Serving His Faith and His Community
For Senior Pastor Buster Brown, East Cooper Baptist Church has been his home since 1982, just eight years after the church was formed.
At Brown’s start, the congregation was comprised of 128 people with one service. Since then, it’s grown exponentially, with over 2,000 members and four separate services each Sunday—two traditional and two contemporary.
Brown, originally from North Carolina, made the move to Mount Pleasant with his wife, Sara, and two children. The couple met while in Singapore where Brown was coaching basketball and doing youth work.
“From the beginning, the church family always accepted and embraced us. The people here are just so gracious,” Brown says.
Although the church is home to a large congregation, Brown makes a it a priority to get to know each member—through leading new member classes to smaller separate weekly classes and keeping in touch via email, ensuring to remember birthdays and saying a prayer for each member on their day. No small feat but one Brown takes on with grace and gratitude.
Brown’s reach goes well beyond the church’s walls. East Cooper Baptist has a large presence in community programs—the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, Prison Ministry at Lieber Correctional Institute and their “Hot Dog Ministry,” where members travel downtown each Tuesday to share prayer and food with the homeless population. The church also brings 20-30 homeless veterans in weekly for services and meals.
Every quarter, the church’s “Love on Charleston,” seeks out people in need.
“Whether we put down flooring, take meals, paint, we want the people to know that we’re neighbors and we care about them,” Brown says.
When Brown isn’t busy with community activities, he spends his days studying, preparing sermons, counseling and “trying to keep his wife happy,” he adds with a smile.
Eddie Schroder, Director of Communications, believes that it’s Brown’s passion for history and his ability to integrate historical facts and quotes with Biblical applications that make his sermons enjoyable and relatable to his congregation. Brown adds his love for movies and sports appeals to his members as well.
While many churches have moved into offering two types of services—contemporary and traditional—East Cooper also has two separate worship spaces, the Sanctuary and the Worship Center, for the different styles.
“People like choices as long as worship is biblically strong is what I’ve learned,” Brown says.
Brown aims to keep the services Biblically oriented, as well as culturally relevant in a time which he feels is sometimes moving away from this type of practice.
“I aim to be consistent, relevant and gracious when presenting the scripture,” Brown says.
It’s easy to see why so many view him as not just a learned pastor, but a trusted friend. Members of the community as well as East Cooper Baptist’s congregation and staff most certainly do.