By Tim Curtis
City Gospel Mission
Dr. Jonathan Brown, Ed.D., has been named president of City Gospel Mission.
Brown, 57, has had an illustrious career in K-12 education with over 30 years of experience, recently serving as Cincinnati Public Schools’ director of school leader, employee and labor relations.
He becomes the first Black president in City Gospel Mission’s 98-year history.
Brown said, “I am incredibly excited, enthusiastic and humbled to be chosen to lead such a venerable organization. Our commitment to uplifting people who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and food insecurity will be stronger than ever. Leadership may be changing at City Gospel Mission, but God is still in charge.”
His experience in education is vast, having served in many roles with Cincinnati Public Schools, Dayton Public Schools, Middletown City Schools, Winton Woods City Schools and in Maryland.
A 1983 graduate of Woodward High School, his degrees include: a 1990 B.A. of Elementary Education at the College of Mount St. Joseph, 1995 M.Ed. at the University of Cincinnati (1995) and a 2002 D.Ed. at the University of Cincinnati.
He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by Temple Bible and Seminary College in 2022 and has been senior pastor at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Walnut Hills for the last eight years.
Brown said, “I wholeheartedly believe that we are called, instructed and commanded to help others. It is with this spirit of servant leadership and ministry that I begin the new chapter of City Gospel Mission.”
Brown follows Roger Howell, who is stepping down as the organization’s leader after 30 years.
Howell leaves behind a transformative legacy. He led Gospel Mission’s immense growth – adding addiction recovery services and job training/placement services, and expanding at-risk youth outreach and homeless services. City Gospel Mission now serves over 10,000 people each year with the help of 2,500 volunteers.
Brown said, “I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Roger Howell, who has led City Gospel Mission for the past 30 years. During Roger’s tenure, City Gospel Mission has experienced significant growth and expansion of services by operating in strong faith throughout Greater Cincinnati.
“I am unashamedly and unapologetically led by the Holy Spirit to minister to the needs of God’s people. I firmly believe God has led me to City Gospel Mission.
“With more than 32 years of experience in K-12 education, I have been a transformative leader. It’s my prayer that my strategic skills and successful record of positively changing the trajectory of students, schools and school districts transfer to City Gospel Mission.
“As incoming president, my goal is the same goal that City Gospel Mission has had for 99 years: ‘To break the cycle of poverty and despair … one life at a time.’
“This will be accomplished through ongoing prayer, hearing the Word of God, and empowering staff and volunteers to transform lives through the love of Jesus Christ. It is my goal to increase partnerships with churches and volunteers to support life ascension of God’s people.
“I am reminded that I did not get to where I am today by myself. God has helped me, and others have helped me. Just as God helps the 10,000 people whom City Gospel Mission serves to find hope, healing and purpose. Our commitment to uplifting people who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and food insecurity will be stronger than ever.
“Leadership may be changing at City Gospel Mission, but God is still in charge. I wholeheartedly believe that we are called, instructed and commanded to help others. It is with this spirit of servant leadership and ministry that I help begin the new chapter of City Gospel Mission.”