John Brown University and The Salvation Army will join this year to celebrate JBU’s Founder’s Day and honor the 120th anniversary of John E. Brown’s conversion to Christianity through The Salvation Army on April 11 at 10:30 a.m. at JBU’s Cathedral of the Ozarks.
Major Dan Matthews, Area Commander to The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas, will speak at chapel, along with John Brown III, former JBU president and grandson of the founder. A short reception will be held afterward attended by members of the Brown family, as well as university representatives, board members, and local and divisional Salvation Army representatives.
JBU’s Founder’s Day celebrates the life and legacy of John E. Brown, a father, evangelist and writer who established the university in 1919. Brown attributes The Salvation Army with
his conversion to Christianity after they put on a revival meeting on May 15, 1897 in Rogers, Arkansas.
After a long day at work, Brown was at a café with some friends when we heard the beating drum of The Salvation Army minister calling those in the city to his open-air meeting. Though not the first time he had heard these summons, that night Brown was intrigued and followed the minister. Brown would later recall that “on the night of May 15, 1897, I made the decision that has so wonderfully changed my life. I am lost in wonder, and to this day, I cannot explain nor do I understand the wonderful workings of God.”
After, Brown not only joined the Salvation Army as a staff worker but moved to Siloam Springs, where he set up an outpost. Brown later ended his employment with the Salvation Army to honor
his call into full-time ministry as a traveling evangelist, and would eventually come to found Southwestern Collegiate Institute – what is now known as John Brown University. Through the years, this institution has impacted thousands of young lives and multiplied the message of the gospel.
It is this foundational decision that the present-day members of The Salvation Army of NWA and John Brown University will celebrate.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org.
John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2017), JBU enrolls more than 2,700 students from 40 states and 37 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 39 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.