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Sterling Nelson Brown: Wikis


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Sterling Nelson Brown A.M., D.D. (1858-1929) was a Professor of Bible Introduction and Bible History; Director of Extension Work and Correspondence Study at Howard University School of Religion, Washington, D. C.



During his career at Howard University, he married and had three daughters and three sons. His children ended up following the same path he did by pursuing education with strong will and determination. His family was very loyal and supportive of him, and he continued on with his career and service to god.

Teaching At Howard University

When Sterling began working at Howard University he was as much ready to learn and be inspired as he was ready to teach. His desire for knowledge and striving for better education brought him to the school that had educated many professional religious leaders. At the time he was appointed, the religious department for Howard University consisted of three small rooms. Sterling prayed for an extension to this department that would satisfy the great demand of students interested in taking the classes offered there. This extension plan would train pastors, much of whom had little education, and provide training courses for aspiring Sunday-school teachers. Although the religious education provided was already above standards, Sterling had the drive and felt the responsibility to improve it.

Teaching at the university, he was able to spend time with many different pastors, and they, along with God, inspired him in many ways. One of the pastors he became close to in his teachings was Dr. Jeremiah E. Rankin, a good friend of Sterling and the sixth president of Howard University. Another teacher who he had become very close to was Dr. S. M. Newman, another president of the university. When he preached, he impacted Sterling very much, and tried to teach his techniques and sermons to Sterling. He gave Sterling the outline for some of his sermons, and told him to be clear, simple, and suggestive. The last friend of Sterling was Dr. J. Stanley Durkee, who in his presidency, helped improve the school with many physical changes and increased the enrollment.

"The Negro's Question Mark"

Near the end of the World War, he wrote “The Negro’s Question Mark” in which he talks much about civil rights, national problems, and values. He states that the times require good leadership from intelligent people, and American ideals. Not only does he explain how to get out of the difficult times, he advocates for negros’ rights and equality. He argues for African Americans rights to call America their home, to live a life with liberty, and to be truly free after 50 years and not be a slave to a life of toil.


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