcycle. He is an avid backpacker, amateur student of North American archeology, and aficionado of all things bacon.