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AACHM Oral History: Jennifer and Hershal Brown

Mon, 09/12/2022 - 10:41am

Jennifer and Hershal BrownHershal Brown was born in 1946. He lived off and on with his parents in Gary, Indiana, but he was raised primarily by his grandparents in Ann Arbor. He remembers having many role models at Bethel AME Church. After graduating from Ann Arbor High School, Brown served in the military in Spain. He worked at Ford Motor Company in pre-prototype coordination for 31 years. He also worked and volunteered for the Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s department. He married his longtime sweetheart Jennifer Benton in 1968 and they have two daughters, Charisse and Heather. 

View historical materials for Hershal Brown.

Jennifer Brown was born in 1948 in Ann Arbor to Charles and Laurel Benton. She recalls learning to fish with her father and attending Jones School. Her mother encouraged her to take advanced classes in high school. Brown worked in banking and bank management for the first half of her career while her children were young. Later in life she got her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and became a social worker. She has been married to her husband Hershal Brown for 53 years. They have two daughters, Charisse and Heather, and three grandchildren.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Fourth Avenue, July 1958 Photographer: Duane Scheel

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Fourth Avenue, July 1958 image
Published In:
Ann Arbor News, July 3, 1958
LANDMARK CHURCH: One of the oldest churches in Ann Arbor is the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church at 632 N. Fourth Ave., built in 1891. Funds for building the church were contributed by city businessmen and the labor was furnished free by the church members.