On Saturday, January 7th, Jonathan A. Mason, International President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Father Ken Brabazon and Father John Daya, Cathedral Basilica of SS, Peter and Paul will conduct MASS to celebrate Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Founder, Charles, I. Brown at Cathedral Basilica of SS, Peter and Paul, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (9:00 am).
Dedication of Plaque and Historical Marker, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 21 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (11:30 am)
For more than 80 years, Charles I. Brown disappeared from all activities in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. the organization that he had helped organize. During a Phi Beta Sigma membership national gathering, a search team revealed what happened to Brown. This Tribute marks the fraternity’s official Founder Brown’s Burial Ceremony.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., www.phibetasigma1914.org, one of the nine predominantly African-American Greek organizations. Charles I. Brown, along with A. Langston Taylor and Leonard F. Morse, founded Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at Howard University on January 9, 1914.
Two of the fraternities Founders, Taylor and Morse, went on to live very productive and notable lives, and were very active in the growth of the Fraternity until their deaths in 1953 and 1961, respectively. The third Founder, Charles Ignatius Brown, as history taught, disappeared from all aspects of society around 1924. It was the hope of every Man of Sigma, that Founder Brown went on to live a productive and fruitful life – but the story of his disappearance, along with the rumors of what may have happened, continued in the organization for more than 80 years.
In 1999, a small group of history-minded Sigma Brothers sat down and formulated a plan on trying to locate Founder Brown. Assuming he had indeed passed away by this time, their efforts were concentrated around finding proof and evidence of what happened to him, and hopefully finding when and where he finally died. This group has spent the better part of the last 17 years following every lead, travelling the country, and combing through numerous archives and databases.
Over these years, the search group encountered many frustrating obstacles and dead ends, but it was completely unacceptable that a Founder of the beloved Fraternity just disappeared. There had to be an end to the mystery of Charles I. Brown’s disappearance. In 2015, a major break-through occurred. With the small group of Sigma Brothers who started the search at the grass-roots level, along with the professionals that aided later, and with the full support of the Fraternity, Founder Charles Ignatius Brown was found!
This Burial Ceremony marks the culmination of the mystery of Founder Charles I. Brown.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is an international organization comprised of college and professional men, predominantly of African American origin, open from its inception to men of all race, religion, class and national origin. The Fraternity holds as its motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. With over 175,000 alumni and collegiate members, located in more than 500 chapters throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, the organization has its international headquarters in Washington, DC. It conducts national programs in the areas of Education, Social Action and Bigger & Better Business, a youth mentorship program of Sigma Beta Clubs for young men from 8 to 18, and a Sigma Wellness program in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes and national Centre for Disease Control. It has worked in partnership with St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.
PBS members include: James Weldon Johnson, George Washington Carver, Congressman John Lewis (GA), Congressman Edolphus Towns (NY), Mayor Harold Washington, African Presidents: Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Knamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) and William Tolbert (Liberia), Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Hines Ward, President Bill Clinton, Warren Ballentine, Esq., Reverend Al Sharpton, Al Roker, Terrence Howard, Hon. Demetrius C. Newton, Esq., Councilman Harold Collins (Memphis) to name a few.