August 10, 2017

Couple Honored for Their Contributions to Family Education

Adventist Review Staff

A couple with extensive experience in educating families was recently awarded the 2017 Spalding Medallion, during the Adventist Conference on Family Research and Practice held at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States. Pattiejean and Jeffrey Brown were presented the Arthur & Maud Spalding Medallion, the highest honor given by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Family Ministries, on July 22.

Jeffrey and Pattiejean Brown (left) receive the Arthur & Maud Spalding Medallion from Willie and Elaine Oliver, General Conference Family Ministries directors. [Photo: Walter Martinez]

“Jeff and Pattiejean have given outstanding leadership in Family Ministries on several continents for over two decades, as directors, trainers, workshop facilitators and authors of several books,” wrote General Conference Family Ministries director Willie Oliver in sharing the news with Adventist Review. “Our church has stronger and healthier families because of their intentional efforts.”

Our church has stronger and healthier families because of their intentional efforts

Intertwined in Service

Pattiejean (née McMahon) was born in Bermuda and graduated from Atlantic Union College (BA Liberal Arts, BSc Behavioral Science). Jeffrey was born in England, of Jamaican parents, and graduated from Newbold College (BA) and Andrews University (MDiv, Ph.D. Religious Education, family life and counseling emphasis.)

Pattiejean served as Bermuda Conference Family Ministries Assistant and director of Ministerial Spouses. She is now employed with the General Conference Human Relations department. Jeffrey pastored in Canada, served as Bermuda Conference president and family ministries director, director of the Bradford Cleveland Brooks Leadership Center at Oakwood University, and editor of Family Life. He now serves as associate editor of Ministry and associate secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association, in Silver Springs, Maryland, United States.

The Browns also have twelve years overseas experience. Pattiejean worked in England as a long-term care worker. Jeffrey served in England as pastor, counselor, and director of Pastoral Studies at Adventist-operated Newbold College.

Pattiejean has authored What On Earth Am I Doing? Leadership Lessons for Clergy Spouses,and Jeffrey has authored Single and Gifted. Together they have authored Total Marriage, A Guide To Parenting, and The Love Seasons. They are blessed with two children, Kristle (MA mental health counseling, Florida) and Jamel (MBA, California).

They are certified with Prepare/Enrich and Marriage Commitment Leadership from John and Millie Youngberg, their mentors in family life education. Jeffrey is also a Certified Family Life Educator. They have been privileged to minister in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

The Spalding Medallion

Inaugurated in 1990 by then General Conference Directors of Family Ministries Karen and Ron Flowers, the Arthur & Maud Spalding Medallion was named after the first couple to lead Family Ministries in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

On October 8, 1919, the General Conference Committee created the Home Commission which became operative in 1922 with Arthur W. Spalding as director, who worked in this capacity with his wife Maud, until 1941. Spalding created literature for the education of the entire family. A series of leaflets were produced dealing with different phases of home life entitled, “The Christian Home Series.” Arthur W. Spalding wrote the lessons and Maud Spalding graded them.

In 1975, at the General Conference Session held in Vienna, Austria, Delmer, and Betty Holbrook were elected directors of the Home and Family Service. Holbrook, who served as director of Family Ministries (the Home and Family Service) with his wife Betty from 1975-1982, was the first recipient of the award. Including the Browns, a total of 43 individuals have been honored with the medallion.