By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Woman credits faith for long life
Mary Hines Brown celebrates 100 years
0207 Mary Hines Brown
Mary Hines Brown sits in an easy chair at her home. - photo by Photo provided.
Feb. 3 was an extra-special day for Mary Hines Brown. She celebrated her 100th birthday.
“I was born on Feb. 3, 1910, in Long Reach in the Riceboro community,” Brown said. “My parents were Simon Hines and Sarah Hines. I had five brothers and seven sisters.
“All of my brothers and sisters are dead except one brother, Simon Hines, and two sisters, Dollie Hargrove and Betty Hines. When we were coming up, we walked five miles to school and we also walked to church,” she said. Hines and her family were members of First Zion Baptist Church in Riceboro.
On Nov. 6, 1927, Mary Hines married Sam Brown and moved to Midway. “I did not work outside of the home. We had 15 children and nine of them are living. My husband was the pastor of Freedman Grove Holiness Church and Long Reach Holiness Church,” the centenarian said.
She and her husband were married for 50 years before Sam Brown died. Several of the Browns’ nine surviving children live in Liberty County. The others live in different states. Brown lives with her son Bishop Samuel Brown and his wife Karen in the same house on Lewis Frasier Road that she and her husband lived in for many years.
Brown’s daughters, Joyce Moody and Mary Furrs, live in Liberty County. James Brown and Elizabeth Jackson live in New York. Philip and Lewis Brown live in Savannah. Ulysses Brown lives in Atlanta, and Sam Brown Jr. lives in Boston. Brown’s oldest child, Elizabeth, was born in 1929, and her youngest, Samuel, was born in 1952. Brown also has 34 grandchildren, 64 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.  
“The Lord gave me a long life,” she said. “The Bible said if you honor your father and your mother, you will have long life. I taught my children that they needed to be saved and sanctified and to live for Jesus. I believe in holiness. I want them to be faithful to their church. I also taught them to be on time when they go to church. Jesus died on time and He rose on time. We need to be on time.”
Four of Brown’s sons are preachers. “One of my sons who died was also a preacher. My daughter Joyce teaches Sunday school and two of my sons are deacons,” she said. Brown serves as the mother of her church and her son’s, Bishop Samuel Brown, church. He is a pastor in Freedman Grove and Ellabell.
 “My heart’s desire is for my children to live together in peace and happiness. They get along well together,” Brown said.
“She taught us to always remember who we are and what we are,” Brown’s daughter Joyce Moody said. “When I left home at age 17 and went to New York, her teachings and values followed me and kept me on the right track.
“My mother loved to cook until about two years ago when she fell. She used to make bread pudding, fruitcakes, cakes and pies. When we were growing up, my mother made our clothes, and she also made beautiful quilts.
“All of my children know how to cook. They also know how to crochet,” Brown said.  “I used to have flower and vegetable gardens. I planted flowers, squash, watermelon, peas and beans. I never had to borrow anything. I just went to the garden and got what I needed.”
Debbie Bacon and Rose Fleming are Brown’s caretakers. “She doesn’t watch television anymore, but loves for me to read the Bible to her,” Bacon said. “When she used to watch television, she enjoyed the Wheel of Fortune and gospel shows. She is a good talker.”
“I love to pray. My favorite Bible verse is, ‘My father is the husbandman and I am the true vine.’ My favorite songs are, ‘I am Bound for Mt. Zion’ and ‘We’ve Come this Far by Faith,’” Brown said.
In honor of Mary Hines Brown’s long and fruitful life, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other family members, friends and well-wishers gathered at the Econo Lodge in Hinesville on Saturday for a birthday celebration.
“My mother’s memory is better than mine. She is basically healthy. When I take her to the doctor, he is amazed at her health and always asks who is keeping her. He says he wants to write a book about her,” Moody said.
“The Lord keeps me pressing on. I was talking with one of my nephews and he said he had a sign that says, ‘If I can’t do it, it can’t be done.’ Well, for me, if Jesus can’t do it, it can’t be done,” Brown said with a smile.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
Sign up for our e-newsletters