Poet finds faith through the rhythm of life

charley@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 29, 2012 

From left, Alva Leader Brown, Wilma Holman and Beverly Dore at a recent book signing for "Christian Poetry in the Rhythm of Life."

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Just four days before Alva Leader Brown's son fell from the attic of their Mink Point home, she said God helped her write a poem.

"If you fall and twist your ankle on a windy, rainy day, don't swear. Thank God you got up to continue on your way."

"When he was lying on the floor, he remembered that poem," Brown said. "Those poems are God-sent."

After the dust cleared and she realized her son was unhurt, she was able to remain calm by repeating her prayer.

Brown recently released a book of poetry, "Christian Poetry In the Rhythm of Life."

Beaufort artist Hank Herring describes Brown's poetry as subtle.

"It is like she has this inner peace," he said. "She didn't come over like she was standing on a soapbox, but like she was explaining the joy of Christianity. She teaches you how to have peace in your life every day."

It seems Brown was preparing to write this book her whole life. Born and raised in a New York church led by her godfather, she has always been close to God.

"What I heard at church, I heard at home -- God was always a part of my life," said Brown, whose godfather, J.P. Ladson, and mother, Lottie Bowman, were Sheldon natives, where Ladson was pastor of Canaan Baptist Church.

Brown's book is testament to her relationship with God.

"If I had a little difficulty, I knew I could talk to God, and he was always a part of my life," she said. "As an adult I had many experiences where I trusted in him and I called upon him for just mundane things."

The book offers words of encouragement, direction, wisdom and inspiration for life from Brown, who retired as a New York City public school teacher. She holds master's degrees in education from Columbia University's Teachers College and in school administration from The City College of New York.

Brown also holds a certificate in evangelism from the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and was trained in Bible studies based on the Oral Roberts University curriculum and at the Manhattan Bible Institute in New York.

A counselor at her New York church's crisis counseling center, she is a member of the National Christian Counselors Association.

For seven years, Brown took the word to the airways, producing her church's weekly public access television ministry, "It's About Living."

The New York native came to the Lowcountry to attend a family reunion in 2004 and moved to Beaufort within a year.

"I liked the area, and even though I was raised in a concrete jungle, I like the trees and the grass better," Brown said.

She has two sons, Kori, who is retired from the U.S. Navy and now lives with her in Beaufort; and Kimoji of California.

Beaufort, Brown has joined New Hope Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She enjoys singing with the MLK Community Choir, dancing with the Family Slide Dance Group and working with Family and Community Leaders.

Her message is to inspire others to carry God with them throughout their lives -- not just on Sundays.

"We need to be mindful of who we are, and that God exists in our daily lives," Brown said. "I wrote the poetry because I show people in various mundane situations ... how God exists ... how he is available and willing to help."

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Christian Poetry In the Rhythm of Life

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