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Neighborhood Awards: Bishop Kim W. Brown

Every day this week, JET introduces you to a nominee from the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Awards “Best Community Leader” category. Come back tomorrow to learn about another individual dedicated to improving the lives of those in their city and beyond.

Some people think it’s hassle enough to pay their own utilities, but Bishop Kim W. Brown says he’s “listening to the heartbeat of his community” when he adds other people’s bills to his monthly budget.

That’s just one of the several acts of kindness Bishop Brown of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church does for his Chesapeake, Virginia community.

From giveaways at nearly every holiday to leadership and marriage conferences held throughout the year, Brown takes his non-profit, K. W. Brown Ministries, wherever he sees a need.

“We just started seeing needs and just trying our best to address needs to the best of our ability … we have a genuine desire to help,” says Brown.

That’s why Brown is one of the four nominees in this year’s Steve Harvey Neighborhood Awards, which honors local businesses, religious/neighborhood leaders, churches, and high schools for their contributions and excellence to their own neighborhoods.

“I’m beyond extremely humbled, because the reality is there are other nominees in their own right that do a tremendous service to their communities. To even be looked at in the light that they are is remarkable to me,” Brown says.

If Brown wins the $30,000 that comes with the award, he plans to build a home to shelter boys and girls with parents that are unable to take care of them. The place, which will hold room for 22 children total, will be called “Elder’s House.”

“It’s not a place for troubled young people, it’s a place for young people with troubled parents,” Brown says. “Our goal is to be able to tangibly build a place where young people can stay in order to stay on track in life.”

The pastor, who’s been preaching for 23 years and working with his organization for 10, wants to be a steward of his community, and he’s doing just that.

“I think my biggest goal is empowering people, teaching them how to fish–not just giving them fish–and empowering people to change their circumstances,” Brown says.

The winner of the Community Leader award will be announced during the Neighborhood Awards ceremony on Aug. 11 in Las Vegas. JET magazine, the official media sponsor, will be on hand for the festivities. Check back here every day this week to meet the other leadership nominees.