By Jenelle Elder-Green
Special to the Milwaukee Times
Margaret R. Brown was born May 20, 1927 in Hampton, Arkansas. She was the third oldest of fourteen children, having seven brothers and six sisters. Margaret was raised on a family farm where she picked and chopped cotton and did various other farm chores. She always saved money to support herself and help others, especially her younger siblings.
Margaret was married in Hampton at a young age and had one daughter. In 1953 she moved to Milwaukee when she was 26 years of age where she did domestic work for eight years. Margaret attended MATC where she received a certificate as a power sewing machine operator, working part-time sewing habits for nuns. Beginning in 1966 she worked in the Food Service Department at the VA Hospital for twenty-two years. Upon retiring from the VA Hospital, she worked for Milwaukee Public Schools in food service part-time for another ten years.
When Margaret’s daughter was just 39 years of age, she died leaving behind five children. In 1974, Margaret gave up her one-bedroom apartment to purchase a house in which to raise her five grandchildren. In addition to her five grandchildren, Margaret has fourteen great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Education was always very important to Margaret. Hampton, AR was a small country community with a one-room elementary school and no high school. Margaret’s desire to obtain her high school diploma was realized in 1976, many years after completing her elementary education, when she attended MATC two nights a week for one and one-half years.
Continued learning is a priority in Margaret’s life. In 1990, she enrolled in the National Congress of Christian Education, headquartered in Nashville, TN. After completing twenty-five Bible study classes and four phases of written papers, she received her diploma in 2010. She has also received a graduate certificate as Church Dean and is also a certified church usher. She has faithfully studied the Bible and is now interested in enrolling in the Midwest Bible College for further studies. Margaret says, “Bible study teaches me how to treat other people and how I should be treated.”
Margaret was baptized at the age of fourteen and always attended Sunday School as a child. She has been a member of Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church for over 60 years, where she has served on the Senior Usher Board, General Mission Board, and as a Sunday School teacher. Margaret has served as Church Women United Key Woman for twelve years.