March 2, 2007 12:32pm CST
"Not only my feet", Reverend Brown's smooth baritone swelled the rafters of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, just as it had most Sunday mornings for the last twenty years. I wasn't there; my son and I left the church and Fort Myers several years earlier. I can only imagine the fear and guilt that must have haunted his song that morning. It was to be his last; he would soon resign. The Bible saus that what is done in the darkness will come to the light. The truth of that scripture had just manifested itself in Reverend Russell L. Brown's life. Moments earlier, I've been told, a long time parishioner confronted her pastor with allegations that he had, over a long period of time, been molesting her son. I want to emphasize: I wasn't there; however, I believe my sources to be reliable. Pastor reportedly fell to his knees, begged for forgiveness, resigned without any explanation to the church and fled town. Other children subsequently came forward. One young man was so severely traumatized that he lost use of his legs, after recounting years of alleged abuse. Russell Brown was employed by JC Penney's, in Men's Suits, for almost as long as he was pastor of Antioch. Perhaps you know him; perhaps he "fitted" your son? The "Newspress" has provided very little coverage of this case; perhaps because this is a small church, they don't feel the story newsworthy. I do. I know these children. They were friends of my son; they played at my house; I taught their Sunday school class. They deserve more than this being swept under the proverbial rug. Russell L. Brown is charged with three counts of Lewd & Liscivious behavior/molestation of a victim under 12 years of age, and is currently incarcerated awaiting trial. Proceedings are set to begin Monday March 12th at 8:30 AM in the Circuit Court, downtown Fort Myers. Please call the "Newspress", the TV & radio stations; let them know that you think this is an important story, and you want it covered. Thank you.